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Migrating Multiple Business And Domains Into One Umbrella Domain


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#1 SillySpider

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 01:26 PM

Our company has 40 or so individual businesses which each have their own individual domain names.  These websites have been established for 10 years or more and rank nicely for their (well known) brand names, with organic site links visible.

 

Our new corporate business strategy is that each of these individual businesses will take a new umbrella brand name, append to it current business name, and all the sites will move to one corporate domain name.  

 

Of course we'll permanently redirect the old sites to the new, but is there anything else we can do to maintain the individual strength of these websites (particularly their organic site links) or do we have to expect that visibility for each individual business will be reduced in this new strategy?

 

Grateful for any hints or tips or past experience you can share.

 

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:51 PM

As long as the permanent redirects remain in place, the link equity will transfer over to the new pages on the new domain, which has the potential to make the umbrella domain's link equity greater than the sum of its parts as long as your information architecture flows everything through. On the other hand, if the pages on the new site are set up as islands, without logical linking from one product's pages to another, or to the corporate home page, then you'll be more or less where you were before as far as link equity goes.

 

I think the real question, and one which I assume your company has fully thought through, is whether the sites of the individual businesses share audiences and whether these various brands stand to benefit from more overtly indicating the connections between them. If that's the case, then the move probably makes sense and it's your web marketers' jobs to make it work.

 

Then again, I can think of a number of big, established companies that have a variety of brands, and those brands have their own individual web sites. There isn't a single right way that every company has to do this sort of thing.


Edited by qwerty, 26 March 2014 - 03:53 PM.


#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:36 AM

Be sure to let your customers know what is happening and why, and collect their feedback.  Hopefully your decision-makers will be responsive if the customers don't want to do business with your company this way (but I think the user experience determines their mood -- not where the experience occurs).



#4 SillySpider

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:41 AM

Thanks for your replies. Very helpful. I've had a closer look at some other companies which have taken a similar route and can see that for a brand name search the results do still have organic site links, which is comforting.

 

@qwerty Its a good point about the site architecture - we're on our way to a 'one site' approach but at the point of switch over will be a collection of businesses held together by a similar visual identity and some shared navigation so definitely some work to do there.

 

The shared audience point is also something we need to consider further I think, each business is similar in nature but likely to appeal to different audiences in different ways - language, location and several other aspects, however there is also huge potential for cross-selling which is a good thing for the business long term.






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