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Client Wants To Split Website For Pr Campaign


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11 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:28 AM

This question has been asked in various flavors, ie whether it is a good idea or not to split the website into 2 separate website to run a PR campaign.

 

My client has a non-profit and tight budget and the last couple years have been an economical challenge. They have been known as the foremost specialists in "xyz widgets" for more than 15 years. They are planning a new puch on the widgets but it has been planted in her head that they should separate xyz widgets into its own website because you can't run a PR campaign targeting them on the current site. She plans to run this by some marketing specialists and perhaps SEOs who specialize in non-profits.

 

I challenged this line of thought (splitting resources, more SEO effort, more marketing, borrow from Peter to pay Paul, more administration, etc). It may be that an agency would prefer to use their own CMS due to comfort level but I don't see why your can't PR a service/section of a business/website. 

 

Feedback?



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 12:49 PM

 

 

whether it is a good idea or not to split the website into 2 separate website to run a PR campaign.

 

No it's a very stupid and expensive reason.

 

ESPECIALLY given that having an aliased domain name for such things is so, so easy 'now-a-days'. Back in the early days of HTTP (prior to 1.1) it was the only way it could be done, not any more, despite what some design/marketing company may tell you.

 

Having a separate domain, sub-domain or tld is a good idea, particularly for tracking 'hits' but even then simply adding tracking id markers in campaign URLs is just as easy and workable.



#3 Jill

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 04:52 PM

If it's just a PR campaign and advertising, using a different domain should be fine. If they're looking for SEO benefit, if things still work as they did a few years ago before I retired, then a new domain will only make things harder.



#4 bobmeetin

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 06:30 PM

They're plan is to move the 'widget' section from the old website to the new and promote it there, although they may still talk up widgets in their mission on old. My sense is that the original website will lose the SEO benefits and and they will encounter some of the others hazards associated with attempting to maintain and SEO multiple websites. The SEO benefit is important.



#5 torka

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 10:28 AM

Then they almost certainly do not want to split the website, IMO.

 

--Torka :oldfogey:



#6 bobmeetin

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 10:05 AM

So, we had an exchange yesterday where the business owner re-affirmed that you can't PR an existing website, gotta start fresh. 

 

Chris, you mentioned that you can use an aliased domain. By that do you mean a standard redirect such that visiting xyzwidgets.com sends you straight to xyz.com or perhaps better yet, xyz.com/pr-campaign? That is pretty simple, IMHO.

 

I'm not a PR or marketing guru, I'm still not getting why she thinks that a new website is necessary. Can anyone enlighten me here?



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 04:31 PM

 

 

where the business owner re-affirmed that you can't PR an existing website,

 

Best thing to tell her is, "Look, no disrespect, ... ... But how about, I let you do what you do best, and you leave me to do what I do best.

 

 

 

I'm still not getting why she thinks that a new website is necessary. Can anyone enlighten me here?

 

 

I can only guess that somebody is feeding them bullshit about how Google doesn't like press release campaigns, and will 'penalise' your site for it.

 

The client probably watches television or reads magazines, just ask  what she thinks people buy .tv domains for, because none of them have a website in or about the Tuvalu Islands 

 

xyzwidgets.com sends you straight to xyz.com or perhaps better yet, xyz.com/pr-campaign? That is pretty simple, IMHO.

 

Yep it really is is that simple, also you can use frame forwarding if you want to keep the appearance illusion of an entirely different site, that way you display the content of one URL while the address the visitors sees in their browser remains as the one they clicked through to.


Edited by chrishirst, 15 December 2015 - 04:34 PM.


#8 Jill

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 04:43 PM

I'm not a PR or marketing guru, I'm still not getting why she thinks that a new website is necessary. Can anyone enlighten me here?

 

 

Why don't you ask them why? 



#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:11 AM

I agree with Jill that you should ask her why she thinks a new Website is necessary.  The idea that you can't do a new PR campaign for an existing Website is just plain wrong, because many top brands do new PR campaigns for their sites every 1-2 years.  They don't have to change sites.

 

On the other hand, you don't want to be arguing with the client.  Search Engine Optimization is supposed to SUPPORT the business decision.  It cannot BE the business decision.

 

There is no better alternative in SEO.  There is only the alternative that the client feels most comfortable with.  You make your case for doing things a certain way but if the client is not compelled to do things that way then you either get on the team and help make the business decision a success or you move on.

 

As for the idea that splitting Websites is bad for SEO, that is absolute pure bullshit.  It does take more effort to manage 2 sites than to manage 1 site in some ways, but when you are running different promotional campaigns for different types of content all that changes is the URL, not the amount of effort.  I have run multiple concurrent promotions for 1 Website and concurrent promotions for multiple Websites and there is no time-saving, energy-saving option that is more efficient than all others.

 

Instead of looking for ways to prove the client wrong I suggest you work toward understanding her point of view better and figuring out how you can help make her business decisions successful through SEO.  Not every business decision is a good one but SEO is *NOT* the sieve that helps us separate the good business decisions from the bad ones.


Edited by Michael Martinez, 16 December 2015 - 10:12 AM.

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#10 torka

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:13 AM

I've never registered a separate domain for a PR campaign for the company I work for. Not ever. Press releases are published in a "news room" section on our main domain, links in releases sent to news outlets point to our main domain. It is most certainly NOT necessary to have a new domain for a PR campaign, and it IS most certainly possible to run a public relations campaign using an existing website.

 

--Torka :oldfogey:



#11 bobmeetin

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 11:34 AM

Bottomline - what I am getting out of this is that it is not necessary to split and run a PR campaign with a new website. She seems to have media contacts who have told her that it can't be done.

 

My concern is the impact (SEO) of what it will do to her live website. It's been around for +15 years and the Mission statement talks to them being the renowned widget specialists in the U.S. Then of course there is a major section of the website dedicated to widgets.

 

I'm the developer, responsible for technical issues. In that sense this is not my problem - but if they move widgets to a new site won't that have some negative SEO impact on the live website in addition to creating additional work on both to make this fly?

 

I think, one of the things that is happening, is that finances are low now and you start to look around to see how others do business. There are several other super-organizations around (goblers) and some have simple primary websites where widgets exist but not much more.  Yet these services are renowned and successful and this plants a seed that what you are doing is following an unsucessful path, so you must entertain options to compete.



#12 chrishirst

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 02:58 PM

 

 

My concern is the impact (SEO) of what it will do to her live website. It's been around for +15 years and the Mission statement talks to them being the renowned widget specialists in the U.S. Then of course there is a major section of the website dedicated to widgets.

 

Why would it matter if it is purely and solely for Press releases and WILL NOT be used for anything else? E-V-E-R

 

The BIG disadvantage is that the 'main site' is going to be "missing out" on a huge advertising campaign, so 15 years of natural branding gets potentially screwed up based on a faulty premise.






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