If one florist website is good, three websites for my flower shop must be better – right? If I get 100 orders from one website, I will get 300 orders if I have 3 websites! It sounds like that should be right, but when you dig a little deeper you’ll see that search engines and customers don’t think like that – especially when it comes to local businesses – like flower shops.
Think of your website like a balloon filled with helium. Each floral business in your area also has a balloon filled with helium on an online search. If you put all your helium into one balloon (one website), your balloon will eventually float to a top position online.
However, if you split your website into a bunch of smaller balloons, the result is a lower position. The good news is that you can take your website to the next level with this one simple solution: Combine your websites into one, and enjoy more sales as your site floats to the top of search results!
Let’s look at one local florist and her growing pains with multiple websites. Maryann, a talented, bubbly florist, owns a cute, quaint flower shop in Stowe, VT. Although Maryann only has one flower shop, she maintains two different websites for online orders (stowesflorist.com and stowesflowers.com). For more than a year, Maryann has been so focused on maintaining both websites that she hasn’t realized that they have both dropped in rank.
When it comes to web presence for local searches, maintaining multiple websites for her flower shop presents a number of unique challenges for Maryann. There are several reasons that having multiple websites for one flower shop is bad for Maryann and other local florists. Here are a few of them:
With multiple websites you’re not just competing with floral wire services and other local florists, your websites also compete against one another for better search positions. Even if you do have time to maintain two or more sites, they will always compete against one another for a better search results position because the same keywords are being used to find each site. So for Maryann, and other florists with multiple websites, this means that one site might rank second or third in a local area while the other(s) might rank tenth (second page) for example, or even worse.
Maintaining one website gives you the greatest competitive advantage against other local flower shops, national order gatherers, and wire services that compete with you.
If you’re like Maryann, and only have one physical location and a small staff, running multiple websites along with the day-to-day operations of your flower shop can be very time-consuming. Product management alone takes tremendous time and effort.
When you spend time managing two or more websites, you double your efforts while minimizing your potential. Think of it this way: Imagine pricing 500 products for one site, and then doing the same thing for a second site. Now multiply that by two or three times a year! WOW! Now that’s a lot of work.
With one website, keeping your products and on-page content up to date will be a breeze. This means that you’ll have more time to create awesome arrangements, without being overwhelmed by administrative tasks.
With multiple websites, the potential for your shoppers to be confused about who they are doing business with logically increases. Let’s flip back to Maryann. What do you think would happen if a shopper (let’s call him “Connor”) who is searching for a florist in Stowe, VT, comes across stowesflorist.com and stowesflowers.com? He will possibly notice the similarities in the name, address and phone number, but will possibly give pause.
When a shopper such as Connor discovers that your shop is doing business under multiple websites, he might not be sure which site is the right one or even the real one, and opt to do business with your competitor. So although Maryann’s flower shop is completely sincere, she could potentially lose Connor’s business and trust.
Transparency and trust are key elements in building brand confidence. With multiple websites, it’s possible that shopper confusion could result in brand mistrust.
Ever heard of NAP? No, not that kind of nap! NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It is an important component of local ranking. A business listing on Google Business, Bing, Yelp, Facebook, and more, can have a tremendous impact on your local visibility.
Business listings make it easier for shoppers to find your online store, and the quality of your listings depends on the consistency of your NAP. Moz states that NAP consistency accounts for 8-13% of all local ranking factors.
With multiple websites, NAP consistency issues are quite common, and managing business listings for multiple sites can be damaging because:
In 2017, a study by BrightLocal found that consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business. It also shows various other statistics to demonstrate that reviews are a big deal. With multiple websites, you risk having your reviews split among different locations, effectively diluted in power, which can lead to an inconsistent online reputation.
If you have seven reviews stacked on top of each other, each telling a potential shopper how wonderful your designs and service are, all the evidence shows it will have an impact. And although getting shoppers to leave reviews can at times be difficult, it’s much easier with one website.
Think about it for a second: Isn’t it easier to combine your websites, provide the best shopping experience to your shoppers, and have them give you the best reviews/feedback on one website? It will be easier for you and for them. The less you have to do with one site, the more you will get. Easy.
Once you understand how consolidating domains drives more traffic to your website, you need to choose which florist website partner to stick with. Should you consolidate your domains into the site that has most traffic or best ranking? Maybe – maybe not. Here are a few things to consider when picking a website provider: