BeyondImage

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Hey everyone,

So I have a client that I'm working for who has a distillery. We do tours on certain days and certain hours of the distillery (which when you walk through the front, it's a locked but separate door to the left). This includes the barrel room, machinery, bottling, etc.

To the right, we have our 'Lounge' which is a bar/seating, nice outdoor patio, retail merch, food truck days, etc.

So the initial problem I started to realize was that on the days and hours the Lounge/Bar is open, the distillery isn't necessarily open. So I put into my phone for directions on a Thursday, it states it's about to close, but that's because they had the distillery hours. But then the distillery shuts down that day and the Lounge is open.

They gave me http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com and http://www.buffalotrace.com as an example of seperating. On here it appears that all of the links are the same and all point to one domain except I believe the product has it's own domain.

What are your suggestions on this? Both with two different domains and how to setup the difference in businesses for Local SEO citations/Google + Business.

Thanks in advance everyone!
 

cdawg2610

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To have the most long term success on this, you need to basically treat the distillery and lounge as two separate business that just happen to have the same physical address. There should be a different phone number and URL for them. From there, your on page/off page/citations and everything reflects the two separate businesses.

I would start the process with establishing the 2 seperate Google Business Listings and then going out from there.
 

BeyondImage

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That's how I was seeing the correct way to do it as well.

  • So different phone number (can it be a google number or digital?)
  • Do they need to be stated as 'Suite A' 'Suite B'?
  • Is it a problem having two domains, but that are basically connected. The Lounge/brand has a menu for the Distillery and when clicked on it takes you to that domain but yet keeps the same layout where it can go back and forth technically
  • Because I would think that copying the content onto the other domain would be spamming.

Or I guess I can make the Lounge and Retail be very minimal of a site that basically points it's links the main site, minus the information on the lounge (Specials, times, etc)?

Thanks for the help
 
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Nothing wrong with having the two sites connected as long as it makes sense from a user's perspective. Obviously don't duplicate content in both places though. Think about it from a user's perspective, user intent to both sites is going to be fairly different, and if you want to give someone the option to read more about the other side of the business, let them go to the other site. In my experience, having two different URLs is far less important than having NAP as different as possible. (Walmart for example nationwide has the exact same URL destination for all stores and all internal pharmacies). Since you've already got two different sites built out though, obviously keep it that way, but I'm not convinced it would be the end of the world to use the same domain, with a different landing page for both.

For Suites, here's what Google's Guideline says
Typically such departments have a separate customer entrance and should each have distinct categories. Their hours may sometimes differ from those of the main business.

I'd say to roll with a suite number if you can get it, just to be on the safe side.

I'd personally not use a Google number for my business, just because I'd be nervous about whether or not you can keep control of that number long term. there's currently an option to 'port' out the number, but Google Voice has had dwindling support for a long time now, and I don't think it's here to stay. It will cost some amount of money to get a real forwarding number, or even a real second phone line, but it will be worth it to avoid damaging the business asset you're building. If you do decide to go with Google Voice (or to a lesser extent, any other new phone number) make sure you check it first and make sure it's clean. You don't want a number that was burned through in a telemarketing operation or something, or that has been associated heavily with a different business in the past. I've had bad luck with Google voice numbers in the past, I don't know where they get them but don't just get one and put it on Moz the next day.

However you do it though, get a different number. That part's non-optional.
 

BeyondImage

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Thanks for the help everyone,

Now just to clarify, I don't have two different sites setup just yet. Is that a necessity to properly do this? Obviously one domain is easier to have the necessary content but then Google + needs a domain. And it can't be forwarded correct? And I'm assuming that it shouldn't be to a page within a used domain (i.e. distillery.com/lounge)

Or just better to have it's own domain and on the menu for the Lounge domain have the menu items for "Distillery" and have it point there, and vice versa.

So the required items will be:

  • Different Google +
  • Different categories
  • Additional local phone number
  • Two different business names
  • Two different domains?
  • Anything else?
Thanks,


 
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No need to have two different domains, and yes, you can use a non-root domain. (domain.com/lounge is fine) you can even use a longer domain with tracking variables attached. Generally, most multi-location businesses I've seen have one site, with location landing pages that those individual business profiles go to.

That said, you can have two sites if the sites are already built. I'd personally recommend one instead of two just so you don't have to divide backlinks, and so you can build authority to both businesses at the same time, but two can work as long as you're okay with the potential reduction in results.

The website you've got associated with a business isn't nearly so important to keep clean as NAP (name address and phone number) but I'd also suggest caution before rolling out in a big way if you're going to use one domain to start with, and then two in a few months when you've got the second site finished. So... don't build a bunch of citations until you know what you're going to put in the website field long-term.

Oh, and you're right, no forwarding allowed. That one in particular can get penalized pretty heavily.
 

BeyondImage

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Thanks,

So I can do the .com for the one, and the same .com/lounge for the other. I know that the other needs a different name, do you think having part of the other name mixed in with the Lounge one is an issue?

What are the potential negative effects?

One thing that comes to mind is that if someone searches up the distillery name, then it won't show anything about the bars hours and info. And to try and educate consumers on two different names for them to search up, depending on if they are wanting a tour or wanting the bar....

Any thoughts or insight?
 
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