More threads by JrussellDAS

JrussellDAS

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I'd love to have a discussion on site architecture for multi-location brick and mortar shops in multiple states. The company I joined 3 months ago has 5 auto repair sites under one brand. This is only a portion of our sites/stores, but is a big question as to which route to take for this particular brand. We could leave it as 5 sites and improve the url structure. Or, we can consolidate to one domain/site, and improve the structure.

1 brand site (brand.com for example) with links to all the stores under that domain, plus links to the state sites, as well as service based pages, and
4 separate state sites brandstate.com with links to their particular locations under their domains, plus all the same pages as the brand site. The state sites compete with the brand site, and some of the state sites compete with each other.

When we replatform the site, I am worried about the existing SEO we've built if we consolidate, but at the same time, the site architecture and file structure on all the sites is definitely not best practices. the site urls are either on the root or they are brand.com/city but no mention of state. Same for state sites. The site architecture and url structures are not well done. So in both scenarios, we will have some changed urls and redirections.

Does anyone have opinions on whether it's best to separate or consolidate, and why? and also if you've done either (expand to multiple sites, or consolidate) what were the results?
 
I am always going to recommend less sites = better. It's less technical maintenance, less SEO work, and consolidating the link equity into 1 domain should be a major boost for SEO. One thing to pay close attention to is redirects. Make sure to redirect on a page by page basis and do NOT just redirect an entire domain into another domain's homepage. You want to ensure all pages are redirected to the most relevant page on the new domain, as this will provide the most SEO benefits and allow any link authority to pass to the right interior pages.

It also sounds like with a replatform and consolidation of these state sites will give a great opportunity to re-do a lot of these URLs and restructure the page hierarchy - which in the end will only help improve your SEO as users will be able to find the content they are looking for easier and Google will likely understand the architecture of your site and content better.

2 years ago I helped consolidate 30 local sites (different states) into 1 national domain and we have been reaping the benefits ever since.
 

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