I have a knotty problem here.
A client of ours sells large ticket items worth up to mid-six figures each (not real estate). A competitor's web site is getting higher SERPs than client's-- and client doesn't like it. Significantly, the client's complete web site is currently a folder that's living in a big portal type site, which I'll call widgetworld.com/myclient. Some of the client's pages are on www2.widgetworld.com. (I don't know the search engine significance of this, if any.)
Client doesn't have a stand-alone web site. But he wants one. He thinks that having a stand-alone site may help his searchability. Up to this point I've agreed and have encouraged the idea. But I'm no longer so sure.
He does have his own separate domain name but currently the domain myclient.com points to widgetworld.com/myclient.
My question is, my client searches fairly well from his HTML pages. But shouldn't he search better with a stand-alone web site? One that's under his own domain name-- vs. a few HTML pages and a database in a large portal type site? If so, how's the best way to do that without destroying what good searchability that the present pages have?
I would think that a stand-alone site could be effectively SEOd and SEMd in ways that one could not do when having to work within the restrictions of the templated pages on widgetworld.com.
The client's inventory of widgets is in a database on that directory site that's run on www2. That serves him well functionally. We could link seamlessly to it from any new site.
It may well turn out that we should leave things as they are because there are no work-arounds that would benefit the client. And fooling around with his current pages may lose what searchability that he does have.
Of course I'd love to sell the client a new web site and SEO and SEM. But if he's better off with my not tinkering, then I'll do the right thing and take a pass.
What's the concensus?