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15-year old name-based site or new EMD for new, but related, business

     
4:03 pm on Jan 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi All,

I think the scenario is best to explain with an example/illustration. I'll pick a generic sample industry because it's an easy one to come up with an example.

15 year old small-town "photography" web site with some reasonable SEO on it that is: FirstnameLastname.com. While the site provides about 5 different types of "photography" services (let's say weddings, families, seniors, babies, architectural, and products - typical broad services for a small-town "do it all shop"), let's say the primary service has been "weddings".

Now, they are going to start focusing on "architectural" but currently doesn't want to give up yet on "weddings". While the two services are somewhat related, they don't feel it will be professional to have a "split welcome page" on the existing site to funnel clients two different ways and they want a site that is pretty much 100% focused on "architectural" service.

So, they are wrestling with whether to rebrand the existing FirstnameLastname.com web site to prioritize "architectural photography" (and move "weddings" to a small/secondary drop-down menu option) or start over with an EMD (exact match domain) plus one keyword domain - for example: BestArchitecturalPhotography.com (again, this is just an example).

Because they don't want to let go of the "wedding" emphasis on their current site, I'm inclined to recommend:
- Redesign the current web site so that it is 100% focused on "weddings" vs. the current multi-emphasis
- Secure best EMD possible for the "architectural" photography and build a new site with quality content focused on that service

Even though it will involve a brand new domain, I believe that the EMD and quality content will help it rank.

Thoughts?
5:08 pm on Jan 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yep, I'm with you however bear in mind that launching a new site can take several months to gain traction, I would also be inclined to link them together since they are widget associated but not duplicates.
9:22 pm on Jan 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I am as well with your thought process. Keep the wedding rocking and rebuild/brand the new one to were they want to go. Better this way. You just don't know if the other will take off. This way they keep a revenue stream to help pay for the cost of your work and bills. If they do well then they can farm out the weddings make a little change on it and all are happy, especially you. :)
5:03 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your help on this.

Now we'll see how quickly the new site can be put together and then see how the ranking goes...
5:03 pm on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I agree. I would do the same. If the existing site has a good local standing, investigate whether the third word of what will become the PMD (Partial Match Domain) should be something to do with the existing domain (surname, first name or similar).

I have seen cases of a new domain - that is connected/part branded with the existing domain that is strong in its niche - somehow "inherits" a bit of that trust or someting, helping the new domain to rank better/faster.