It's natural to conclude two is better than one. We were taught this basic fact at an early age, and few situations in life negate this basic concept. For this reason, it is easy to understand why any medical practice would think two web domains for their practice is better than one. One domain is good; then two domains must be better, right? This assumption is wrong as multiple web domains with the same content is marketing malpractice.
One Domain Is Better Than Two for Your Medical Practice
People are feature driven creatures by nature. The more features, the better in life. More buttons, more television channels, and more points all translate to improved results--most of the time. With this in mind, it's easy to understand why most people would conclude that the more domains one company publishes on the web, the better the organization would perform in search rankings. To the surprise of many, this is one of the rare cases in life where one is greater than two. Peter Drucker once said, "Concentration is the key to all economic success." Mr. Drucker made this statement well before the birth of the Internet, but it is deadly accurate when speaking of website domains for healthcare practices.
We have listed several main reasons for keeping your content housed under one domain rather than two. The rationale listed below does not represent the entire story, but it provides enough insight to understand how one is better than two when it comes to published domains for healthcare practices.
How Does Having Two Websites With the Same Content Lower Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is a search ranking score developed by Moz, and it predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. A machine learning model is used to calculate the Domain Authority, and there are more than 40 factors weighted in the calculation. A few of the 40 factors are listed below for your reference.
- The quantity and quality of incoming links to the website
- The quantity and quality of outgoing links from the website
- Domain Age
- Consistency of Content Distribution
- Link Diversity
- Value of pages across the site
- Web traffic metrics
- And much more
The higher the Domain Authority, the more likely your site will rank for relevant keywords. To increase your Domain Authority, it is best practice to concentrate on creating content, optimizing pages, and earning inbound links for one website as opposed to two. Having two domains with the same content for an organization is counterproductive as you are cannibalizing your efforts for increasing the Domain Authority.
Duplicate Content Can Hurt the SEO for Your Medical Practice
What is duplicate content? The SEO giant, Moz, states on its' website that duplicate content is content that appears on the Internet in more than one place. That "one place” is defined as a location with a unique website address (URL) - so, if the same content appears at more than one web address, you’ve got duplicate content.
Duplicate content confuses Google which can negatively impact search engine rankings. Content on the Internet that is in more than one location and is "appreciably similar" makes it difficult for search engines to determine which version is more relevant to users. Google and other search engines are confused on which domain to rank. In many cases, neither of the domains with duplicate content will rank.
Search engines are also confused on where to direct the inbound links -- send to one page or divide up to multiple pages from different domains? Other sites also have to decide on the best place to link between two domains which further dilutes the process. Instead of linking to one strong domain, sites are linking to multiple domains and spreading the link equity among multiple domains. Inbound links are a heavily weighted ranking factor, so diluting the link equity can negatively impact the search visibility of your practice's website.
Multiple Domains and Duplicate Content Confuses Patients
A study by Pew Research found 77% of online health seekers say they began at a search engine. When patients visit two separate websites with similar content, they likely will end up confused and frustrated. Multiple domains with duplicate content also raise red flags in the mind of patients. With so many potential patients using search, medical practices must ensure they are putting their best foot forward. The most successful brands are transparent and genuine, and sites with multiple domains and duplicate content are more likely to be viewed as untrustworthy.
Healthcare Practices Do Not Have the Time or Resources for Multiple Websites
We hear from our healthcare practices weekly about time and resources. The last thing you have time for is website updates and the latest Google algorithm. So, if you don't have enough time in your day for one website, why would you add a second one? The truth is that most healthcare practices do not have webmasters and aren’t marketing or web design experts. If there is someone who knows how to update and optimize content on the website, they are too busy running their business to keep up with it.
Don't waste your time, effort, money, and search rankings by building and maintaining multiple domains. Nobody likes the equation of double the work with half the results. Instead, take a page out of Peter Drucker's book by concentrating all of your digital efforts in one place -- your main domain. If the practice invests in an updated design, fresh and consistent content, and high-quality inbound links and place it under one domain, everyone will be happy.