The internet can be a vast information highway with varying websites competing for the same consumers. Sister websites can be crucial components to building a consumer base and growing business.
So what is a sister site, exactly?
Sister sites are interconnected websites that are used to branch off your different products, services and or locations for easier customer contact. These sites are ideal for niche categories. As a result, sister sites are more likely to appear in search engines for specific keywords—which does wonders for your SEO and, most of all, business.
Businesses in competitive markets can benefit from employing several sister sites to saturate a specific niche. This can result in category dominance and a higher consumer base.
Sister Sites and the Google Model
Google is a big player in the sister site arena. Consider their sister sites Webmaster’s, AdSense and AdWords. These all started as smaller pages within the Google website and have grown into their own sites that generate great traffic while keeping the flow of revenue within the Google brand.
Another example of this type of marketing is the success of COS, a sister company of the retail giant H&M. Since its launch in 2007, COS has expanded both physically, with stores opening across the globe, and digitally with its website and mobile app. H&M understood that there was an available market for men and woman seeking high-end fashion at an affordable price. The deployment of their sister site occurred well before it established a physical store and through that success the company was able to expand and dominate a niche market.
Their accomplishments didn’t come from simply recognizing a niche market, but through building a web marketing strategy that complemented and elevated the H&M brand.
The success of these companies can also be achieved by smaller businesses that offer a variety of products and services. Below are a few of the benefits that can be had when employing sister sites effectively:
1. They offer an expanded version of your brand that can attract different audiences with narrower needs and interests
2. When implemented effectively, each site interconnects with other sites to provide greater visibility
3. They eliminate excessive website pages that can overwhelm consumers
4. Prevent website downtime, slow download speeds and other hiccups that occur with high traffic, multi-page sites
5. Increase authority for a specific industry or category
6. They generate quality backlinks to the main site, thus contributing to SEO
7. Ideal for local and international search engine rankings
Screenshots: AdWords and COS