Don’t Build a Turducken Website

Somewhere in the mists of time, someone (maybe Paul Prudhomme, who trademarked the name in the 1980s) decided to stuff a turkey with a duck. Having gone that far, they decided to stuff said duck with a chicken. Thus was the turducken born, and you can still find them today. In fact, you can get them frozen, with the chicken further stuffed with crawfish, which might make it into a turduckencraw.

We’re taking no position on whether this is a good idea for your Thanksgiving table. But it did make us think about websites.

The turducken website

We’re often asked about making a sort of new website for a company’s new offerings. This might be a clinic opening a new location with different hours and services. Or it could be a new product a company would like to showcase, or an ecommerce section for a spa or gym. It might even be a new gala event for a nonprofit.

I’m saying “sort of” because the plan is often phrased as a question: should we make a new website or put it inside the current site?

So when does it make sense to put new offerings into your current website, and when is it better to make a new site?

Advantages of sticking with your current website

Assuming that your website is an established site with some traffic and rankings for some keywords, it has value. Making it bigger and better will increase that value. Making a new website could put you in the position of competing with yourself.

At the very least, the new site will have to start from scratch, and it won’t add value to your existing website. Or at least not immediately. Even if you link from the new site to your old site, a link from a new website doesn’t add value right away.

When should you build a new site?

When your new content would turn your established website into a turducken.

Or, to put it in less seasonal terms, when your new offering should reach a different audience.

Imagine you’re a physical therapist. Your website has information on your treatments, your qualifications, insurance, your location and schedule, plus general educational information about physical therapy. Now you want to add ecommerce for herbal sleep aids and CBD oil.

Some of your current clients will be excited about your new offerings, but some — and some potential patients, too — will feel like they sliced into their turkey and found a duck inside. They will feel confused and may even feel less confidence in your physical therapy if they meet your ecommerce section while looking for information on whether their insurance will cover vestibular rehab.

You need a new website for your e-commerce shop.

If you have multiple personas for your target audience, and plenty of our clients do, it makes sense to think about multiple sites directed toward different audiences.

 

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