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Seperate Sites or Silos

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As is the case with many home builders, we were forced to change our focus a few years ago. In an attempt to feed our families and pay the bills we morphed into a roofing/remodeling company that occasionally built custom homes. In 2010 I found myself with tons of time and little money so I spent the winter making a website the best I could then I let it sit and we never really thought about it. Last year I found this forum and it has made all the difference in the world. I realize we have tons of work to do still and this winter I hope to work on things again.

I read the recent thread on siloing and it was perfect timing for something we have recently run into. Over the last two months we have gotten a few calls for custom homes and curious as to what was going on I looked at our analytics and webmaster tools. To my surprise most of our impressions was for new homes or custom homes in canton and Cherokee county. However, our site isn't really set up to market ourselves as a custom home builder so much as it is a roofing contractor/ remodeling company. That leaves us two options to either silo our site and build out the home builder site or to make an entire different site. I worry about how to deal with two sites on our places listings and with different listings around the web. I also worry if having everything together will be a problem when marketing to potential customers wanting a home builder.

Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys.
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Single focus is always better in terms of both ranking strength and usability.

However, in the case of a home builder, there's no surprise that you do roofing and remodeling if you have the means to build an entire house. In your case, one site will work well, but organizing the content and creating a site structure that visitors can easily navigate is the key, at least for anyone landing on your Home page and/or exploring the site anyway.

For search traffic, the pages that match the search term are going to be the landing page. Just make sure the needs of the user are being met. Again, structure and organization makes the difference.

You may want to pay careful attention to Amazon and the way they organize vast amounts of diversity. Take those principles and scale them down to your own needs.
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Im on the fence with the practical usage of the term silioing for contractor sites. I dont want to create a buzz word that has little meaning for us aside from organizing your websites content in a non dum ass way.

That said the example did help me to visualize how our content should reinforce our site and pages. and how the blogs should have a clear focus as far as how they are labeled and tagged. I am taking it off the site and doing it for seo purposes as well on other properties, but it is not for my business site, its for another project.

You do have the opportunity to have a very rich site that is an actual authority pulling traffic nationally, which in turn gets you links nationally. For a little masonry site it might be one thing to be bop around with ranking it , but for a builder site or remodeling you have to pass the sniff test as people are spending huge amounts of money, and that would be better with a pros touch.

For a look at what is possible as far as content marketing a builder/, remodeler site goto pintertest and look up home advisors board, and take a look at all the info graphics they have. All of those should accompany a blog post that is of excellent quality. That stuff there gets lots of recognition traffic and links. Then spend an hour on Home Advisors website and dig through all of the information they have on their site. Say what you want about their service, but they have some of the best seo/marketing people I have ever seen.

Also goto Lennar homes, it might take you an hour just to see how their site is constructed, but it is world class. They have many separate sites as well, but it doesnt seem applicable to many people who frequent the forum.
I'm not being combative, just curious. Do I want national traffic to our site? Could national traffic negatively affect us somehow? Such as high bounce rate.
No, if you create awesome content that the user finds helpful and or useful they will share it and promote it for you, in theory.

If you were writing an algo for a search engine, how would you describe an authoritative website? One that gets regular content that is shared socially and national attention (search results) right? Well shoot for that.

Someone once told me (outside of this) to think globally and act locally . Whatever that meant,...
I'm not being combative, just curious. Do I want national traffic to our site? Could national traffic negatively affect us somehow? Such as high bounce rate.
I would create a site for home building, include your garage building and remodeling services here, a separate site for roofing and include your exterior services here, gutters, siding, soffits, etc... That is easily two 50 page sites (including blog posts) if you wanted them to be.

As for the Places Listings. You could create separate +pages for each business.

Fowler Custom Homes and Remodeling
Fowler Roofing and Siding

If your businesses share an address then you need to send very strong signals to Google that they are indeed separate businesses.

- Each business has a different name.
- Each business has it's own phone number.
- Each business will be in it's own categories (home builder/roofing)
- Each business will have it's own domain and website.

That sends a pretty strong message that the businesses are in fact different, even though they share a physical address. That's one way you could do it. Silo sites etc... I wouldn't even worry about the concept it's so pumped up right now by SEO gurus and information sellers that I imagine the next update or two will wipe it all out lol.
Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys.
I get what your saying and if not done right I would agree. I am looking at pulling in national traffic via top ten lists, how mold can develop in..., ect.

Im sure you are familiar with how to set up your analytic to pull search queries that are question orientated/.

If you problem solve or answer questions it will answer peoples questions anywhere they are. In every state people face the same dilemma, who to trust, why stuff doesnt last, why its doing what its doing, how much it costs, what are the dangers.

People want information. Who is the annointed ones who get to deliver it? This old house .com?

I would say to build your stuff locally first and foremost though. and if your doing it yourself to keep it simple.

There is also the idea of having a news section. an authority site doesnt just generate its own news, it shares news in the industry from any source. Probably not in any of our wheelhouses though, I aint got time for that.

but any major changes in the building code for example would be a good blog post. Which might pull national traffic.

babble babble on and on
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