As much as you may have been hoping for a clear-cut yes or no answer to this question, the truth is that it depends. Good news is we’ve come up with a few questions for you to ask yourself that will help you decide if promoting your residential and commercial services on the same site is the right choice for your business.

1. Do you call the divisions by the same name?

One of the first things to consider is if you call your residential and commercial services by the same name. If you don’t, you’ll probably want to create two websites, one for each division. Maintaining separate websites in this case would be beneficial because it allows you to give each division a more defined and unique identity.

One problem you could run into if you were to promote the divisions with different names on the same website is customer confusion. Customers that are only familiar with your residential services under one name may be confused to see what looks like an entirely different businesses promoting commercial services on the same website. If you’re adamant about preserving a relationship between your residential and commercial service websites, a quick remedy would be to place links on each site that allow for easy navigation between the websites.

2. Are you speaking to the same audience?

Ask yourself if you are targeting the same audience with both your commercial and residential services. If the answer is yes, then keeping the divisions on the same site is logical. In fact, when the demographics of your target audience overlap for your two types of services, having one site could actually be beneficial. For example, say you’re a real estate company that builds both residential and commercial properties. If your residential properties are destined for business people with full-time jobs and larger incomes, it’s possible that these same individuals may also own or be a decision maker at a company with interest in building a commercial property. Because this company has a target audience with overlapping demographics, it makes sense for them to promote their services on the same site.

Hernon Construction

Hercon Construction Inc. is a construction company that offers both residential and commercial services. They feature both services on one website but divide information about each division onto separate pages so visitors can easily access the information they are interested in.

On the flip side, if your residential services are aimed at a completely different audience than your commercial services, you’ll want to consider promoting the divisions on separate sites. Take for example a property management company that rents both residential and commercial spaces. If their residential buildings are economical, low cost homes while the commercial buildings are elaborate, expensive office spaces, it’s very unlikely that the same person would be interested in both buildings. The residential division is probably targeting a younger age group with a small budget while the commercial division is targeting well-established, successful business people with large incomes. This distinct divide between audience members for each type of service signals a need for separate websites.

Peckham Architecture

Peckham Architecture is another local company that makes it easy for customers to navigate between their residential and commercial work while viewing their website.

3. Do you have so many services in either division that it could stand alone?

If you have an extensive list of services that pertain to each division of your company, you probably have enough content to display in two separate websites. Think about whether your company offers concentrated services or if you have a more varying product line. The more variance there is in what you offer, the more likely it is that you need to run separate sites.

Let’s dive into this idea a little bit more. Say there’s one company that both constructs and rents buildings. Under the construction side, they may offer services related to pouring foundations, drywall, support slabs and remodeling that they’ll want to promote on their website. Under the renting side, they’ll have information about consultations, property listings, management and more to share on the website. Because there are multiple, highly distinguishable services offered under each division, it may be less confusing to readers to display the information on separate sites.

4. Are they separate business entities?

This is more of a legal question to consider. Do you file your taxes separately for your commercial division and residential division? If your services are legally viewed as separate entities, this is a clue that you might want to consider running separate sites.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go in to deciding if maintaining separate sites for your residential and commercial services is the right choice for your business. Hopefully by answering the proposed questions, you’ll be able to arrive at a solid answer that reflects your business dynamics.

If you’re looking for some help with designing your websites, download our free Design Company Interview Guide or call us for a consultation.

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