This is an interesting question, which comes up during my internet marketing seminars. For a decade, I only had one website (www.nigeltemple.com). Now we run three websites.
There are arguments in favour of both approaches. On the one hand, having a single website can certainly be time consuming, never mind more than one! Assuming that you have a CMS (Content Management System), you should be spending time on your website every week (and some would argue, every day).
If you serve different market segments, there is a case for having separate sites. This may also be true if you wish to focus on a particular product, service or geographical market. On the homepage, you can then really go to town on specific messages, offers, keywords etc.
In my case, from 1999 onwards, I regularly updated my site. For example, I experimented with the meta data, added new pages, wrote articles, promoted my events, uploaded images and inserted links to other websites.
Subsequently, we launched www.totosites.com our website development arm. Within this site, we discuss internet marketing issues. Marketing strategy and tactics are now served by www.marketingcompass.co.uk – which is also a social networking site for small business owners who are interested in ‘all things marketing’.
I have found that having more than one site gives me more opportunities to promote different products / services. An interesting benefit is that I can ‘cross promote’ between the sites. (Only having one site can become quite complicated, especailly if you do several things!)
Finally, a new website can take advantage of the latest technology. For example, an online Content Management System, which is Google friendly. Technology keeps on moving forward, doesn’t it? So perhaps now is the time to embrace some of the cool new functionality and use it to attract some more customers!