Merging Two Websites Which Are Two Synergic Niches

Catherine
I'm talking to a potential client who has two websites – both with the same company name, but one is for the pool installation side of their business, the other for landscaping.
My instinct says they'd be better off managing and maintaining one awesome website and showcasing all aspects of their skills, but what do you say from an SEO point of view? Same?
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Jake
All other factors being equal, I'd probably tend toward keeping the sites separate. The topics of the sites (pool installation and landscaping) are pretty different.
The question to ask is if someone who is searching for a landscaping company is also going to want to learn more about having a pool installed during the same investigation (and vice versa). The odds are no.
However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't put links between the two sites when it makes sense. For example, if you have a piece of content aimed at new homeowners, it might make sense to mention the other company because someone that just bought a home might be interested in installing a pool but they also might need landscaping too.
I'm not saying that you couldn't make a single site work in this scenario. I would just tend toward laser-focusing each site its respective topics.

Catherine ✍️ » Jake
I appreciate your thoughtful answer – thank you.

Alex
Two businesses that do not have an overlap of services should always have distinct websites so the marketing message doesn't get confusing to potential clients. Pool installation and landscaping are different enough that including both together means one would take priority and the other would be ignored.
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Catherine ✍️ » Alex
I definitely see your point. Thanks for the input!
Alex » Catherine
I had a client split from everything under contracting to one site for contracting and one for specifically metal roofing they saw instant results. They got more business before the website was even finished because their services were more clear. Just having a yard sign stating metal roofing rather than contracting was enough to get them 3 metal roofing clients the week they changed the signs.
Marketing should always trump SEO. Always.Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should service their marketing, not be the end all.
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Earl
The Venn diagram in which people who require landscaping AND pool installation simultaneously would be pretty small…
Have the sites stay in their own lanes separately but there's nothing wrong with linking to each other as they're both "outside services" companies. Links back and forth would be relevant, just not necessarily merging content.

Catherine ✍️ » Earl
Cool – I like this image. Thanks!

Grattan
Separate, otherwise you'll have to do way more work to get a single site and Google My Business (GMB) to rank well for both unrelated services considering all other competitors will have dedicated sites and GMBs.
Kathy
I agree with those who say separate. Let me give you another example. Imaging someone looking for pool installation arriving on your home page (which Google tends to favor, by the way). What do they see? You probably have to split up your home page in two – one side being for the pools the other for the landscaping. And then you have a link to send that person to the pool service page. Ditto for someone looking for landscaping. It's hard enough trying to speak to similar but related services on the home page, let alone two very different ones! So you're going to want to get them off the home page as soon as possible. But the rest of the home page can speak to the value the business brings that applies to both sides.
But let's imagine you did your SEO right and Google lands them on your service page instead of your home page. That can work, but you still need other pages to convince them to do business with you. The most important is your about page, so they go there. Now what do they see? They'll see you trying to speak to two audiences and neither very well as as a result.
Can you see? Your audiences are too different. You need two sites.
But you also have the additional challenge in local search. John above mentioned separate GMBs (Google My Business pages). I actually don't think you can can get away with this. You can't have separate GMBs for the same business at the same address. It goes against Google's policies.
So then instead you'll choose two categories, one for landscaping, one for pools. Then you build out two different services in Google My Business (GMB). For your general pictures, get some that show landscaping around the pools. And be sure to have a post regularly from both sides using their POST feature.
I'll add, I had a restaurant client who ran a breakfast/brunch restaurant in the morning, but in the evening a completely different business took over and used the patio for outdoor dining. It had a different name, different business licenses, different menus and they even got a suite number for it from the post office, and of course, they had a different phone number, different Yelp, etc. Google would not allow it because they were the same category at the same address. Didn't matter that they were different businesses.
For you, you'll have the benefit of having different categories, but the business name will be the same. I know Google won't permit it because if it did every local business out there would be doing it – and that was actually a popular spamming technique until Google fixed the problem. Do things get past Google's spam filter? Yes. All the time. Just don't count on it.
So let's say you have one GMB. What do you do? Through their products feature you can link to separate websites. And another thing you can do is create a landing page that your GMB links to that only those who come from your GMB see (no-index it). And there you can split the page in two. And you can even be so bold as to ask, "Are you looking for landscaping or pools. We do both. Click here for this, there for that."
Here's how products shows up for my builder client, by the way.

merging two websites which are two synergic niches
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Catherine ✍️ » Kathy
thanks for your thorough answer. What you say makes absolute sense, and seems so very obvious now it's been explained. The GMB tip is VERY useful.

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This may satisfy you: How Cost did You Buy an Aged Domain for 301 Redirection?

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