Over the past 10 years blogging has grown tremendously in popularity. More and more businesses are investing in blogs to publish content, engage with prospects and customers, and generate leads. One question that I’ve encountered lately is whether or not a business should add a blog within their website or on a separate domain. This is a very good question that warrants further explanation, as there are advantages and drawbacks to both options.
Advantages to adding a blog within your website (yourwebsite.com/blog):
1) Creation of the blog: Adding a blog within your website is easy because you simply need to add a new page and copy the CSS from the rest of the site. The blog will then match your website’s look and feel.
2) Increased backlinks: If you optimize and syndicate your blog articles appropriately you will start to get backlinks from social networking, social bookmarking, and other external sites. These backlinks all point to an article within your website, thus increasing the total number of backlinks of your website. Over time, increased backlinks leads to higher search engine rankings.
3) Driving traffic to you website: Your website is likely the most expensive piece of real estate that you have online. If you have a well structured site with a good “call to action” then why wouldn’t you want to drive traffic to your site? Conversely, see #2 below…
4) Simplicity: Keeping a blog within your website means fewer things to keep track of on your part. You don’t need to buy a new domain or hosting for a separate blogsite, and you don’t have to worry about maintenance on multiple sites.
Advantages to creating a separate “blogsite” outside of your website (yourwebsiteblog.com):
1) Dominate for a specific keyword: If you’d like your business to dominate page 1 of Google for a specific keyword phrase you’ll need multiple websites. Sure, you can count on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn occupying 3 of the spots on page 1, but if you truly want to dominate you’ll need multiple websites. After your website (and your social networking accounts) you should create a separate blogsite.
2) Better for lead capture: The reason landing pages are so great for lead generation is that, if configured properly, they give the user 2 options: opt-in for the special offer or leave the page. If you’re driving traffic to your website you might lose people who get caught up in all the information on your website. However, if you create a standalone blog there there’s likely to be significantly fewer pages, making it less likely the potential customer gets lost in all the information and then leaves the site. This is not always the case, but studies have shown that less information is better for lead capture. Thus, people link to landing pages instead of websites when they set up paid advertisements online.
3) Dynamic home page: Creating a blogsite means that the home page serves as your blog. Therefore, the home page will constantly be updated as you add new posts. This is great for SEO because you are constantly adding new content to the home page, which is the first page search engines index.
As you can see both there are advantages to both options. Typically I would recommend adding a blog within your website because the fresh content will help with the site’s SEO and search engine rankings. Furthermore, having a blog within your website is simpler for both the business owner and visitor to the site. As a business owner it’s nice to keep all similar content together and not have to pay for additional domains and hosting. As a website visitor if I’m very interested in the business and I want to learn more, having a blog within the site provides me with a ton of more information; all within one click!
The only time I would recommend creating a standalone blog outside of your existing website is if you are either trying to dominate for a specific keyword (difficult to do unless the keyword is your business name) or if your blog focuses on a niche aspect of your business. If you really want to go all-out with your online presence then create a main blog within your website and then create additional blogsites that focus on niches of your main business. This way you’re reaping the rewards of all the benefits mentioned above.
If you have any questions about creating a blog contact Turbo Social Media to review your strategy and your options.
About The Author: Tom Sullivan is the senior account executive at Turbo Social Media. He has managed accounts for a wide variety of businesses, from small “Mom and Pop” businesses to multi-million dollar corporations. His success in business stems from his entrepreneurial drive and his desire to do “whatever it takes” for his clients to be successful. Tom received his BA in Business Management Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a former collegiate rugby player and he enjoys playing softball, golfing, camping, and snowboarding in his spare time.