Are you wondering whether it is best to host your blog with your main website, or whether to use one of the standard blogging platforms such as WordPress.com, Blogger and TypePad?
Although personal (non-business-related) blogs are perhaps best kept away from your main business website, I think there is a very strong case for integrating a business-related blog into your main business website. Here’s a few reasons why…
- Consistent and more professional – your site will be properly branded for your business, whereas external blogging sites (such as Blogger) may not. This is akin to publishing generic email accounts (hotmail.com etc) for your business email
- Visitor retention – keeping visitors on your site : your site should really be the hub, the focal point for your online business conversions, so why would you actively drive visitors away from it to read your blog content?
- Search engines – The external blog site would rarely have the same search engine clout as your own website. Search engines like sites that are authoritative, content rich, and active! If you put all your blog posts on an external site, how active is your main site going to be?
- Search engines have more content to work with, and they are more likely to see a connection between your main site content and blog content if it is contained in the same place – increasing your relevance
- Credibility – It shows your business is not just choosing the nearest free platform to host a blog, but has invested time and effort into integrating the blog into your main site. It’s not that difficult these days to set a blogging platform such as WordPress up to run on your website, and you can customise things so that your main website and blog really do appear to be integrated
- Freshness – It is more likely to showcase your website as an active site to potential new clients. How often have you been to a website that looks smart enough, but where it has clearly been several years since the content was changed?
- Convenience – why go off to a separate website to maintain your blog when you can access all of your content in one area? It might also encourage you to edit your main website pages a little more often to keep them fresh too!
- Portability – it’s much easier to move your website content to a different domain, or to change the structure of your site, if you don’t have to also change all the inbound links that you have placed in your blog(s) (although 301 permanent redirects could be used here)
- Recoverability – keeping all your content in one place makes it easier to backup and, if you need to, restore the content. Are you backing up your blog content? No? How would you be affected if it was suddenly lost?
- Styling – you can make your blog content even more attractive by styling it as you want and by using widgets to add site functionality. You’ll also be able to carry the branding and advertising that suits you, and not that which suits your blog provider
- Profit – in the event that your content becomes highly reputable and delivers lots of traffic, you might want to sell it on to an interested party. This is much easier to achieve if the site is yours and you own all the rights to the content
- Control – What would you do if your free blogging platform suddenly shut up shop, or blocked your content, or started displaying competitor ads right next to your content, or started charging you?