Should You Integrate a Blog into your Website?

[ How to Integrate a Blog into Your Website ]
Integrated or Hosted Blog?

Should you integrate a blog into your small business website or use a standalone blog site? Does it matter? Which one is best for visitors, or branding, or SEO?

It’s a good question, but probably misses the most important issue, which is whether to blog (or not). In my opinion, it’s one of the most useful things you can do for your small business, since it’s great for connecting with customers, sharing info, getting feedback, getting ideas straight in your head, and so on. So whether you choose to integrate your blog or not, your priority should really be to just get started.

So what’s an integrated blog anyway? It just a section of your website where your blog appears. It’s probably under the same URL as your main site, and possibly under a separate directory such as www.yoursite.com/blog (I’d recommend that – see later). You can integrate your own blog pretty easily using open source platforms like wordpress or moveable type.

The alternative to this is to run a separate blog site, possibly using a hosted blogging solution such as wordpress.com or blogger. The great thing about these are that they are really easy to set up and get going. You can customize them too using standard templates.

So how do you decide whether to integrate? Instead of making up your mind for you, here are some things to consider:

1. Either way, the main thing to focus on is whether visitors see a common theme/brand/message between the blog and your main website. If that means the blog is part of the main site, then good!

2. Can a hosted blog be customized to look the same as your main site (or at least very close?)

3. If you use an integrated blog, such as wordpress.org, it’s good to keep this in a separate section or directory, so it’s 100% clear to readers that they are reading a blog

4. Which is best for SEO? I don’t think it makes much difference (see the PS. at the bottom)

5. With a separately-hosted blog you’ve got two sites to promote, instead of one. That’s twice the amount of link-building and socializing to do. This isn’t completely black and white though, since you can (and should)  interlink the two sites.

6. Do you think your readers would benefit from finding all your content in one place (blog, main home page, product pages, about me and personal info, info pages, etc)?

So having read through these points, which would you choose for your website and blog?

PS. I’d be careful about getting too hung up on blogs for SEO. The value of a blog post for Page Rank (etc) is very low on it’s own, so it won’t contribute much to your overall site ranking unless it has a lot of inbound links. Unless you’re a high profile blogger, you’re probably not going to attract too many links to each post. Of course if you get your niche & keywords right then you certainly can attract plenty of keyword traffic through your blog. I’ve seen many sites that are only blogs and they catch a lot of Google traffic.

Image credit: dorineruter

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3 Responses to “Should You Integrate a Blog into your Website?”

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