A common question business owners face when building their brand online is whether or not to host a blog on their company website or go with a (free) off-site blog hosting option like WordPress or Blogger. There are clear benefits to both options, but business owners should consider the main purpose and goals for the blog before making this important decision.
How your company’s on-site blog contributes to SEO
From an SEO perspective, an onsite blog is crucial. It allows businesses to share and evangelize content, generating the internal and external links that are important for increasing the visibility of your company’s website in search.
All external links to blog posts will contribute directly to your site’s overall SEO strength, because those backlinks are pointing to the main domain. This will ultimately help all of your website’s pages rank higher in search results, as well as contributing to the kind of fresh, content-rich site search engines love.
Reasons To Host Your Blog Onsite
Host your blog on-site to drive search traffic to your website.
If your site doesn’t rank well for non-brand terms, a popular blog hosted on your company website could be the solution to move your rankings in search engine results. Since it’s difficult to compete for high-volume search terms, an on-site blog with regular posts targeting non-branded, long-tail keywords will help the site’s domain rank better thus impacting organic search traffic numbers.
On-site blogs provide fresh content and frequent site updates.
Having an on-site blog that is updated frequently will send signals to Google that your site content has been updated. A new page with fresh, authoritative content will often outrank an established page despite that older page’s backlinks and/or social media shares. (The Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) aspect of Google’s algorithm states that a search result listed should include one or more pieces of content that’s been recently published.)
Other on-site business blog considerations for potential visitors and your brand
A well-written, insightful, and genuinely helpful blog showcases the brand’s personality, introducing customers to your company and its viewpoint. In fact, many users are now conditioned to look for blogs when they’re making brand or purchasing decisions as a way to evaluate the brand.
The visitor will also be more likely to convert onsite (fewer clicks to email opt-in, downloads, retailer locator, etc.). That means more conversions, more touch points. It also gives you/your marketing partner the opportunity to place “suggested content” media, which is a very effective and affordable way to build audience by sending traffic to the site.
Finally, something to consider is that having a blog hosting on your company website would also help position your brand as a thought leader with a wealth of experience and authority in your given industry. Many companies are finding great success in overall brand awareness and search visibility simply from producing great (blog and other shareable) content. It pays to be seen as that authority.
Reasons To Host Your Blog Off Site
Your business website has strong rankings, high domain authority and excellent PageRank.
Host your business blog on a completely different domain to increase visibility in search engine results for queries related to your business.
Your blog’s topics are unrelated to your business or website content.
The blog should be separate if the content is unrelated to the business, or if your site is for some reason not credible or suspicious-seeming.
Your current website’s CMS doesn’t support blogs.
Although rare, the Content Management System you use to update your company website may not offer blogging functionality. In this case, you may have no choice but to go for off-site blog hosting on free platforms like Blogger and WordPress, among others.
If you currently have an off-site blog, check your analytics to determine whether or not it’s a significant source of referral traffic before you make the switch to on-site hosting.
Whichever hosting solution you decide for your company blog, make sure it’s conducive towards your business and marketing goals but if you rely on organic search traffic to generate leads and/or sales, consider the SEO benefits of on-site hosting. Stay tuned for next week’s follow up post which will offer tips and best practices for on-site blog hosting.