Should a Blog replace your Website?

Blog Should a Blog replace your Website?

The facts are in, Web Marketing and advertising strategies have changed. If you own or operate a company, your customers are now more likely to find you via the Internet than through mass media methods.

While your business may maintain a complementary presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, your company website design is still the main “face” of your organization and the anchor of your online marketing efforts.

By using tactics such as applying meta tags and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, a company can effectively improve the volume or quality of traffic to its website from search engines.

But once Google turns up your company’s website, what next? What do you wish to convey? How does your web marketing presence effectively distinguish you from your competitors? What are the effective SEO Services and strategies for putting your company’s best foot forward — and at a reasonable cost?

One of the biggest questions today is whether a company should keep a blog. And if your company does keep a blog, how will it help you accomplish your objective of growing sales?

A short history on blogs:

In recent years, companies both large and small have derived value from blogs. Short for “weblogs,” blogs are frequently updated websites that consist of blog posts which can contain audio, video or written text.

Though the earliest blogs evolved from online diaries, they’ve proven to be beneficial to the corporate world. And the potential purposes of company blogs and their respective topics are myriad. For instance:

-CEOs and influential executives can relay their thoughts on business leadership and growth strategies.

-Advertising and marketing agencies can highlight their approach to the services they provide and communicate their take on emerging markets and trends.

-Smaller businesses can showcase their products being used by their customers and also convey the company’s culture.

There is no doubt that blogs offer ways to effectively begin conversation and engage your customers. So, how do you get started? And which path should your company take?

The options in this case are threefold. Your organization can choose any of the following routes:

a.) Maintain a website and a separate blog.
b.) Use a blog as the company’s website.
c.) Import a blog into an existing website.

Conventional wisdom dictates that a blog should be a part of its company website. But increasingly, some smaller companies are finding it more advantageous, cost-effective and time-efficient to use a blog as the company’s website. With all of the “Web 2.0″ tools at a company’s disposal, “cheap and easy” doesn’t always mean “annoying and bad.”

So what’s the ideal strategy for your business? First, one has to evaluate the advantages of each.

Advantages of maintaining a blog:

-The ease of publishing content. Many platforms exist, such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and more that allow users to select custom layouts, or “templates,” and provide a forum for posting

-Increased interactivity with traditional web marketing efforts. With the right Web team, a blog can be powered by a blogging platform to fit within the constructs of a traditional website.

-The option to forego professional — and costly — web development services. Blogging is the true D.I.Y. solution for bypassing time-consuming consulting every time your company needs to reflect new developments via the Web. Additionally, many great blog hosts are completely free.

-Optimizing your site for search engines is easier with a blog. Each time you publish a blog post, you are “pinging” the update services. This means that you’re automatically notifying the search engines that new content is available on your site, which helps improve your search rankings.

-An opportunity to tell your brand’s story. For instance, on the blog, a company can easily publish its biography, mission statement and background and continue create engagement through updated blog posts.

-Increased “social media” presence: Many blogging platforms allow users to “friend” fellow users so that they may mutually follow and interact with each other. Additionally, blogging platforms allow easy interaction and sharing between different online social networks. For instance, if you have a Tumblr blog, you can synchronize your Twitter account to update whenever your blog is updated.

Advantages of maintaining a website:

-Ideal for a product showcase. A traditionally-designed website is ideal for displaying products and facilitating a customized online storefront. If your goal is heavy on the commercial side, your company will likely want to develop a custom website with these features.

-Customized layouts. While many online blogging platforms provide well-designed and attractive blog interfaces, they do not allow a great deal of variation to the site design. Often times, this means that important graphic elements such as striking designs are not available to be incorporated through the blog site. For instance, a clothing company might wish to implement a “splash” page that advertises a new dress shirt design before users reach the brand’s main page. This might prove extremely difficult to achieve with on a blogging platform.

-Customized widgets.

Some final thoughts…

Now that you’ve established the advantages, think about the needs and strategy of your company. Your company may have the resources to maintain a traditional website. That website could also contain a blog. But perhaps you want to build community and need to get the ball rolling today. Then a blog just might be your best bet.

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0 Comment   |   Posted in Blog June 16, 2010