I seem to be getting the question, “Should I have a blog?”, almost every day in the context of improving SEO. So if you’re wondering the same, I’d like to help you make a decision that works best for your goals.
Blogs are great for fresh content. It encourages frequent spidering and it will help expand the relevancy of your site. That said, be prepared to post frequently with quality information that people would actually get some value out of. Don’t just post fluff for the sake of having something there or fill an article full of keywords to try to optimize – it will work against you, especially with the recent Panda update in Google. For some industries, it can be difficult to come up with topics to frequently write about. A few suggestions: write about relevant news or hot topics that or somehow affect or relate to your business, best of or top 10 lists, use media like photos or video to spice up the blog, write how-to’s, product highlights, take frequently asked questions from customers and turn them into posts, etc.
If you can’t commit to regular posting or think that you will have difficulty cultivating new and useful content at least a few days a week, I’d encourage creating an article archive section, white paper, or buyers guide section on the site. This way you’re still getting the credit for content without the commitment of a blog and its readers who are expecting consistency.
This brings me to the next aspect to consider – how to host the blog in order to get the best SEO value. There are four options:
- As a subdomain (blog.yoursite.com)
- In a subfolder (www.yoursite.com/blog)
- Hosted on a blogger site (blog.bloghost.com)
- On a separate site (www.blog.com)
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but my personal preference is in a subfolder for a few reasons: you’ll get “credit” for the content you’ll create and if people link to your high quality posts, those links will “count” toward your domain popularity. Keywords may have an easier time ranking on your blog posts from a subfolder since they’re considered a part of the domain and would help support themes through cross linking and proximity, whereas some search engines view subdomains as a totally separate domain. If you’re in a situation where you can’t create a blog on a subfolder, I’d recommend creating the article archive section I previously mentioned, or if a blog presence is preferred for your own reasoning, such as creating more of a community or branding vehicle, create the blog on a subdomain and focus your attention on that goal rather than helping with SEO.
One quick tip: Go one step further and promote all of your hard work on the blog through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. There are platforms that easily connect your blog posts to Twitter and Facebook, like Twitterfeed (http://twitterfeed.com/). The goal is to inspire people who value your content to retweet or share your posts with their friends which should contribute to your overall SEO efforts.