Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blog or Website

Blogs are indeed websites, but there are distinct and relevant differences and advantages to both.

Most people think of a website as a digital storefront – a place for offering products and services, activities that you can also accomplish with a blog.

Then what exactly is the difference between a blog and a website?

A Blog is a Digital Magazine

Blogs are websites that are designed to engage an audience with fresh content – just like a magazine.

If you are a blogger you are a publisher – no different than a print publisher. The cover of your magazine is the home page – your most recent content.

Google loves blogs because the content they publish is fresh.  Fresh content is relevant.  It’s current.  If it also happens to be high quality, it quickly rises to the top of Google search.

Are you a sports fanatic?  If so, then you regularly check the updates at ESPN.com.  If business is one of your primary interests, you do the same with The Wall Street Journal at WSJ.com.

We all have interests, and the nature of digital publishing drives us to blogs where we can get the most up-to-date news and commentary that challenges or affirms our perspectives.

As a business owner, you have to determine whether being a news source or a storefront is right for you. Which will earn you more business – commentary with personality or detailed product and service offerings?

If fresh and original content is most likely to attract, engage, and convert prospects into buyers, then a blog or digital magazine as your home page is the right online strategy for you.

A Website is a Digital Storefront

Some consumers are on a short timetable and are more concerned about product and service details. In other words, they are ready to buy.

If your products and services are well-known or in high demand, then a website with a home page that is focused on commerce is clearly the best approach for your business.

If like many of us you still need to work at attracting new prospects to your website, then a blog should be integral to your online marketing strategy – and most likely your home page.

Remember the purpose of the web is search, and Google loves blogs because they serve up fresh content that is in demand.

The most promising option these days may be a hybrid site that combines the best of a blog and traditional website.

You can build a site to highlight your primary products and services front and center (above the fold)  on the home page of your site – with the most recent blog posts below the fold.

This effectively monetizes your site by keeping your commerce primary, while also taking advantage of the SEO benefits of combining fresh blog content on that same page. My favorite example of this is Copyblogger.com.  An example of a larger organization is Edelmandigital.com.

This hybrid approach gives you the best of both worlds.
However, there is a catch.  Yep, you have to do the work of actively creating fresh content.

Sometimes even that is not enough.  However, it is still the surest ways for staying in the good graces of Google.

What’s your view on this?  Do you plan to make any changes to your site?

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