A question we are often asked is: “If you start a business blog, should it be hosted on your own website?”
The short answer to that is YES! Absolutely. Hosting a blog on your own business website is very important. If you host it elsewhere, such as on a free blogging platform like WordPress.com, this will eliminate many of the benefits of having a blog for your business. While hosting a blog separately to your business website is better than not having one at all, you’ll see that many of the benefits we outline below can only be achieved if your blog is hosted on your own domain.
Blogging rather like fishing. The more hooks you drop into the water, the more likely you are to manage to catch a fish. Similarly, as you add more good-quality content to your website in your blog, the more pages from your domain will be indexed in Google. This improves your organic search ranking and can help to increase traffic to your website. The more blog posts you add (each on a different topic), the more chances you have to rank for a whole variety of keywords.
A blog will also help you rank for “long-tail” search queries. Long-tail queries are longer phrases and questions which are often searched in Google. Your business website might rank for business-specific keyword such as “Carpet cleaner”, but will it rank for questions such as “How to remove a wine stain from carpets”? If you write blog posts you are more likely to include long-tail queries in your articles and therefore improve your ranking.
If you blog regularly that indicates your business is alive and busy and well-maintained. Of course if you have a blog and DON’T update it regularly, that sends the opposite message! Nothing looks worse than visiting a blog to find the last post was over a year ago. That will sound alarm bells to your potential clients. If you don’t have time to keep your blog updated, don’t have one!
A blog to which high-quality content IS added regularly will help to build brand loyalty as people visit your site frequently. Those who do so are far more likely to become customers.
Keeping a blog is one of the best ways to establish your company as experts in your field. You can share important industry-related information and offer valuable tips for potential clients. Succeeding at this helps to built trust in your brand and so will make visitors more likely to choose your company when they are ready to buy.
Blogging is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. It gives you a way to show what your business is passionate about. It gives you the opportunity to show your personality, build trust in your services and to reach out to prospective customers.
Having plenty of high-quality content ready to share will keep your social media alive. It is good to share other people’s content on Twitter, Facebook etc, but you also want to be able to direct leads to your own site. When you share your blog posts on social media, you will increase the amount of traffic to your business website.
Furthermore, if you send regular email newsletters, then having blog posts which you can link to will increase interest in the email thus encouraging people to open them in future, whilst further driving traffic to your website.
Google and other search engines love new content to be added regularly, and they reward sites that keep their content “fresh” by improving their visibility in the search results. In the world of search engines, “Content is King!”. If your website hasn’t had any new content added or any changes made to it for months, then the search engines will see no reason to revisit the site on a regular basis. If you then decide to add something important to your website, it will take much longer for it to be indexed by the search engines and therefore much longer for it to appear in any search results.