Blogs can be a very effective tool to create foot traffic, build organic rank, and acquire valuable relevant inbound links for any web site. A decision must be made whether to integrate the blog as a sub-directory within an existing domain or to create an entirely new domain.
There are several reasons for creating the blog as a stand-alone domain:
- You want to build a permanent community of visitors – Most websites are designed for conversion to leads and product sales. Very few visitors want to subscribe to a web site whose primary function is conversion.
- You are prepared to add original compelling content – If you intend to build a community of subscribers, you must be willing to pay for or write compelling individual content. If your goal is to simply build content intended to target traffic for multiple long-tail phrases, then integrate the blog into your existing domain.
- You are prepared to add content on a regular basis – If you intend to build a community of subscribers, you must be willing to pay for or write new content on a regular basis. Blogs with frequent relevant posts are more attractive to potential subscribers.
- The main focus of the blog differs from that of your website – If your site is selling a product that no one is familiar with and has little or no organic traffic you may need to launch a blog that targets the same potential audience through a different topic. For example, if you are selling a guide to Parking Garages in Boston you may want a blog that focuses on travel tips for Boston. In this example, the blog content complements the content on the main site.
- The main focus of the blog does not complement the content of your website – If you are selling a product that is unrelated to the topic you have chosen for your blog, the blog should be a separate domain. For example, if you are selling life insurance but your blog targets new families, the blog should be separate. Foot traffic and rank must be carefully passed to the main site through links in articles and ad widgets.
- Your core business site is a poor target for attracting critical inbound links – This is typically the most common reason for having an external blog. Inbound links are critical to the success of any website. Sites that consist of static content the focuses on coonveriosn are notoriously poor at attracting links. Even though any links directly to the content are more valuable than lisnk from the blog. The potential quantity and quality of the links that can be acqiured through the blog build much greate authority, and even though that authority is somewhat diluted when passed to the main site, the net effect is still much greater.
- Your marketing strategy focuses heavily on organic search which in turn relies on inbound links to provide authority – This is closely related to the previous point. If you are relying heavily organic search, the best long-term strategy is an external blog.
- Your inbound link acquisition strategy relies heavily on viral link acquisition – Only a blog with fresh compelling content is capable of creating self-sustaining inbound link acquisition from directories administrators, forums, bloggers, and other private webmasters.
- You plan on monetizing the traffic to the blog through ad sales – If you intend to create revenue by selling sponsorships or having ads on the site, it should be a stand-alone domain. A blog within a business site that also includes unrelated ads is unprofessional and counter-productive.