As a Marketing Consultant I am frequently asked if businesses should blog on their website or create a separate site with a different domain name and URL. I’ve heard many different answers over the past few years, so I decided to research some expert opinions online. My conclusion is that as long as you are blogging about your company, industry, products and services, you should set up the blog within your business website to add valuable relevant content and drive more traffic to the site.
Some say that a separate URL gives you more opportunity to “own” the first page of Google search engine results. Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam team, writes in his blog that Google limits its search results to one to two results per hostname/subdomain. Having both a website and blog with separate domains would allow you to have four results per page.
Most experts on blogging, social media, and SEO agree that a blog in a sub-directory or folder (such as www.mysite.com/blog) benefits the site by adding dynamic content for search engines. There is a good discussion about this on LinkedIn that I waded through – Elyse Devries, Alterian SM2, recommends that corporate business blogs be contained in the corporate website. Brandon James, BrandON Consultancy, recommended using sub-folders on your website. In his Better Business Blogging blog, consultant Mark White dis-spells any myths about a separate blog URL generating better SEO through links and writes that if the blog content is relevant to your business, include it in your website.
Others comment that it doesn’t matter where your blog is as long as you have excellent blog posts.
I believe there may be a few reasons to blog using a separate website and URL. One is if – for any reason – your blog topics diverge from your business, your blog on your website could be confusing to visitors. Another reason is if your business is in an industry that lacks credibility and visitors to your website are wary and suspicious. A blog on a commercial site might be seen as a sales ploy – not as genuine information. I’ve heard it said that blogs with separate URLs are perceived as being less commercial and more genuine.
And, finally, if you are an employee at a company with a specific career path that may not include that company or with a desire to become a thought leader in your industry – you may want to create a separate blog on a separate domain name owned by you on which you can share industry insights. That way the blog move with you no matter where you work.
What’s your opinion? Do blogs belong in corporate websites, or should they have their own domain name/URL?