Whether you’re randomly surfing the web, researching a topic or catching up on the latest goings on in your areas of interest, you’ve probably come across this scenario (but never even noticed… unless you work in digital marketing!)
I now make a request from SEOs and digital marketers everywhere… STOP DOING THIS!
Ok that’s the rant part out of the way so now let’s take a look at why this isn’t a good idea and what the best and second best options are for your blog:
Option 1: The Best Option For Your Blog Is The Sub-Folder – www.Site.com.au/blog
If you have a blog, you will (or should) be posting regular content to it that talks to the interests of your target market but in a way that relates to your products and services.
This post is not about the benefits of content marketing, but about the benefits of hosting your blog in a sub-folder of your main site. If you want to learn more about content marketing then I suggest checking out sites like CopyBlogger and Hubspot.
By hosting your blog on your main site and posting regularly about a set of core topics that relate to:
- Your brand
- Your products and services (without selling)
- Your target market interests
- The end result of your products and services
You are effectively increasing the size of your website in relevant topic areas.
“Increasing the size of your site in relevant core topic areas will increase the authority of your site as a whole”
… and the more authority your site has, the better chances it has of ranking in the search engines.
Everyone wants to rank for their “buyer” keywords and everyone wants their blog posts to generate as much traffic and exposure as possible. The more authority your site has, the greater the chance of ranking for your buyer keywords and the greater chance every blog post you create will rank higher and drive traffic.
If you’re in a more competitive niche, you need to create more content to compete and rank!
A Blog In A Sub-Folder Expands Your Main Site While Generating Search Engine Ranking Signals
So we know that more pages on your site about relevant topic areas will increase your site authority which will help you rank for buyer keywords and also generate more traffic to blog posts (and all areas of your site).
Lets go a bit deeper and look at another benefit to your main site by having your blog in a sub-folder.
“Search engine ranking signals”
People linking to your site from blogs, forums etc and people sharing your site on social media help to tell the search engines that this site is good and worth ranking higher in the search results.
When was the last time you shared a hoover you were looking at buying or a loan you were thinking about taking out?
When was the last time you started posting links in forums and on your blog (if you have one) about a cheap set of drawers you were looking at for the spare room?
People don’t naturally make a lot of “noise” online about most standard products and services on the market. Just to clarify I’m not saying lame products and services, I’m saying good products and services that are just.. well… ordinary.
People DO make noise online about blog posts.
People share them, people link back and reference them, people bookmark them… they attract attention providing the quality of the content is good.
NOTE: Don’t post loads of low quality blog posts to try and boost your site authority as it just won’t work! Content quality needs to be consistently good for this to work and to reap the rewards for your main site and revenue for your business.
So if you are posting regular content to your blog – which is on your main site – and these posts are good and attracting links and social shares while building out the size of your site in relevant topic areas, this is going to send great signals to the search engines about the overall quality of your site and they will reward this and rank you higher meaning more traffic and ultimately more revenue for your business.
Another SEO benefit to having your blog as a sub-folder on your main site is that your main site will have probably already acquired some authority so this will pass to your blog meaning your blog posts will have a better chance of ranking and getting traffic right away compared to if your were starting a blog from a brand new domain.
So the blog benefits the main site but also the main site often allows the blog to “hit the ground running”. Win-Win!
(check out 4 brands doing content marketing well here)
If Your Blog Is On A Different Domain, THIS Site Will Get All These Great Benefits Instead Of Your Main Site
Your main site will be what makes you money. This is where the conversions take place that generate revenue for your business so it makes sense to do everything you can to grow this site and therefore grow your business.
If you have a blog on www.YourSite.com.au/blog then your blog is on your main site and therefore benefiting your main site by expanding it and generating search engine ranking signals to increase authority.
If your blog is on www.YourBlogSite.com.au then it is THIS site and NOT www.YourSite.com.au that will all these benefits….. DON’T DO IT! Grow your main site that makes you money!
Option 2: A Secondary Option That Still Benefits Your Main Site (But Not As Much) Is To Put The Blog As A Sub-Domain: www.Blog.YourSite.com.au
This option still keeps the blog on the main domain but the key difference is the search engines tend to treat sub domains as separate sites so it will not carry anywhere near as much benefit as having the blog in a sub-folder but it is still much better than having the blog on a different domain.
It will still pass a lot of authority to the main site and vice versa which makes it a good second choice if there are any reasons you simply cannot have your blog in a sub-folder of your main site.
You might want to choose this option for your blog if you need more flexibility as it can be hosted anywhere with any CMS that you feel you need… the flexibility of a new domain basically but with the benefit of some of the authority being passed from the blog to the main site and vice versa.
Takeaway: Choose this option if you absolutely can’t work or implement option 1