This is really up for debate. Some clients want a blog embedded in their website and assume therefore that readers of the blog will find their way to the pages on the website that the owner of the site wants them to find. They are wrong to assume this.
Other clients want a separate blog and assume that this will drive traffic to their website. They are also wrong.
Having a blog does help drive traffic to your website but only if the blog posts are linked in some way to the landing pages on the website you want them to visit. This means that you have to write each post with relevancy to a page or product or topic within the site.
Deep links like that are not always easy to embroider into the fabric of your blog post but they are the only way you’ll get readers back to your site if you have a separate blog or just to get them into the site the blog is part of.
Take one of our travel clients for example.
We post daily for a destination marketing client. The blog is in the website itself. We write blogs for a new theme (destination) each week and embellish each with photographs and video. Not only do we have to bear in mind the SEO required for the site itself but we need to ensure that there are at least two links into the site with specific and relevant information for the reader of that post.
We do this to encourage ‘stickiness’ on a website and to get the reader to use the site and refer it on.
A good example of this is a recent series we ran on Norfolk. To encourage listings of accommodation establishments and attractions we also have to ensure that their listings on our clients site receive traffic. That’s a lot of links and publicity to create!
Once we’ve posted the blog, we spend quite a while looking for the best way to link it to pages within the site. It’s easier on a retail oriented site than on a services or B2B site as there are so many more pages to choose from. (I’ve always said retail marketing is so much easier than B2B!)
Then we spread awareness of the post on social media tools. But it doesn’t stop there. Once the post is up on Facebook or Twitter there are so many other angles to consider.
Do we publish support posts in the form of featured ‘Accommodation’ on social media tools as well around the blog post? Do we create an album of the beaches we’ve posted about in the blog on facebook and Pinterest? Do we post the blog onto the site owners LinkedIn profile or create a travel group to post it to? Do we embellish the post and distribute it online to publishers? Do we do all this in one day and then move onto the next post?
Yes, we have to if we want the amount of traffic to affect the website.
Blogging is not enough if you want to make a difference to website traffic and SEO. You really do need to consider the whole basket of available tools in each instance and combine them with a solid publishing calendar.