Should My Blog Go In the Root of My Company Website?
This post is part of the Friday Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.
I’m contacting you to get your opinion on a website design/business strategy as I plan to launch a blog targeting the Australian small businesses niche.
My conundrum is do I launch the blog on the root of the domain or do I place it in a subdirectory (/blog) given that I with time (12 months+) the site will have grown to be more than just a blog and will also provide products and services?
I’m asking you because I get the impression that your blog started out just as blog, but has since outgrown itself and has become a business in its own right, which raises the question, if you had your time over would you have structured your blog/site differently?
Interesting question. In my opinion, If you are building a company that will sell products and/or services, then the root of your domain (i.e. the homepage) should be focused on selling those products and services. Using as blog as the homepage would probably reduce your conversion rates because many people never click to a second page on the websites they visit, so many of your visitors would go away even before they had a chance to know you sell products and services.
For that kind of website and business model I would make the homepage focused on the products and services and put the blog on a sub-directory, so that you could use the blog to attract visitors and naturally channel them to your homepage (not the other way around).
Notice that I said the homepage should be “focused” on the products and services, but that does not mean it should contain only the products and services. In other words, if you believe the content you publish in the blog is relevant to your customers and could help in the decision process, you could create a small section in the homepage to display the latest posts from the blog.
My situation is slightly different. Daily Blog Tips is a core part of my online business, but it is not a business per se. I use the blog to network, showcase my ideas and build an audience, but I don’t make money directly with it (some, but it is negligible in comparison to the rest). On the websites where I do make money you will see my products or services displayed on the homepage.
But this is an important consideration that anyone creating a blog or website must make. What will your website look like in one, two and three years? Will you be selling something? Make sure to plan ahead, else you might get trapped by a bad decision you did when starting out.
17 Responses to “Should My Blog Go In the Root of My Company Website?”
I think that this is good advice. You really need to ensure that your home page encapsulates the core of what you are wanting people to do. If you want them to purchase a product then you need to create a strong focus toward that on the homepage. If you want them to purchase your services then it should be center stage. I’m Daniel on this one.
I guess you should create a blog in the subdirectory, if you want to share tips on the blog. Then you can make the homepage attractive so that it can convert visitors.
Be sure to check this out: Call to Action Buttons: Examples and Best Practices.
Good way to look at it. We recently had to convince a client of this. They’re an ecommerce company and wanted to catch the social media craze and cover up their home page with a blog and profiles. We have a saying though – “bread and butter front and center.” Whatever your business is, keep it up front and clearly the main thing.
From a “keeping things neat and organized” view point I would definitely recommend putting a blog in a sub directory. The files generated by a regularly written blog soon add up and keeping them in a separate directory maintains a good file structure.
Placing files in a sub directory can sometimes raise SEO concerns but with correct navigation one directory deep will not cause a problem at all.
Sure, it is a good advice. I also suggest to have blog under the company domain in that situation. It is because company domain can use to serve many service such as blog, forum, directory, and others.
Definitely some good advice in this post. I would create the blog in a sub directory so that the files don’t interfere with the main site and the main site can bring in the visitors who will then visit the blog if they choose to.
I agree that the home page should be talking about the product in general, and the blog should be linked to the main menus of the website!
i think the point of 2-3 years is quite valid.when we start blogging or any other business we need to think what our business will be like in 2-3 years and plan accordingly.
Suzanne Franco Land
Great post … what about installing WordPress on the root but using the feature where you use a static page on the main page? That way you’d have both? You can add as many pages to the navigation as you’d like and then at the end of the navigation you add a “page” called blog … and it goes to the blog posts. Good luck. *SmiLes* Suzanne
Gabe | freebloghelp.com
The answer definitely depends on the type of business. In many cases, the blog page will actually have more activity than the rest of the site combined.
That kind of traffic only helps build the brand. As long as there’s a call to action from the blog page, making it more prominent is perfectly fine.
Here is the way I like to think of it. Let’s assume you put it on its own domain. My first question I like to ask, is who is going to market your blog? If you are using your blog to market your site, the blog will need marketing first. Seems kind of backwards to me.
The next thing I know, is that visitors hate being taken off a website unexpectedly. Assuming you have a link to your blog on your main site, are you really going to intentionally lead them off? I smell loss of interest right around the corner. If you can keep them on site, odds are good they will come back the the sales page.
Keeping a blog on the main domain could also simply capture that search engine audience. The search traffic will come on an active blog. Do you want that search traffic digging around your blog only, or would you like to see them going to your root and find something even better?
Yeah, I wish I’d know what I know now… I had a struggle migrating one of my blogs from one domain to another… php is a pain for a non-expert!
Having said that, I’ve found that as I’ve posted, my voice and my strategy (monetization) has developed and matured. My thinking has expanded… so in some ways hindsight is fab, but we can only work on the strategy we’re implementing at the time, I guess.
Thanks for the post Daniel. Some food for thought 🙂
I think it depends on your strategies. I you keep this as personal, it would be much nicer rather than converting it into company root website
I’m glad I read your advice, blog are good to communicate, but there are too many distractions, and this crush conversions.
It’s usually what I do. I run my blogs on subdomains.
My solution is excactly what you pointed out Daniel “you could create a small section in the homepage to display the latest posts from the blog”.
So my homepage (once my theme is uploaded and activated) will look like a regular business website and the blog section will have lots of articles that will hopefully boost traffic.
Long live wordpress as a CMS!
Daniel’s right… having a vision of what can transpire in the next two or three years requires long-term planning (a good thing). It’s easy to get wrapped up in what you’re doing at the moment and wind up leaving the future to itself.
I have done both, subs and roots because the websites were used for different purposes and have found some success each way.
The nice thing about most blogging platforms is you can back them up, tear them down and re-launch them without too much inconvenience.
Take a peek at what the competition is doing in your niche(s) and if you find a pattern in the successful blogs, try the same with yours.
Good luck Chris!
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I would put the blog under you main domain. Just make sure to do your blog in wordpress, and then make sure you use a theme that is well suited to work as content management for a website. Then, you can tell word press which “page” to post your blog entries to and you can have normal pages just like a normal website right along side your blog. I use thematic for the sites I build and it works great.
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