Blogs – just content by another name
“Do I need a blog?” Something we get asked all the time.
Usually we ask why the client thinks they need a blog. “Because we’ve heard they help you rank better”, is the usual response.
True, but it’s not the “blog” that makes you rank, it’s the content. And the very nature of blogs means sometimes the content can diverge quite a bit from your core business, and for that reason you need to be sure you go about it the right way or you could cause more harm than good.
First, you have to be somewhat careful that your blog stays “on topic” and isn’t content for the sake of content. Let’s say your blog ends up at 20 posts (essentially 20 pages), and your entire website is only 25 pages, then the theme of the website is going to be heavily influenced by that blog content. So make sure you stick to blog topics related to your core service. If you’re an accountant, your blog thoughts on world peace in the middle of your website may or may not inspire your clients but it won’t impress Google.
Let’s take the case of a lady we did some work for recently. She is a trained midwife and fertility expert and has a whole heap of recipes she has devised over the years which help with healthy eating while trying to conceive and then during pregnancy. Brilliant unique content ideal for SEO, but she had them published in a manner that Google would have themed the website as a cooking/food website, rather than nutrition associated with pregnancy. So it was important that each recipe had an introduction to it that used key information of why this recipe was important to fertility and pregnancy.
The same issue can occur for a blog where you allow comments – otherwise known as “user-generated content”. If the comments you receive on your blog post end up going off-topic and they outweigh the quantity of content then that page will get themed incorrectly.
Let’s say our accountant starts a topic on GST, then the users commenting on the posts end up discussing more on the state of Australian politics than the GST – then the page theme is confused and probably loses most SEO effect.
Another thing to consider. Allowing comments in the blog can cause you a whole lot of administrative burden you didn’t expect. At the very least you need to keep an eye on the comments to ensure they don’t get out of hand, are defamatory and the like, or even worse if someone posts something negative about your business and you don’t notice it to respond. That kind of damage outweighs the benefit of your extra blog content by a mile.
The above examples have a whole heap of “ifs, buts and maybes”, but it’s definitely worth getting good advice to ensure you aren’t wasting the benefits of a blog or destroying the entire theme of your site due to the content.