Hi Jen, I realize this is a pretty old thread, but as the owner of a web design company the definitive answer is you need a business website with a blog integrated into it on the same domain, a .com and hopefully a keyword rich domain at that. Feel free to contact me through my site at http://www.future-proofwebdesign.com/contact.php if you happen to have any more questions.
Definitely the website! There are wordpress plugins as well as other sites that let you integrate your blog into the website. The blog will help you with relevant and good content that compliments your business and your website will be a representation of your business and how to contact you. It has been 4 months - how is it going for you?
I think this depends on your business.
If you are some sort of consultant or B2B or B2C services where people come to you because you're an expert, then I'd say blogging is very important. Not just for the SEO effect, but to position yourself as The Expert.
Before I'd blog for SEO and getting improved rankings I'd make sure your site was ready and done well and set-up right for SEO.
If you're a local small business, it may be that doing your local business listings, setting up a website with basic SEO for your business is all you need tod do. If a common search term for people to find you is "dog walking Greenpoint Brooklyn" you probably can rank very high without a lot of work. I'm not sure I'd bother with a blog in this case; unless it's your passion. I might focus more on something like Pinerest or Facebooks with pictures of happy clients (dogs) out walking with you.
There isn't a one size fit all answer. It's hard as a small business owner but you need to be strategic and be clear what you want your online presence to accomplish.
Best of luck
Internet Presence Management for Small Business
Your website should have a blog that is fully integrated. WordPress is ideal for this. Good design is pleasing to the eye but every element should be functional so that you're not just putting items up there for the sake of it. Every image should be relevant. Ian Coombe is correct.
Having a balance of both website and blog is the key. However it depends what is the priority and what fits to the current needs of ones business environment.
Both and interconnected. Blogs generate interest while website generates business.
Instead of having one option to have to definitely work out, you have the comfort of either one of them working out. Since they are interconnected it's the same. Right?
I think both have their own importance.
You can't run your business without a good website and a well written and maintained blog will only add to its effectiveness.
Hi Jen, the answers are good ones.
My advice is to have your blog integrated with your website (web 1.0 "brochure sites" don't usually rank highly, so go web 2.0). I can recommend WordPress because it has extra modules that you can add in as you see fit / grow - depending on your needs.
I would also suggest the integration with social media such as Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest (see http://heartstopping.org/ as a good example).
The maintenance issue for blogs is important - think carefully about your workload and ability to sustain a blog - establish viewer expectations that you will be regular and punctual - it doesn't matter whether it is hourly, daily or weekly, as long as you are regular.
For other ideas, keep an eye on http://www.mosaichub.com/resource_center/resource/6-key-ingredients-for-viral-web-startup-success
That depends on your business model, if the service you provide is more news related then you will be better served with a Blog style design. Are you in line with your competition? We can help you stand out which ever way you decide.