A well designed website with an integrated active blog is the best of both worlds. A blog alone will not give the user all the information they may require to make a decision to contact you, whereas a website without a blog is like a car without a driver; how is it moving steadily forward without someone to guide it?
Blogging on your website provides a glimpse into who you are as a person (make sure you have a headshot!) - your business mantra, philosophy, etc. - and enables the user to better gauge the rapport they could develop with you - and soon enough they're calling you.
To strengthen your SEO efforts, you can also have an offsite blog where you write your posts, and feed that into your onsite blog. This way you're creating backlinks from your offsite blog to the site, while being able to use a different group of keywords and content tags than what's used on your website.
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
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
Agree with 100% with Henry. - A blog may make no sense. A "nicely" designed web site is relative when one thinks about being brand-centric and audience-targeted. One would really go through a discovery process to access the needs at both the "design" and technology layers.
Then, there's who you work with. - Everything is relative. How far you want to take it. How deep your pockets are. How well you're able to vet vendors.
I agree with John. I recommend having the blog integrate with the site seamlessly (using WordPress for example). This will give continuity to your site and provide 'fresh' content. Use the blog as a tool to provide business tips, tutorials, etc to help visitors and potential clients. Not sure what type of business you're in. Some businesses focus a lot on a blog and others don't. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions.
Both, a well designed website and a blog are very important. A well designed website will show visitors your serious in your field, and a blog full of helpful content will make you an expert. I think having the blog on your website will help drive visitors, make it easier for you to manage, and lead to more sales. Let me know if I can be of any more service, good luck!
This is a good question. Personally I recommend starting with a good website. For an individual or a small business it does not have to be extensive but a well designed, well positioned and pleasing website solves 2 marketing problems. First, it is an image by which first time visitors may judge you. Any new potential client will certainly look at your website first. A blog is more of a collection of articles. Some of my clients post regular articles on their website along with using them as e-newsletters. Each newsletter is archived as are the individual articles. Some use external blog sites which are then linked back to their own site. A Wordpress blog can be installed by most service providers and can be customized to look like the website and becomes a link in the menu system. My one issue with a blog is you need a following or it is simply a “brain dump” that no one will ever see. In short, this depends on your type of business, your potential client baser and your budget. Keep in mind, if you start a newsletter or a blog it is imperative to post on a regular schedule.
Blog and website are 2 different animals. A website will showcase everything about your business. I am assuming you aren't selling your service or product online. The website provides more of a one way communication with your public whereby you deliver to them all the necessary info to hopefully motivate them to do business with you.
A blog is a 2 way networking opportunity whereby you can impart information about your product or service and interact more directly with you public by having them engage you by responding to your posts.
A blog would likely be more time consuming to maintain because if you aren't posting regularly, your blog will wither and die from public indifference. I have seen people set up blogs and then only post occasionally because they are too busy. Then they wonder why their blog isn't getting any attention.
My answer is website first, but if you have and manage your time well, then both.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.