Which do a better job of bringing in new clients, websites or blogs?
As I explain in detail in How to Create a Big, Fat Pipeline of New Clients, I recommend that you have a mix of blogs and websites.
I love WordPress blogs. WordPress blogs are so easy to create and look very professional. The blog you are looking at right now was created for free from an off-the-shelf WordPress theme. My only issue with blogs is that they are content black holes. When a search takes me to a blog, and I see that the most recent article is years old, my own feeling, and I’m sure others feel the same way, is that this blog has been abandoned. The article may not contain the most recent information. If the blog is by an attorney, that then creates the impression that the attorney is not staying current in his or her own field, or has moved onto other practice areas. So rule number one is, don’t create a blog if you can’t keep adding fresh content.
So is there any difference with SEO results between blogs and websites? Blog proponents will tell you they are the end-all-be-all of search engine optimization, but that is not my experience. The very broad and often proven wrong concept I suggest you keep in mind is that blogs provide short term hits, and websites provide long term hits.
Here is an example of what I mean. Searching just now for one of my practice areas, one of my static websites occupies both the number one and number two positions of the organic search results, and my blog for that practice area comes up as number ten. It’s great that I’m coming up in three places, but the fact that the blog is lower than the static pages is counter-intuitive since the blog contains an amazing amount of content, and Google loves content. If both were viewed the same, the blog should be number one. But Google clearly views blogs and websites differently, as evidenced by the fact that it has a separate blog search function.
However, I find that if I post an article to one of my blogs, it will immediately appear in the number one position if a matching search string is used. But search using that same search string a few weeks later, and that same blog post is nowhere to be found, unless I perform a blog search.
This all makes perfect sense. Blogs are intended to be news sources, or at least the latest musings of the owner, so in order to provide its users with the most up to date information, Google places a high value on recent blog posts and moves them to page one of the results. After a certain period of time, the post is no longer given that boost, and it drifts down to lower rankings.
“But I posted an article on my blog three years ago, and it still consistently comes up number one”, I hear someone say. I did not say that a blog post loses all value after its newsworthiness has passed. It will still be subject to all the normal SEO realities, and if it returns the best keyword combination for a given search, it will still appear on the first page long after it has become stale. But based on my many years of experience, all things being equal, if Google sees the same keywords and all other factors on a static website and a blog post, it will prefer the website.
Note, though, that this reality is partially offset by all the search advantages offered by a blog. With a website, you can use the power of the “Trifecta” I outline in Big, Fat Pipeline to elevate your website to number one on certain keywords. With a blog, you have the same power, but Google also indexes the tags and categories you assign to the article. You will have people finding your blog posts with search terms you would never use as keywords for one of your websites.
Here is the bottom line on the websites versus blogs decision. You can realistically only maintain so many blogs, so the blog versus website decision is not one you really need to make. Just put as many blogs into the mix that you and your support staff can maintain with unique, informative content, and use websites and web pages for all the practice area keywords you want to dominate.
My favorite hosting service for websites is HostGator. I’m a big fan of Bluehost for WordPress blogs because that service makes it so crazy easy, and I love the website builder offered by HostGator for static websites. It’s a good idea in any event not to put all your eggs in one basket in terms of your hosting services. I put up my first website in the late 90s, and have kept the same hosting service for that one website every since. I recently learned first hand that hosting services really do go down. For days, any potential clients trying to visit that site were met with an error message. Not very professional. Thankfully, the moment I discovered the problem I was able to redirect that URL to one of my other sites. I shudder to think of the loss of business I would have suffered if all of my websites had been with that same hosting service.
Hosting your blogs on Bluehost and your websites on HostGator is a very good approach from a security standpoint (although I doubt either of these huge services will ever go down). Additionally, there are SEO benefits to having websites posted on different services.
CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR HOSTGATOR.COM, then view the videos below to create a website with Hostgator’s website creator, Weebly.
The first video was produced by Kate Russell, who shows you how to create a really nice website in just 15 minutes using HostGator’s website creator. The remaining videos are produced by HostGator, and take you step-by-step through the process, and show you how to add some cool stuff.
If right about now you are saying, “why don’t I just hire someone to create my sites?”, that is a valid question. It’s great to farm out that work, but only after you know how to do it. This is crucial, because you need to be able to make quick changes to your website to capitalize on changes in your practice areas.
One tip I provide in Big, Fat Pipeline is to use the news to drive people to your websites. When Jesse James started talking trash about Sandra Bullock, I wrote a quick article called Can Sandra Bullock Sue Jesse James for Defamation? and posted it on my defamation blog. The traffic to my site went up about 5000% for the next few days, and I was interviewed by two radio stations and a national magazine. Your moment might come when there is a new development in your practice area. People hear about something, and take to the Internet to find more information. You can capitalize on those searches if you can get ahead of the curve and post information quickly. If it has to wait until your “website guy” gets around to updating your site, the opportunity is lost.
When you hire out the creation of your websites, website creators are famous for creating the site on a platform that only they are qualified to work on. They’ll create a beautiful site using Adobe Dreamweaver, for example, but from then on all changes will have to be made by them. You become joined at the hip forever. Therefore, it is crucial that YOU pick the platform YOU want, and then find someone to build sites on that platform if you want to farm out the work.
I used to recommend GoDaddy, and most of my sites were created with their Website Builder. GoDaddy is still a good choice, but they appear to be building on an older technology, making the websites less customizable than HostGator’s drag and drop approach. Also, with HostGator, with a single click you can add a blog page to your static website, which is a really nice option. Forget even trying in GoDaddy’s Website Builder to add a blog page. I also love the huge number of website themes offered by HostGator.
When you are done creating your website, you are going to need to add some content. Next, How to Create Epic Content for Your Blog.
How to Create a Website in 15 Minutes!
If you've made it to the bottom of this page, and you have followed the instructions step-by-step, you are making amazing process! Take a moment to enjoy a cool beverage (or a hot one that will keep you going) and move onto the next step.
You now have a website or blog, but it is just an empty bucket for now, waiting to be filled with your epic content. If you chose a narrow niche, your site may rank well without much content. I have sites show up on page one of Google before I can get back to them to beef up the content. But all things being equal, Google loves content, and your site will have far better odds of ranking over other sites once it has sufficient content to show up on Google's radar.
But your sites are not just about search results. Equally important, the content you provide on those sites is what establishes you as a recognized expert. Stated another way, it does little good to get people to come to your site if you don't wow them once they get there, and that requires epic content. In the next article, I'll show you how to create EPIC content for your site.
Notice: I provide affiliate links in this website that pay me a few shekels if you click through and buy the product. However, in all cases these were products that I use and recommend. There are obviously other hosting companies available, but again this is my recommendation based on my own experience. If you do purchase through my affiliate link, thank you so much for your support!