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Within the past couple of years there has been a surge in the amount of blogs surfacing throughout the net. As I go through many of these blogs I see trends of strategies which work well and areas which must be looked into to avoid potential issues. This article will guide you in the right direction for initiating and marketing your blog successfully.
Choosing the right software
Choosing the correct blogging software can mean the success or failure of your blog. Using software such as: word press and blogger gives you the ability to customize the blog to fit your needs. This will allow you the freedom to add and remove functionally you wish and to style it to match your main website.
Hosting your blog on the domain
To maximize the effect of your blog the best case scenario would be to host it on your domain. Two major reasons come to mind for why the blog should be hosted on your domain and nowhere else.
1. Branding experience — By placing the blog within the main domain, you’re adding to the branding experience of your company. When the user sees that they have left the current domain and travels to another URL (even if the look and feel stays the same) they tend to feel as if its not a part of the main site.
2. Inbound Linking — The idea behind the blog is to write compelling content which would potentially be of use to someone. If a viewer of the post you have written decides to link back to your post because he or she felt it was credible enough, that would classify as an inbound link to your page. If the blog was hosted on another domain and not your own, the credit for the inbound link wouldn’t be given to your main domain, but the domain the blog was hosted on.
Ok, You’ve set up a logical link system that’s easy to navigate, you’ve taken the time to make sure that you are not using frames for your site, you’ve ensured that you have a robots.txt file set up properly, you’ve used alt tags to describe your images and links and you’ve optimized your meta keywords, titles and descriptions. Now what?
Lets talk about copy, come on, we’ve all heard it, copy is king. But what does that mean? The fact is that copy is what helps distinguish you as an expert in your field, any field, if what you’re saying is relevant to your topic and informative to your website visitors. I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve had informative copy on my site for a long time and it is relevant to my field, why should I change it when it’s bringing in pretty good results”? You shouldn’t.
When developing a website it is critical to have unique and relevant copy to inform your potential customers about your product or service. Another great reason would be to allow the search engines to better understand your subject matter. One of the more common ways I have seen business owners displaying their content is through the Adobe’s PDF format. A PDF format gives the user the ability to download the information in a clear and structured format. While this can be a great way for your visitors to find and read the copy you develop, you could be inadvertently causing yourself harm.
For example, let’s say you have five PDF files which house a majority of your content. The search engines will most likely index the PDF files much like a normal page on your website. This means there is a possibility that when a searcher is conducting a search on a key phrase you’re targeting, the five PDF files could surface within the natural results. You’re probably asking yourself, how could it possibly be a bad thing to have my PDF files indexed and being displayed within the search result pages? While the search engines crawl through the copy of the PDF file and index the content, critical functionality such as a primary navigation is absent. Thus the PDF acts as a dead end for search engine spiders. The same can also be said about the searchers who find themselves at the PDF versus the actual website. If a searcher clicks a natural listing which happens to be one of the PDF files used to display content, they would lose the ability to navigate to other areas throughout the website. This could ultimately result in a loss of a sale as well as a diminished branding experience.