Website or Blog: Which is Right for Your Business?
If you run a brick laying business that does not yet have an online presence, or are considering starting a new company, chances are that you have some idea of how important it is to be found online. Consumers and businesses increasingly use the Internet to find new stores, suppliers, and partners. So even if your products are only sold offline, it is still crucial to have some kind of online destination that can provide searchers with the information they need.
You may be wondering if a website or blog is the best fit for your business. Does your small business really need a dedicated website? Or would a blog be better for keeping customers informed, or engaging with new leads online? Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of websites and blogs, and to decide which is right for you.
Benefits of Having a Business Website
Having a website for your business, even if you don’t do any business online, is a smart move. A company website will give potential customers somewhere to go if they search for your brand name, rather than just looking at local search results or maps.
Even a small website with just a few pages is enough to improve the likelihood of searches choosing you for the products or services they desire. You may think of a site as something very large that requires complex graphic design or extensive copywriting, but this isn’t always the case. You may only need a homepage and a few supporting pages (like company history, general information, contact information, and so on).
Of course, a business website can do more than provide existing customers with contact information, or serve people searching for your brand name. A small content marketing, link building, or local SEO campaign can help ensure that you rank for broad keywords in your area, increase your reputation online, and provide potential leads with valuable content that will keep them coming back for more.
A business website can not only give customers an easy way to contact you, but can increase your online presence and make it more likely that those seeking out your products or services will find you.
Benefits of Having a Business Blog
If a website seems like too much work, you have a limited budget, or you want to communicate with your customers on a more personal level, a blog might be a better choice. Business blogs can usually be set up for free, or for a very small investment, on platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, and several others. Blogs give your business a way to post updates that current customers will find helpful. For example, if your company maintains a blog, you might use it to report on new products that are in stock, or special promotions going on at your store. Blogs typically have a more personal tone, and interesting content is more likely to be shared from a blog.
A blog is inexpensive, and can usually be maintained by one or two members of your team. However, the very nature of a blog requires frequent updates: unlike a website, blogs are expected to be refreshed with new content at least once or twice a month. Customers are unlikely to read or trust “outdated” content, so you will need to be very mindful of how much time is spent on your business blog.
Which is Better for You?
The website vs blog argument doesn’t have a definite answer. Some companies find that simply having a blog is enough to establish their online presence, especially if they edit their theme or skin to include important contact information. On the other hand, other businesses don’t see a need to blog, and simply create small websites that allow them to be more easily found.
Blogs give business owners an opportunity communicate on a more personal level, and create and easily distribute shareable content, but they do come with the expectation of frequent updates. On the other hand, a company website doesn’t need to be updated as frequently, because customers expect them to have static content. But a website usually requires a larger investment, and some graphic design or copywriting skills.
Both websites and blogs can increase your visibility online, and ensure that customers find what they are looking for. Both can help you rank for important keywords. However, do you really need to choose between blogs and websites? Why not do both?
Why Not Both?
A website or blog can dramatically impact your presence online, and increase your reach in a big way. But do you really need to decide between the two? Many companies choose to invest in both a website and a blog, and the results can sometimes be dramatic.
In conjunction with a company website, a blog can be a very powerful tool to increase awareness and build quality links. If you write a great post on something in your industry, and it is frequently shared, you are likely to see customers visit your site on the basis of that post. Also, blogs can give customers something to read when they come to an otherwise static or evergreen website, and can increase your brand affinity.
Having a company website attached to your blog also provides an easier way to find contact information, or learn more about what your business has to offer. Also, an evergreen website with keyword-rich copy and more powerful links is likely to rank well, and attract attention from potential customers.