In Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration, I explained why I think individuals and companies should almost always integrate their blogs with their websites.
The reasons for separating your blog from your website are few and far between, but they do exist.
When should you separate your blog from your website?
There are three reasons why it may sometimes be useful to create a blog that lives outside of the confines of your domain:
1. To create a “topic”. What do you sell? When prospective buyers Google your product or service, what do the search results look like? Hopefully your website *does* come up in the first few search results, but looking beyond your site, what else do you see?
If you have no competitors and no other sites of any relevance towards your product or service appear in these search results, it is time to ask yourself “do people really need what I am trying to sell?”
Like any other buyer, I like to see a few options when I start my research process so that I can identify the one that stands out to me for various reasons. I also like to see blogs dedicated to the subject area.
So if you feel your product or service isn’t established as a “topic”, then perhaps it’s worth considering setting up a blog that lives outside your domain. It may also be worth considering making this blog more objective and asking guest posters to add posts just so that prospective buyers can see that the topic concerns more than just you and your company.
2. To dominate the search rankings. Creating a whole new site may seem like a rather dishonest way of dominating search engine rankings, and I don’t recommend creating an external blog *solely* for this purpose, but if you are creating an external blog to lend credibility to your topic anyway, then one of the added benefits is that you can control more of the search engine rankings for that term (and eventually push out the competitors that will pop up so that their sites are ranked on page two.
3. To drive traffic to your site. This may seem obvious – the more presence you have in search engine rankings, the more traffic you’re likely to drive to your site. Possibly the biggest benefit of hosting an external site is building it up so that it drives good referral traffic to your website, thus boosting your website’s credibility and search engine ranking.
**A tip – why not create an “ad” of some sort on the external site to drive traffic to a specific page on your website – such as a demo request page, or a white paper download page?
As always, comments welcome!