Are you looking to establish an online brand that is authoritative, that consumers can relate to, and that casts you as a true industry expert and thought leader? If so, there are few tools more effective than a blog. These days, it is by no means hyperbolic to say that all companies need a strong blog presence, as a blog can serve as the centerpiece of their online brand-building efforts.
With that said, not all company blogs are created equal. There are some key questions to consider as you seek to set up your blog—like should you establish the blog on your main domain, as a subdomain, or as an entirely separate domain? Is it better to use a blog from WordPress or from Blogger? Companies that are serious about online brand management need to think through the pros and cons that come with each of these different options.
Blog Setup on a Subdirectory
A recent Search Engine Watch article illuminates some of the distinguishing characteristics of a subdirectory blog. This, the article maintains, is usually the best approach, for most companies—though this is by no means a hard and fast rule. The major advantage of using a subdirectory to set up your company blog is that it allows you to add regular, fresh content updates to the root domain, which in turn improves Google visibility. Additionally, when the blog is properly promoted, you can gain deep links from other websites and social media channels.
There are a couple of cons to note, however. The main one is that using a subdirectory does not provide your brand with an additional SERP listing. For those more interested in using a blog for branding than online brand management, this is a major downside.
Blog Setup on a Subdomain
Meanwhile, for companies zealous for reputation management—eager, perhaps, to subdue an article from a site like Pissed Consumer or Ripoff Report—blogging on a subdomain can add an additional piece of online real estate. Of course, the cons include a lack of fresh content updates for the root domain; when your blog content gets hits, it adds little value to your primary domain.
Blog Setup on a Separate Domain
Still other companies prefer to set up entirely separate, “unofficial” blogs. In some select cases, this may be a good online brand management strategy. With a totally separate blog, you can better establish your blog as an “unbiased” or independent presence, and, if the content is really spot-on, the blog can become a respected industry resource. With that said, it is hard to utilize this strategy in a way that really adds to the prestige of your brand.
A final consideration is that companies can always start their business blogs on WordPress.com or Blogger—but do either of these platforms really serve the company’s interests? They do not necessarily do much to establish the brand as one of prestige or authority, and they certainly do not add fresh content to the root domain. They are easy—but for companies serious about online brand enhancement, ease is probably not reason enough to go this route.