QUESTION: Hi Steve,
Our company specializes in training programs for teachers. We recently set up a blogspot blog that allows us to give casual information on upcoming and past trainings. It does a good job of complementing our main business home page where such information would not fit, and also allows people to find out about us through our blog page. My question, is how can we increase the traffic to this blog site? Should I register the blogger address somewhere? Are there other hints that we can do that will allow people to find it through various ways, searches etc?
Thanks so much
ANSWER: You would be much better served installing WordPress in a subdirectory (like for example /blog) on your main website and adding the link to your main site navigation. This will allow you do the same things you are doing with Blogger, but ties it to something to give it context. Because of the nature of the information you are placing on your blog it is very likely that the search engines do not feel it is relevant enough to show in a search and it is very unlikely people directly looking for this information about your company will be searching to find it.
By adding your blog as part of your website the rest of your site gives relevance to the material on the blog, but the blog gives a massive search engine boost to your site because it provides up to date and interactive information that is harder to do on the homepage of a regular site. With this information here you can then do a more thorough job of marketing of your site because the key element to successful web site marketing currently is social. Have all of you Twitter, Facebook and other items tie back to your blog. If you don't have them you really do need at least Twitter and Facebook with regular (at least weekly) interaction on them as well. Additionally having someone from your company participate on other blogs and forums with relevant answers to discussions that your company has an expertise in is a great way to increase good traffic of people who are interested in what you have. With all of these types of sites you can have a profile and signature tag that links back to your site. The only cost for this type of advertise is the time of the person interacting. This is the #1 way to truly build good traffic.
The good news is that all of the information you have on your blogger account currently can be imported into your new WordPress blog and you won't lose any of the information you have already created.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Steve,
Thanks so much for your response, it really is quite useful. Some follow ups:
1) What is the difference between using Blogger and WordPress, and why do you recommend the latter? One of the reasons why I have been putting much effort into our blog of late comes from this experience: I had a personal blogspot blog that I stopped updating completely as of 2007. Last week I went back on it and saw that in the Analytics, it had gotten well over 1000 hits since 2008 alone, despite no activity on my part. I was stunned, as I forgot it even still existed, and much of the activity was through google searches. I reasoned that because blogger is attached to google, google searches often find key words in blogs for SEO (this is what appeared to have happened to mine)
2) How does one transfer the content from Blogger to WordPress, as you said is possible? And do you suggest maintaining both, or stopping our blogger altogether?
3) Does one have to manually enter or register WordPress to search engines so that it can locate it, as it is not automatically connected to google as blogspot is?
4) If we do install WordPress, our site is registered as its own domain name. I didnt quite understand what you meant by "like for example /blog) on your main website and adding the link to your main site navigation." Do you mean attaching it to the domain of our very website, or as a link to a WordPress account?
Thanks again for your time and thoroughness! It is very helpful.
1) Blogger is owned by Google and as such anything posted there is technically theirs. Whereas WordPress is a software you install onto your server and can use pretty much any way you see fit. The main difference comes down to content ownership. Ultimately whomever owns the domain name owns the site and all of it's content. The owner may allow you to do anything you want but in the end they can change their mind, change their rules or eliminate the content any time that want to. For any of the platform like Blogger and Tumblr and even hosting WordPress on wordpress.org the only times that content has run into problems has to do with traffic and making money from the site. The worst is that any of the times other have run into these problems they have happened in an apparently random fashion with no warning.
On the other hand I am certain Google does index content from Blogger blogs more expediently then any other source because they know absolutely everything in it. From that basic place a Blogger blog begins with a leg up, however Google still tries as best as possible to return the most relevant content to search inquiries. There are a number of things you can and should do in order for them to see the content of your site as being the most relevant to what the searcher is looking for. Keywords, the content of the posts on the site, the meta tags and the descriptions all come together to tell Google what the site is about. Blogger blogs may get the content indexed faster, but in the end all sites get indexed and it is all of this information that is taken into account when determining what results to return to the searcher.
Lastly for SEO is linking and not just a million links for everywhere but links from sites that Google knows to have a certain content on it that then link to you as also having that content. It is like if you refer a good doctor to a friend and they go because they know and trust you therefore they reasonably assume the doctor will do a good job. Links work the same. What is the site about and who does it link to and of those links which of those sites are about X topic. No matter what site you use the keyword, content, linking part of SEO is the same regardless.
So in the end the the key difference is really just ownership and control.
2)WordPress has a built in import function. Once your WordPress blog is set up you can simply import in all the content that already exists on Blogger with nothing more then a click and filling in the location information.
3)There are some ways to manually push information to Google but in the end they do and will look at any and all content on the web. In your case they already have your main site listed and information that tell them what your site is about, the blog will just simply give them more content and constantly updated content to consistently reinforce to Google that your site is indeed about what it says it is and has the content searchers are looking for.
4)If your host doesn't have WordPress as an auto install (or if you are hosting your site on your own server) just go to wordpress.org and download the software then upload and install it on your server with the rest of your site (like for example in a folder called "blog" so that on your website your blog shows up as yourdomainname.com/blog). Once installed there are a number of options for setting up your site so it looks like and does what you want it to and so it matches the rest of your site. There are a ton of themes. Some are free others a nominal one time price. You can choose one of these or modify one of them so the site looks the way you want it to. There are also a vast number or plugins you can add to get extra functionality into your blog. Everything from SEO enhancements to plugins that will allow you to create a shopping cart and many, many other things.
For many reasons that no one knows for sure why Google loves the set up of WordPress based blogs and tends to give more weight to sites designed in WordPress. Over the past 16 years I have worked with websites designed in literally every manner a site can be created. No other method or style of website has given me as much success with search engines as a site based in WordPress. It works so well that these days it is the core essence of every site I work on from big to small. Some sites have need of more and custom additions to it but I have not done a web project in probably 3 or 4 years that the WordPress software wasn't the starting point. That is how powerful it is. The success the sites are receiving from this is the reason why.
Hope that helps! Feel free to ask more if I can help more.