When setting up shop on the World Wide Web, it is important that a business have a self-hosted website. This approach means that you have a dedicated URL rather than a subdomain of a URL that may have hundreds or thousands of other subdomains. Think of this difference as similar to the benefits of owning a house versus renting space as a tenant in a large apartment building. In addition to making it easier for people to find you, search engines value websites with distinct Internet addresses.
Consider the following statement from Moz founder and renowned search engine expert Rand Fishkin:
Never, ever, host on a free web-host or a free subdomain host (like mysite.blogspot.com or mysite.wordpress.com), and don’t use Facebook or Yelp or anyone else’s website as your primary home on the web. Register a real domain, set up a CMS (WordPress is great as a CMS, but Squarespace, Wix, and others can be solid choices too), set up your own hosting, and own your space.”
Rand Fishkin (Founder of MOZ)
Websites versus Blogs
As blogs have increased in commercial value in the digital era, confusion about the difference between a website and blog has escalated. Though to some extent, this conversation is fueled by semantics, understanding the role of each is imperative within a digital marketing strategy.
Pages versus Posts: Website pages contain static content. While companies should update them as needed, the information generally remains the same over time. Common pages include a home page, which introduces visitors to your company, offers key brand messages and establishes the navigation for other content, along with pages for “About Us,” “History,” “Employment” and “Contact.” When more page depth is needed, the home page often includes links to particular categories, such as a media site offer links to particular news or feature sections.
A blog is more dynamic. Fresh content is added regularly, often daily or multiple times per week. The content is more timely and relevant, with the goal of providing useful insights to targeted users on specific topics. New content is also attractive to the major search engines and enables you to get more pages web pages indexed.
It is common within a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to have both a website and a blog, which is linked directly from the site’s home page. This approach allows you to offer access to primary pieces of information on pages, and timely, targeted insights through blog posts.
To compete in the digital marketplace, your business needs a self-hosted website and a blog. If you do not have internal resources to create and maintain them, support from a quality firm (or firms) that specializes in web development, design and content creation is beneficial.