It has become increasingly important to maintain an online presence in the digital world. If you’re planning your digital strategy for 2018, you should have a clear understanding of what different channels are in place to make it successful.
Websites and blogs have several similar features but they are not one in the same. These two separate properties have their own purpose and overall upkeep to consider.
Owning a website is not just helpful in the business world – it is crucial. This is a place where people can find ALL the information they wish to know about a professional entity. It is broken down into individual webpages that serve many different purposes:
- Informative: History, mission/purpose, location, store hours, etc.
- Educational: In-depth explanation of products or services, user reviews, and FAQ’s
- Transactional: Serves as a platform for consumers to buy your product or service; for donation-based organizations, it is also a way for people to support a cause
A blog is a good complement to a website, but it is not a replacement. It is used for three primary reasons: information, entertainment, and engagement.
While websites have carefully calculated pages with specific and limited content, blogs are much more flexible. As an example, if you’re the CEO of a major corporation and you want to connect with your audience, it wouldn’t be appropriate to host personal content on your website. The topics you cover might not always fall in line with your company’s overall mission.
A better option is to create a separate blog where you can interact with your audience. In this space, you will:
- Avoid marketing your product or service: Blogs are meant to be casual, so they should be written as a sales pitch (but feel free to make subtle recommendations).
- Answer questions: Since FAQ’s are limited to general information, a blog gives people a place to find more user-specific solutions.
- Share your impact: Regularly post about what you or your company is doing to generate excitement.
- Build trust: Websites aren’t designed to establish a personal connection. In blogs, the author can engage with users on the platform and share their own real-world experiences.
Now that the basic purpose of each has been established, let’s look at the two biggest differences.
Website vs. Blogging
Content: A website only contains content that is mission-driven and helpful to a user. It is much more formal and should never include information that is opinionated or biased. Website content usually adheres to a strict set of guidelines, which may include a style guide (i.e. AP format) and brand requirements (font, graphics, terminology, etc.). On the other hand, a blog is much more informal and doesn’t have to reflect the same structure as a website. It can cover a variety of topics based on its overall target audience – even if that means blogging about a topic that is not directly related to your products or services. It is laidback and casual, giving the authors some flexibility to establish a personal connection with readers.
Management: Most pages on a website will remain the same for months, with the exception of landing pages. These landing pages are designed around a specific call-to-action and may change based on the products and services being offered. Outside of these landing pages, the biggest focus is on maintaining the homepage. It should be updated as-needed to promote specific information or change the overall flow of your website (how users navigate around it).
Blogs require a lot more upkeep, with fresh content being added several times a week. Internet trends have a short lifespan, so it’s important to watch what topics are garnering attention and blog about them immediately. Since blogs are more informal, there is a wider range of topics that can be covered to keep your audience happy. Frequency is the most important factor to consider here because blogs are time-sensitive. If you can’t commit to regular updates, there is no point in creating a blog in the first place. People won’t necessarily know that your website hasn’t been updated in a month, but they’ll definitely pick up on outdated content.
You might be able to get away without having a blog, but owning a website is a must in this day and age. If you’re dependent on print materials and word-of-mouth to market your business, it will be extremely difficult for you to stay relevant moving forward. Once you’ve got your website design on track, consider adding a blog to make the user experience more personal and interactive. Both properties should be interconnected, meaning that you can access the blog from the website and vice versa. Each should include their own set of buttons to additional communication channels like social media.
Did you like this article? Is there something you’d like us to write about? Let us know in the comments! Please also be sure to like and share with your friends. Check out more helpful articles like this from Digital Bloggers.