The question of where B2B marketers should place the corporate blog is a critical one. It has implications in terms of B2B SEO, positioning, and your ability to later successfully transfer the trust and authority you build up in the eyes of search engines. This post addresses some of the options and their implications.
Jeffrey Cohen of Social Media B2B had a good post on different ways B2B marketers could place a corporate blog. Jeff did a nice job of mentioning some of the different options and some of the pros and cons. The hosting options mentioned included:
- On your site at companysite.com/blog (folder level with “blog”)
- On your site at companysite.com/keywords (folder level using keywords)
- At a separate, branded URL (e.g., fancyname.com)
- At a separate, keyword-rich URL (e.g., keywordname.com)
In nearly all cases, I’d recommend placing your blog at a keyword-rich, folder-level location on the corporate site (the second option above). Keywords in the URL will help your blog from an SEO perspective.
Also, having the blog on your site and at the folder level will ensure links to the blog also act as links to your site. In this way, the quantity and quality of inbound links to the blog will also accrue to the corporate domain. If you host the blog at a separate URL, your links won’t be concentrated in a single domain; links to your online efforts will be split between the two domains. In most cases, it’s better to concentrate inbound linking into a single site.
In some cases, the fourth option could also be considered. It could be that corporate issues make it difficult to get space or visibility on the corporate site. Rather than fight the red tape, it may be quicker, easier, and less subject to corporate oversight from multiple internal interests to set up the blog at a separate domain.
Another potential reason for setting up a separate domain for the blog may be to capture additional visibility in the SERPs. For instance, we have a B2B SEO blog at b2b-seo.com, and we have our B2B SEO site at seo.proteusb2b.com. Doing so often helps our visibility in the SERPs for a wide range of relevant keywords. For instance, for the Google query “b2b seo”, our blog typically receives a primary and indented result, and our site receives primary, indented, and expanded results.
This approach, together with the relevant articles published at authoritative sites, gives our firm visibility in 6 of the top 10 Google results for the query “b2b seo”.
One of the benefits of also having substantial relevant content on the subject at our site is the inclusion of the expandable search results link in the SERPs. When you click on this link, the search results expand to show links to additional content at the site. This link, in addition to the indented search result, is another way Google highlights sites with authoritative content. It’s great for searchers because it helps point them to sites with additional relevant content. In addition, it makes it easy for searchers to see other information that might be even more aligned with the intent of their search. It’s also great for your site, both in terms of positioning your site as an authoritative resource and in terms of potentially driving more traffic because of the additional links cited in the SERPs.
One further bonus can be the additional link at the bottom of the expandable search results, which leads to still more relevant content. If you want to see more at the site than what’s listed in the expanded search results, you can click on the additional link at the bottom of the search results to get all pages relevant to your query at that particular site.
I haven’t seen the expandable search result appear in search results with blog URLs, but it sometimes does for websites. However, when you click on the expandable search result, if you have a blog on your site, the expanded results often cite URLs on the blog. Similar to sitelinks in the search results, expandable search results links in the SERPs aren’t something you can necessarily control; Google includes expandable search results at its discretion. The best way to influence whether these are shown with your site in the search results, it to ensure you have substantial relevant content related to the query.
Two other options not mentioned in Jeff’s post include:
- Hosting elsewhere (e.g., blogname.blogspot.com)
- Hosting at a sub-domain (e.g., blog.companysite.com or keywords.companysite.com)
While I see frequently see companies use these other options, I generally don’t recommend either of these. Hosting a corporate blog at Blogspot or WordPress doesn’t make much sense. Any links pointing to your blog hosted at Blogspot, WordPress, or any other blogging platform site will not be links pointing to your corporate site. And if you later want to migrate your blog to another URL (e.g., your company site), you won’t be able to permanently redirect the URLs at the hosted blog to the new URLs. This means you’ll lose not only the traffic related to links coming from other sites, but you’ll also lose the search engines’ trust and authority associated with the URLs at the hosted blog domain. So you’ll be starting from scratch in terms on incoming traffic and trust and authority after you migrate the content to the new blog.
Hosting your blog at a sub-domain of your corporate site also has issues. Search engines tend to treat sub-domains as separate domains. Therefore, similar to having you blog at a separate domain, having your blog at a sub-domain of your corporate site means that you won’t be concentrating the inbound links, trust, and authority into a single domain, which will likely make things more difficult from an SEO standpoint.