Blogger and Your Site
Are you receiving maximum optimization from your blog?
It's no secret that adding a blog to your company's virtual presence can be a great way to pull potential clients to your site and often improve your standings in the search rankings. Unfortunately, integrating a blog into an existing site isn't always easy, especially if you're working with an older custom site without a built-in content management system.
For what it's worth, there are a number of free third-party blog hosts out there offering a variety of easy to use and fully customizable services. Blogger and Wordpress are probably the two most popular at this point, and while the features they offer are somewhat similar, I have found Blogger to be the simplest answer for people who already have a site and are just looking to add a blog to their portfolio.
Blogger has a lot of great features for the casual poster, including an easy to use interface, lots of great widgets for interaction, and simple theme customization without needing any great knowledge of css or html.
The one caveat I have about using an external blog host like Blogger is that your content, while it may be indirectly leading some readers to your site, isn't being indexed as PART of your site, and thus isn't really helping increase your standings with the search engines. If search engine optimization is your goal, you might want to consider one of the two methods that Blogger offers for getting that content within the framework of your site.
The simpler of these two is to create a subdomain of your site (i.e. blog.mysite.com) and set it up as what Blogger refers to as a "custom domain". Your posts will still be hosted on Google's servers, and you'll still have all of the options available to Blogger users, but your content is more likely to be indexed as part of your site (debate on this is ongoing, but most sources imply that Google is doing it's best to treat subdomains like folders within a site). This is probably the reccomended method if you are happy with the capabilities and template of your Blogger blog and want to keep all of the features you have currently.
The second (and more advanced) option is to publish your blog to a folder on your site via Blogger's FTP Publish function. The main benefit to this is that the content is hosted directly on your server and is equal to your other page content in the eyes of the search engines. This second method also gives you some more advanced controls, such as the ability to use PHP or other server-side programming that is currently not possible on the Blogger server. However, it does require you to abandon Blogger's handy template WYSIWYG user interface and go without the built in widgets that you could otherwise take advantage of.
A recent blog that we migrated to a client's server was able to take advantage of his ASP.net framework as well as incorporate the site theme for a seamless transition from the blog to the rest of the site, but it did require some custom templating. Would you like to get more optimization from your externally hosted blog? Interested in avoiding all of this and converting to a content management system that will let you blog within the structure of your site? Contact us and we can help you out!