The question of how and where a website’s blog should be set up is one that we answer very frequently.  Equally as often we run across a website that has a great blog with valuable content that is attracting readers, links, and a lot of attention, but it is not set up properly to contribute to that website’s success.  First, I’ll discuss a little bit of SEO history, then talk about why it’s important for an ecommerce website to have a blog, then explain what the most ideal set up is.

A few short years ago, if you wanted to get top rankings on a set of keywords, all you needed to do was get as many links as possible.  It didn’t even really matter where your links came from – message boards, blog comments, text links, and everything else in between.  To put it very simply, quantity of links was more important than the quality.  Things have slowly been changing as Google and other search engines have changed how they evaluate which websites deserve to rank for keywords.

The Google Panda update in early 2011 (and subsequent updates) changed the way Google looked at written content, and highly emphasized unique and relevant content both on-site as well as in a site’s links.  Websites using duplicate or “spun” content were highly devalued, and websites with unique, relevant, and well written content saw their keyword rankings and website traffic increase significantly.  To put it simply, Google made it so the websites creating valuable content became the “winners,” and websites without any content, or websites with duplicated content became the “losers.”  The lesson learned from Panda is if you want to have a successful website with good organic keyword rankings from Google, you need to create high quality relevant content that is valued by the community.

This is where your website’s blog comes into play.  Since written content is so important now, it’s critical that your blog is set up properly to give your domain credit for the content.  Here are some common blog no-no’s:

1)  Hosting your blog on a blogging site doesn’t help your website because none of your content is associated with your domain.  For example, or associates your content with the blogging website’s root domain, not yours!  Therefore, none of your content is “counted” for your site.  Bummer!

2)  Hosting your blog on a subdomain of your website is not ideal because it is picked up as a separate domain.  For example, presents the same issue because Google essentially looks at the subdomain as a separate website.

The best way to set up your on-site blog is in a sub-folder like this: – this way all of the effort you put into creating content is counted towards and indexed with your domain.  In order to get the most recognition and authority from Google, you must set up your blog this way, and never use an external blogging site.  That’s so 2009. Not to mention, if you create valuable content that your customers and/or users like, it will naturally get links built to it, as well as social shares, but if it’s not hosted on your website, you do not gain any benefit from those links or shares!

If you need assistance setting up your blog, or migrating it from a blogging site, contact the experts at Submit Digital.