blogging
In yesterday's SEO webinar, I received several questions on whether it is better host your blog on your store's domain or on a hosted platform like Wordpress, Blogger or Tumblr.
So which is better?  While there are some pros to using Tumblr like gaining in-site traffic through tags & networking, on the whole hosting your blog on the same URL as our store is better for your business' branding & SEO.   But why?

1. SEO
All blogs are great for SEO, but self-hosted blogs allow you more control over SEO. Hosting your blog allows you to add SEO friendly plugins and other SEO features that make your blogging efforts much more effective. Hosting your blog on your domain also tells Google that your site offers fresh content ( which it loves) where as your blogging platform would reap all of your fresh content benefits if you hosted it with them.

2. Branding
.Hosting your blog on your domain reminds users that you are a business not just a blog, and helps build brand recognition. Being a content creator gives your store credibility & authority with customers, but that connection is not as easily made when your blog is hosted on a separate URL than your store.

3. Content Control
When you host your own blog, you have full control over the type of content you publish but if you use free blogging platforms,  you are restricted by their  guidelines. If you publish mostly promotional content or only write about your products, you could be flagged as low quality or spam. You could even get banned which would mean all of your hard content marketing work would go to waste.

4.  Functionality Control
If you host your own blog, the only limits to functionality is your imagination. Key branding tools like social media widgets & buttons, newsletter sign-ups and coupon-codes are hard if not impossible to implement on free platforms.

5. Design Control
Design is a huge part of brand recognition, you want your readers recognize the look & feel of your blog from your store and vice versa. Free platforms do not offer the same customization options as self-hosting does.