Online Marketing: Blog Betters Web Site Traffic

stats weigh in

It’s the first Monday of 2008.

If you worked out at a gym today, you didn’t need a calendar to tell you that it’s time to start seriously sweating.

After my morning workout at our overcrowded gym, I came back to the office refreshed and ready to go over the 2008 goals I typed out a few weeks ago.

My first instinct – almost every day – is to plunge in, pick a project, plow in and take action – hopefully, in the appropriate profitable direction.

Limiting myself to online only, I weighed my site versus my blog. What effort gets the most results: blogging or updating an existing site?

Since my blog’s Google Analytics just kicked in two months ago, I decided to compare the two over that time period . . .

 Marketing PR BlogWeb Site
Average time on site1.25.59
New visits87%85%
Referring sites35%41% [from my sites]
Direct traffic28%46%
Search engine traffic37%13%
US traffic73%98%
# pages/visit1.981.72
Readers who clicked
on something
22%not measured

Not shown on the table is the biggest standout statistics:

for every one web site visitor, 5.96 people visited this blog.

So, how do I interpret these results?

– blog readers spend more time reading an article that matches their interest; site readers encounter a more promotional experience that relates to making money for their business or organization

– most everyone who comes to the site is a new visitor – how can I convert them into community members?

– referring sites in the blog column come from other blogs – in the site column, referring traffic comes mostly from one of our other sites

– blog readers span the globe, but mostly reside in the US

mybloglog reports the number and direction of offsite clicks, which lets me know what interests my readers; they seem like a click-y crowd, which makes me think I should reinstate my post footer call to action that I dropped thinking it was too promotional

What’s the best use of marketing time and money: a blog or a site?

Hmmmm . . . in my case I’ll pick the blog. I’m thinking of moving my company site onto a blog platform to save:

– time – it’s so much easier to write a blog post that it is to write site copy and then format it, upload it, check it and wait weeks for search engines to add the page to their index

– money – self-hosting a blog costs less than the $19.95 web hosting fee and blog design is mostly do-it-yourself, even the best blog designer charge a much more reasonable fee than graphic designers

Disclaimer: A well-performing web site cannot be replaced by a brand-new blog. If you have a high Google page rank, then you may be better off keeping your site. Be sure to add in an online newsroom or other component that updates your content frequently.

Best of both worlds: add a blog to your site

Open for discussion: What works for you?

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