Blogging-Off Domain Does It Work? Part II

If your blog cannot be built on-domain what should you do? There are some situations where you just cannot build an on-domain blog. Some situations may be where you are using a template driven website and you really do not have your own server space and so cannot install WordPress, you have an e-commerce site and just cannot include the technology to run a blog on the server, or you are hosted on a Windows server and cannot install PHP which is needed for WordPress.

If you have any of these scenarios, isn’t off-domain blogging still good for you? I used to say yes, but let’s look at a case study done recently for a real estate firm.

This client could not install an on-domain blog as their website was a template driven website and they did not have “real” server space. We set up a GoDaddy.com domain and hosting to house their off-domain WordPress blog. We blogged for almost six month using keyword dense phrases. At the end of the study period, we evaluated. Did the off-domain blog bump up the parent domain due to one way inbound links and keyword dense blog posts pointing to their parent domain?

What we found was that the strategy of off-site blogging was not workable. The parent domain got no “SEO juice” from our blogging efforts. Not only did organic placement not improve, but the off-domain blog itself was not showing for the keywords we were using either.

You can run some searches yourself on this website yourself to see that we started out no where and ended up no where. The parent domain is www.MarcoIslandLuxuryEstates.com and the blogsite is www.Marco-Island-Luxury-Estates.com. If you look, you will see that the blog domain is not in the top 100 results. The parent website has been slowly moving up in the SERPs but when analysis is done on links to the parent domain, Google is not recording the links from the blog as a factor.

The key take away from this post is that unless you heavily promote and create a link strategy for your off-domain blog to build it up in Google, the site has no “authority” on Google and the other search engines and so one way inbound links from the off-domain blog to the parent website mean nothing to Google in regards to organic placement.

If you are going to invest time and money to promote, create links and push placement for an off-domain blog in order to help the parent domain, wouldn’t the investment and time be much better spent on the parent domain instead?

Make sure to read my recommendations on Friday on what you should do instead of having an off-domain blog.

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Blogging Off-Domain Does It Work for SEO?

I used to feel that blogging anywhere was great, just get blogging. Now I have to say I really feel that blogging under your own domain name is the only workable SEO strategy.

First, let me explain a few things. When I say blogging off-domain I mean that your blog posts reside at Blogspot.com, WordPress.com or at a domain name you have set up separate from your website parent domain. The key is that the actual files that are your blog posts reside some where other than your real website.

Second, blogging on-domain means that you have WordPress installed in a directory that is part of your own website. The URL for your blog would be something like www.mydomain.com/blog. Here the actual files that are your blog posts are spiderable by search engine robots under your parent domain.

It is important to understand that subdirectory blog sites typically are not hosted at the parent domain, but are set up to look like they are, but the files do not typically reside at the parent domain. Blogspot allows you to do this with a bit of massaging of your domain name records. If your blog URL looks like this: blog.yourdomain.com most likely your website files do not reside at your parent location.

So, why is on-site domain blogging so important? There are a few reasons why you should only consider blogging on-domain.

  • You get search engine capital for blogging on-domain. That means each blog post is considered by search engines as if they were new pages in your parent domain.
  • Search engine spiders will index the blog posts that are created in on-domain blogging.
  • You will build “web authority” and create keyword density on your topic for your parent domain when you blog on-domain for your parent domain.
  • Links to your on-domain blog will help your parent domain place better on search engines and therefore help you place organically.

Don’t be confused if you have an off-domain blog and programmatically send the content in an iframe or with JavaScript to your parent domain pages, you do not get the search engine capital for your parent domain that you do with on-domain blogging.

Equally, if you have an off-domain blog and point to it in the navigation in your parent website, you get no search engine capital from it for your parent domain. You may get traffic, but not SEO juice.

Make sure to read Wednesday’s and Friday’s posts this week as I discuss more about on- and off-domain blogging and share with you a case study I have done for a company recently that illustrates these issues.

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How to Change Your Signature in Outlook or Outlook Express

Have your electronic signature help drive traffic to your Web site by making it a marketing tool! Here are some easy to follow instructions on how to update your electronic signature.

How To Change Your Signature in Outlook Express

  1. On the top menu bar click tools
  2. Click Options
  3. Choose the section for signatures
  4. Click new, type in your signature and information
  5. If you want this to be your default signature, click default
  6. Click Okay

How To Change Your Signature in Outlook

  1. On the top menu bar click tools
  2. Click Options
  3. Choose the section Mail Format
  4. At the bottom, click signature picker
  5. Click new and enter your new signature
  6. Click Okay
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Creating a File Shortcut in Office Applications

I think that you will love this neat little shortcut that I have been using, if you don’t know about it already. Follow the instructions below to add a shortcut link on the system file menu screen for any Microsoft Office Applications. Now, I just wish Microsoft would allow me to create these handy shortcuts from any Windows and systems application.

I’ve inserted an image from one of my file menus just to the right so you can see exactly what I am talking about. As I do not save my files in the My Documents folder, it is helpful for me to have shortcuts to file locations that I use frequently on the file menu bar. Here’s how to do it so you can save time too.

  1. Open the office application of your choice (Word, Excel etc.). Microsoft calls this file menu the “My Places” bar. Navigate to and select, but do not open the folder that you want to add to the menu.
  2. Click Tools and then Add to My Places. Your selected folder will now appear at the bottom of the My Places menu bar. If you don’t see it, right click on the bar and select small icons as it may be hidden for the moment or resize the dialog box so you can see your new folder.
  3. To move your new folder up to the top of the menu on the My Spaces bar, right click on the item you want to move and click move up or move down as needed.

I find the addition of my most frequently used files to be very helpful and only wish that I could do this in all my computer applications. I think that once you try it, you’ll be doing custom file additions to your My Places bar too!

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WordPress Websites

I have been toying with doing WordPress websites and so have done quite a bit of research on the topic this past week. What I have found is that I do not want to “re-invent the wheel” by creating my own as there are some really great ones out there now. But what I did find was an excellent WordPress website theme that is perfect for my customers.

I highly recommend the Small Biz WordPress website theme. We find that this template has built in resources that help you place on local keywords, have search engine optimization features built in and is very easy to use even for the novice. If you buy from our link we will be paid a small commission, but that is not the reason for our recommendation.

We like this WordPress template for several reasons.

  • It is very easy to use and configure for your own personal needs.
  • There are numerous videos that illustrate how to customize your WordPress site even how to add videos.
  • Built on the back bone of WordPress this website allows you the site owner to add and change content at will with an online control panel.
  • The application files are easy to find and not buried in code that is hard to find.
  • It is one of the most user-friendly WordPress websites I have found to date.

I highly recommend this WordPress theme to you. If you decide to use it, we can install and configure it for you or just install it for you. The theme is not expensive and is available for $117 plus our hourly charge for installation. You will need to install it on a hosting plan that has PHP and MySQL. We like the Hostway Starter Plan for $168 per year as a very cost efficient resource for hosting for WordPress. Take a look at the Small Biz theme now and see what you think.

I think that you will agree that hands down it is one of the easiest yet robust themes that can be used for a website.

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April AdWords Trends

I have just finished doing my April reports for a large number of AdWords clients and I wanted to share with you a few interesting trends I am seeing.

  1. Impressions and clicks are up for many accounts.
  2. Conversions are trending up for many accounts as well. Some are showing results similar to February high conversion figures.
  3. Cost per click is really moving up for many geographic locations when local targeting is used. In some smaller metro areas the cost per click is staying static, but in major areas like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the cost per click is really moving up strongly as more advertisers move back into Google AdWords and competition for the first page of results is ramping up.

If  you are thinking of Google AdWords, this is still a good time to get into the “game”. I am seeing strong movement that allows me to believe that real economic improvement for many business sectors is just around the corner. Get positioned in the “mix” before the crest hits!

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