Chase R. recently emailed with a question about small business blogging:
We’re a local business and our main jewelry ecommerce site (www.thediamondstore.com) has been around for quite some time. A little over a year ago when we revised our website, we launched a WordPress blog at a new domain (www.jewelrywiseblog.com). Oops. Well, I’ve been writing quality posts and we now have about 6,000 visitors per month to the blog through search engines. Only about 1,100 per month on our main site.
I would love to transfer the blog to our main Joomla site (and make sure I hire someone who knows what they’re doing to cover all the SEO issues that would incur), but we’re at a stand still because of costs and the decision to possibly revise our main website again in the near future.
Is there a certain point at which it would be “too much to lose” by transferring the blog to our main website?
That’s a great question, and a great example of one of the real challenges that small businesses face when blogging. Here’s my reply to Chase:
If you guys are planning to redo the main website soon, I would use that as the time to also move the blog off its own domain and make it part of the main website. If you’re not going to redo the main website for a year or so, I’d probably move the blog over sooner.
Here’s why I think you should move the blog, despite what you’ve explained about it getting more traffic than the main website:
- You’ve only got a couple dozen articles on the blog from what I can tell. So the process of relocating content and setting up 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new ones shouldn’t be too difficult.
- Even though the blog is doing well on its own, I’m of the opinion that the main website will — in the long run — benefit more from having the content, the inbound links, the traffic and the branding that would come from having everything on a single domain.
On that second point, there will be some short-term pain from changing the URLs. Even if you setup all the 301 redirects immediately and correctly, it’ll take a little while for Google and other search engines to process and trust the redirects. (Bing can be especially slow in this regard, in my experience.) It’ll also take some time for the articles to rank and get search traffic like they did before. But I think the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term pain in this case.
Once you make the switch, you’ll want to
- go through all of your old blog posts and update any internal links; I saw a few articles where you do a nice job of linking to related blog posts in your archives. Fix those links right away, and also fix any links on the main website that are pointing to the old blog. (You might also want to do some link reclamation — find other sites that have linked to your blog posts and let them know that the URLs have changed.)
- make sure that you have some new articles ready to publish over the course of a few weeks to help get the bots to start crawling the blog and archives at their new URLs.
One thing I can’t speak to is the Joomla factor. I have no experience working with that platform and no idea what’s involved when installing WordPress in association with a Joomla website. (If any readers have thoughts on this aspect — suggestions or wisdom for Chase — please speak up in the comments.)
The only other advice I’d share is just to publish more often on the blog (after you make the switch). You seem to sometimes go several weeks between articles so, even though the blog is getting traffic now, it seems like you could be doing even better with more frequent, quality articles.
Agree/disagree with my reply for Chase? Have something you’d add? Comments are open!
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com and used under license.)