Blogs vs. Static Content
Should you choose a blog or static content? Easy answer: Yes. Both of these things should be on your radar, and the answer should never be, “Either.” If you’re not using both mediums then you’re not effectively marketing your website.
At the same time, you shouldn’t become too blog-centered either. Some business owners become so enamored with blogs and their capabilities (and their cost) that new business owners pay less attention to a static website. It can be more difficult to brand a blog than it is to brand a static website, and a blog contains more informal information. So you need a healthy mix of a well-branded static site and regularly updated blog. Your blog should be a reflection of the website: using the same color scheme and logo. I know this is blog is about SEO, not design, but even if you have a top ten listed site, this will not be as effective if your site is a mess.
Websites Incorporating a Blog Structure
These days, blogs have become so much a part of web marketing that static websites are employing blog characteristics. Take a look at some popular websites: they include an RSS feed for the main content, as well as the ability to comment on individual articles. Is this a blog? Not really, because these web pages don’t all exist on the same page with archives/links/recent posts, etc. like your typical blog.
But there’s every reason to employ these tactics on a “static” website. Take comments: consider this free web content. You could even write some fake anonymous comments yourself to get the ball rolling. One of the advantages of comments is that you can use misspellings of keywords and phrases and get away with it. I know that people like to work common misspellings of keywords into an article, but you really can’t overuse this tactic. It can come off as tacky and unprofessional. Comments, on the other hand, are a different ballgame, and they’ll be indexed just like the main content.
Having a site RSS feed for a static (but updated) website also opens up marketing opportunities. There’s a long list of RSS-only site directories, which can increase site ranking and visibility. Having a separate blog means having a totally separate RSS feed, meaning the blog can be added to different directories and talked about on different types of forums. This is as important as having fresh, spider-able content.
Finally, you can add a static website to site directories. Some sites that run on a blog platform will be eligible for general site directories as well. For example, a number of websites use WordPress as the CMS to upload new content. Though WordPress is a blog platform, it can be used for general CSS sites.
Blogs and Link Partnerships
Blogging also opens up the capacity for link partnerships. Your everyday consumer or blog writer probably isn’t going to link to your static website, unless your company offers something really noteworthy. Even if a blogger does link to a static site, it will probably be in one post – a brief mention. However, if you run a successful and entertaining blog, you’ll be able to gain static links: permanent links in the sidebar that will be part of every page within that blog. Obviously this is far better for SEO.
While it’s possible to have a page on your static website for link partnerships, this type of link strategy is not as effective as links from a series of blogs. Link farm pages can actually work against you. Search spiders not only like updated content, but updated links – i.e. links that are attached to updated content. So if your link is on the sidebar of a frequently updated blog, it’s a better SEO strategy than some link farm page gathering dust.
In addition, by creating a blog, you already have an instant link partnership with your static website. However, I don’t entirely recommend making your blog too company-specific. It’s just not as interesting (and this harder to use as linkbait) as a blog that covers a wider range of topics. Still though, you can create a sidebar link and throw links into posts without making it too obvious that you’re basically acting as an affiliate marketer of your own company’s website.
Conclusion: in this day and age of blogs and social networking a static website is becoming an almost outdated concept. Certainly you need a static website to act as a kind of brochure for your business, but the term “static” does not mean what it once did. You should always be updating new content, via articles and other media, to keep your site climbing up the ranks in search engines. In this day and age, to only have a static website that never changes its content is basically like having a grocery store that only sells outdated food.