I was talking with a new client the other day who spends a lot of money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to try to get people to visit his online store. And yet his blog -- what search engines value most -- was on wordpress.com.
We have several other clients who have WordPress blogs separate from their main site. If this is you... * Cough Cough *
YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!
Sure, lots of people prefer blogging on WordPress. WordPress has done a very nice job making the blogging experience nice and easy, in a myriad ways. With WordPress's widespread adoption, there's a lot more people comfortable in WordPress than in Drupal.
But which goal is more important -- familiar blogging interface, or sales conversions?
Blogging in Drupal is not terrible, and with the help of some key modules and things like a convenient staff menu, can be made as easy to do as WordPress. And Drupal 8 promises to bring massive usability improvements to the interface as well. That's not the point here, though.
The point is, if you blog in WordPress but the rest of your site is in Drupal, you're sending search engines somewhere else where it's a lot harder to turn people into customers.
The biggest benefit of using Drupal is how you can integrate so many different kinds of content as well as e-commerce, forums, blogs, CRM, and more into a single unified system. And a key reason to do so is to drive traffic to your site where you can start engaging an audience, developing a relationship, and eventually turn visitors into customers. If you think about your web site with a sales strategy in mind, you start thinking about where you want your visitors to go next, after reading whatever story brought them to your site in the first place.
What might this look like? Break it down into a user story:
- User arrives at site via some search that turns up a story on your blog.
- User sees a related story that sounds interesting, and reads that.
- User follows an "About us" link to see who it is, and it turns out you offer a product or service they are considering purchasing.
- User reads more about the product/service
- User fills out an easy "Request more information" form and presto! You have a new lead.
- You give the user a call and complete the sale. Profit!
Contrast that with an Adwords campaign:
- User sees an ad for your product, is curious, and follows the link.
- User reads about the product, but doesn't see any more information on the site.
- User goes away bored.
Blogging has a number of benefits, if you can write something interesting or useful enough for people to read:
- Better organic search results, coming from regular changes to your web site, links from other sites, social media sharing
- If you can get people coming back to your site, they start recognizing your name and associating it with whatever topics you write about
- You develop a reputation as an expert in the field you write about, which makes it easier for people to trust you and can help you close sales
If your blog is on your Drupal site, it's easy to show other bits of content around the edges, where you can start enticing people to explore further. But far more importantly, you're giving the search engine what it's looking for, bringing those results (and visitors) right back to your site, and improving your conversion rate while you're at it.