These days, many companies large and small have been adding ‘blogs’ to their corporate websites as a way to juice traffic, improve their image and generate sales. In fact Ensight reported a story from Fortune 500 companies that found (guesstimating) around 10~20% of companies were using blogs in some ways.
Blogging: it’s effective
It’s not surprising that blogs are so widely used in companies. Technorati reports that around 70 million blogs have now been created. It seems that the business world is now just jumping on this bandwagon. And with good reason, blogging creates an easy way to post content, update your website, create discussion and interaction with your readers, and can combine text with media elements such as audio, video, etc..
Of course, if some companies are using blogs as part of their website, I wonder how many companies have taken the next step and designed their website AS a blog. In other words, how many companies are now using Blogs as their own website, instead of just a supplement.
The Blog IS the website
My own business, for ease of use, quite early on decided on using a CMS to manage the website. We tried Joomla, Mambo, etc.. but they were either clunky or slow or unattractive or impossible to use. So, I erased the whole lot, and just installed WP 2.0 as it was as our website CMS.
Naturally, our website doesn’t look like a website, so much as a blog; but the advantages are tremendous:
- fresh information is published right at the front, not hidden away on an internal page;
- pictures and media get posted for maximum publicity;
- administering the pages is relatively easy with online/offline tools able to handle most of the regular stuff;
- more advanced administration is easily handled through the interface;
- of course, we can also take advantage of Blog type tools that aren’t open to static websites, such as Technorati;
- and more traffic means better SEO, higher Alexa rankings, and so on.
We did face some criticism from some members of staff who didn’t get it: why can’t you have someone just design your website and get it done? Then, like so many businesses, the website would have been DONE and left unupdated for years, until the next make over… This way, we’re creating reasons for people to come back and visit us more often to see what changes or news there have been.
Could there come a time when more companies realize the advantages of a blog type CMS and dump their Frontpage/Dreamweaver/… static sites in favor of a simpler and more dynamic solution? I think so. I know our school made the switch. We aren’t going back, either.