Create a Website in 15 Minutes!

Which do a better job of bringing in new clients – websites or blogs?

As I explain in detail in How to Create a Big, Fat Pipeline of New Clients, I recommend that you have a mix of blogs and websites.

I love WordPress blogs. WordPress blogs are so easy to create and look very professional. My only issue with blogs is that they are content black holes. When a search takes me to a blog, and I see that the most recent article is years old, my own feeling, and I’m sure others feel the same way, is that this blog has been abandoned. The article may not contain the most recent information. If the blog is by an attorney, that then creates the impression that the attorney is not staying current in his or her own field, or has moved onto other practice areas. So rule number one is, don’t create a blog if you can’t keep adding fresh content.

So is there any difference with SEO results between blogs and websites? Blog proponents will tell you they are the end-all-be-all of search engine optimization, but that is not my experience. The very broad and often proven wrong concept I suggest you keep in mind is that blogs provide short term hits, and websites provide long term hits.

Here is an example of what I mean. Searching just now for one of my practice areas, one of my static websites occupies the number one position, and my blog comes up as number ten. That’s counterintuitive since the blog contains an amazing amount of content, and if both were viewed the same the blog should be number one. But Google clearly views blogs and websites differently, as evidenced by the fact that it has a separate blog search function.

However, I find that if I post an article to one of my blogs, it will immediately appear in the number one position if a matching search string is used. But search using that same search string a few weeks later, and that same blog post is nowhere to be found, unless I perform a blog search.

This all makes perfect sense. Blogs are intended to be news sources, or at least the latest musings of the owner, so in order to provide its users with the most up to date information, Google places a high value on recent blog posts and moves them to page one of the results. After a certain period of time, the post is no longer given that boost, and it drifts down to lower rankings.

“But I posted an article on my blog three years ago, and it still consistently comes up number one”, I hear someone say. I did not say that a blog post loses all value after its newsworthiness has passed. It will still be subject to all the normal SEO realities, and if it returns the best keyword combination for a given search, it will still appear on the first page long after it has become stale. But based on my many years of experience, all things being equal, if Google sees the same keywords and all other factors on a static website and a blog post, it will prefer the website.

Note, though, that this reality is partially offset by all the search advantages offered by a blog. With a website, you can use the power of the Trifecta I outline in Big, Fat Pipeline to elevate your website to number one on certain keywords. With a blog, you have the same power, but Google also indexes the tags and categories you assign to the article. You will have people finding your blog posts with search terms you would never use as keywords for one of your websites.

Here is the bottom line on the websites versus blogs decision. You can realistically only maintain so many blogs, so the blog versus website decision is not one you really need to make. Just put as many blogs into the mix that you and your support staff can maintain with unique, informative content, and use websites and web pages for all the practice area keywords you want to dominate.

My favorite hosting service for websites is HostGator. I’m a big fan of Bluehost for WordPress blogs because that service makes it so crazy easy, but I prefer the website builder offered by HostGator for static websites. It’s a good idea in any event not to put all your eggs in one basket in terms of your hosting services. I put up my first website in the late 90s, and have kept the same hosting service for that one website every since. I recently learned first hand that hosting services really do go down. For days, any potential clients trying to visit that site were met with an error message. Not very professional. Thankfully, the moment I discovered the problem I was able to redirect that URL to one of my other sites. I shudder to think of the loss of business I would have suffered if all of my websites had been with that same hosting service.

Hosting your blogs on Bluehost and your websites on HostGator is a very good approach from a security standpoint (although I doubt either of these huge services will ever go down). Additionally, there are SEO benefits to having websites posted on different services.

CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR HOSTGATOR.COM, then view the videos below to create your first website with Hostgator’s website creator, Weebly.

The first video was produced by Kate Russell, who shows you how to create a really nice website in just 15 minutes using HostGator’s website creator. The remaining videos are produced by HostGator, and take you step-by-step through the process, and show you how to add some cool stuff.

If right about now you are saying, “why don’t I just hire someone to create my sites?”, that is a valid question. It’s great to farm out that work, but only after you know how to do it. This is crucial, because you need to be able to make quick changes to your website to capitalize on changes in your practice areas. You will be behind the competition if you hire a service to create your sites, and must wait until they get around to it to make any changes. You must pick the platform YOU want, and then find someone to build sites on that platform if you want to farm out the work.

I used to recommend GoDaddy, and most of my sites were created with their Website Builder. GoDaddy is still a good choice, but they appear to be building on an older technology, making the websites less customizable than HostGator’s drag and drop approach. With a single click you can add a blog page to your static website, which is a really nice option. Forget even trying in GoDaddy’s Website Builder. I also love the huge number of website themes offered by HostGator.

 Enjoy!

Notice: I provide affiliate links in this website that pay me a few shekels if you click through and buy the product. However, in all cases these were products that I use and recommend. There are obviously other hosting companies available, but again this is my recommendation based on my own experience. If you do purchase through my affiliate link, thank you so much for your support!

7 thoughts on “Create a Website in 15 Minutes!

  1. In the book, you indicated that using HostGator might diminish the SEO effectiveness. Have you determined that it does not?

    • Thanks for the question, and thanks for reading my book.

      You probably know this part already, but let me give a little background for others. HostGator, BlueHost and GoDaddy all have plans that allow a user to create unlimited blogs, websites or whatever. They all accomplish that by using the first URL you use as the primary domain, and everything else you set up is a sub-domain off that primary. If you look at the file structure, the sub-domains are sub-directories off the main directory.

      So when Google crawls your site, will it be concerned that it is drilling down through directories and sub-directories? Or to the contrary, will Google see all that as one big accumulation of valuable content?

      Google, of course, likes to put up different websites in response to searches. You may have noticed that not too long ago, a Google search might return two or three links from the same website, with two and three indented under the first. You don’t see that as much, indicating that Google prefers to return different websites. If so, then if Google hits the same server and drills down and finds multiple websites under the same primary domain, then maybe it will hesitate to return multiple of those sites in the same search results.

      That’s my reasoning, although with no empirical data. That’s why I suggest mixing it up a bit with HostGator and BlueHost websites. But this is really some fine tuning. I’d say save your money, buy one of the $6 per month plans, and put up your niche sites under a primary domain, and only worry about this level of fine tuning if the sites aren’t ranking on page one. I have sites on HostGator, BlueHost and GoDaddy, but that’s more a function of just wanting to try the various services over the years. I’m content to create sites on sub-domains.

      Here is an article that discuss the issue, and the conclusion is that nobody knows if it hurts SEO, but probably not.

    • I created a website on Wix just to check it out, and while you can create beautiful sites, it doesn’t appear to make economic sense. As I read the various plans, a “pro” plan that allows you to use your own domain is about $13 per month for just one site, whereas I can have unlimited sites on HostGator or BlueHost for about half that price. If you can live with a domain name like http://www.wix.com/mysite, then I don’t see any harm in creating some free secondary sites on Wix, if Wix gives you the ability to set the meta tags.

  2. It’s June 2015, I just read your book, which is a few years old now. Are you still singing the praises of niche sites, or have the Panda/Penguin Google releases dampened the effectiveness of your strategy? Or do you even know at this point? (By the way, I also enjoying clicking through a few of the product links, to check out the goods, and actually may give Dragon another go. Enjoy the shekels.)

    • Thank you for the question (and for reading my book), Kerry.

      I am still singing the praises of niche sites, with an even louder voice. Based on your question, I’m going to write a detailed article on niche sites in a post Panda/Penguin world, but here’s a preview.

      It still remains the fact that Google can’t ignore the Trifecta elements discussed in my book if it wants to return the best search results. You may have encountered the situation where you want to make a dinner reservation at, say, Joe’s Rib Shack, so you Google “joes rib shack” and everything but the restaurant comes up in the search results, even though the restaurant’s website is JoesRibShack.com. That is a terrible search result, and leaves the user frustrated.

      I use one of my own niche websites — BreachOfContractSite.com — as an example in the book. At the time I wrote the book, it was coming up number one on Google when one searched for a breach of contract attorney in my area. Then it disappeared for awhile, no doubt a victim of one of Google’s algorithm tweaks (although it still remained number one on Yahoo and Bing). But it soon reappeared on the first page, in the number two position (one of my other sites now occupies number one).

      That site remains a great example of the power of niche sites, because it still ranks well even though it breaks most of Google’s alleged “rules”. It has little content and probably no incoming links, but it ranks well because Google can’t ignore the Trifecta.

      Google can be a harsh mistress, but so what? A niche site that satisfies the Trifecta will still rank high on Bing and Yahoo, and as my own experience has shown, is more likely than not to rank well on Google. Since the niche site costs nothing beyond the price of the domain (as explained in the book, hosting is basically free), there is no downside to creating a quality niche site, and tremendous upside.

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