Blogging vs. CMS – which is best for SEO?

Blogging Jun 3, 2006

So, HitTail works well with blogging tools or adding pages to your site through a good content management system (CMS). Why do we skim over the mechanics of search engine optimization (SEO), and jump right into the writing issues? Because blogging software does so much so perfectly for SEO, we don’t feel it’s necessary. Instead, we just recommend you use one of the highly search-optimized blogging systems, such as Blogger, Movable Type or WordPress. They all meet the baseline criteria for creating search-friendly sites that are likely to maintain their influence.

There are so many directions to go with this post. Do we therefore recommend using blogging software as CMS for the main website? Can existing CMS systems be retro-fitted to live on equal footing with blogging software? Can blogging and CMS sites exist together, intermixed so that you blog for SEO, but keep the main site in its current form? Can we recommend CMS systems that are every bit as good as blogging software?

The long and short of it is that a site needs to grow. And that growth needs to occur in a search-friendly and visible fashion. And the topics chosen for growth need to be spot-on, for competitive reasons. Technically, the main difference between blogging software and a nearly perfect CMS system is the pinging. Blogging software makes everything you add into news, to be picked up by Technorati, Feedster, and the multitude of other blog search tools appearing on scene. In fact, some “News” searches are beginning to incorporate some blog posts. And blog search tools start serving your content in minutes, compared to the days or weeks required by the “default” search results. So, blogging software has this advantage. Why is it an advantage?

Despite how well optimized a site is, you still rely on people linking to you, emailing your URLs to around, and good old fashioned word-of-mouth. Therefore, the initial pushing out of your news is important. In the PR world that I (now) come from, this takes place with press releases, and pitching by PR professionals to journalists. In the PURE world of SEO, the pitching is extremely soft, and takes place in the hope that your content is eventually picked up by people searching on exactly the right keywords. But blogging strikes a nice medium. Your blog posts go out as news. Anyone monitoring news in your space will be alerted to your post. Social bookmarking and tagging systems like del.ico.us help expedite this process. One PR professional, Steve Rubel, who is also a publisher asks that you pitch him by tagging your web pages with the name of his site (micropersuasion) in del.icio.us.

So, for people getting started with the HitTail process, you have to ask yourself if you are happy with how well optimized your CMS system is (or whatever website management system you use), or whether you want the extra bump that the use of blogging software will give you. And if you choose blogging software, how can you get started with the minimum of muss and fuss? There’s enough to say about that, that I’ll make it the subject of my next post.

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