But nowadays, everyone – from PRs and communicators to business leaders and customer service managers – should have a clear understanding of the difference.
So here we go:
1. Monologue versus Dialogue
A website is a static group of pages that just sit there … and tell you what they want you to hear. Think of it like a static brochure. It is a monologue – ‘them speaking to you.’
A blog is something completely different. The word ‘blog’ comes from weblog. ‘Log’ means a ‘written record of messages sent or received’. So the person who posts a blog post can send a message. However, on a blog, you can also respond or comment! That’s you speaking with them.
2. Static content versus Fresh content
Whereas a website is created to publish a definitive message (just like a brochure), a blog is created to publish and keep publishing content that visitors find valuable and interesting. Unlike a website, a blog offers you fresh content. Sometimes even daily!
3. Hierarchical versus Flat structure
A website is often organised as a series of hierarchical pages. You are intended to read them from top to bottom. They mosty often tell one story from start to finish.
Although a blog also has a ‘summary’ homepage with the latest post on top; it is really all about the individual posts. Many stories.
4. Navigation Menu versus Tags and Categories
You usually browse a website by clicking the navigation menu. This shows you the pages on the website. Sometimes you have a search function too. This lets you navigate the pages easily.
However, on a blog there will be a small number pages, but there may be hundreds and hundreds of blog posts! You can search these not only by search boxes but also browse them using categories, archives (e.g. on date) or a tag cloud. This makes it much easier to find exactly the right content you need!
5. One-off versus ongoing SEO
Typically, a website is search engine optimised to a keyword strategy (if yours isn’t, it should be!). Once you optimise your website, it’s done. In most cases, there’s no more work needed for a year or so at least.
Blogs however, work your keyword strategy with every piece of content you publish. All the fresh content you publish keeps getting you better results in search engines. Each time you add a new post you add metadata – that gives you new inroads into long tail search engine opportunities.
So is a blog better than a website?
No. It’s just a different animal.
You might need a website to position your company and your products and services. As mentioned before a website often serves as a brochure. It’s you talking about you – your products and services.
A blog is different. On a blog you can publish content towards specific target audiences and about specific questions these audiences might have about your company, products and services.
You can also offer insights into your industry and have discussions with your prospects or even customers. You can focus on becoming a trusted and valuable resource in buying decisions – even talk about your competitors!
A final note
The single biggest advantage of a blog over a website is that is allows you to connect directly – one on one – with your customers, prospects and stakeholders. Encourage conversation, engagement and build Trust.
And that’s why I love blogs!
I hope this post explains the fundamental difference between a website and blog! Should you have any further questions, feel free to drop me a comment or an email.