Most businesses write a blog to post company/product updates or for various types of content marketing. Writing a blog helps your search engine ranking because it keeps fresh up-to-date content on your website, which Google favors.
It’s best for SEO that your blog is hosted on the same domain as your website, as opposed to a sub-domain or a separate domain all together. If you aren’t sure what I mean, here’s an example.
Good for SEO: http://yourdomain.com/blog/
Worse for SEO: http://blog.yourdomain.com
Terrible for SEO: http://yourbrand.wordpress.com
I wrote “Worse” instead of “Bad” because the issue has been heavily debated on whether sub-domain authority benefits the main domain.
Based on my own personal experiences and on case studies I’ve read from sources that I trust in the SEO industry, I’ve come to believe that hosting a blog on your primary domain is better for SEO than hosting a blog on a sub-domain.
I believe that having an on-domain blog is so important for SEO, that I recently chose Shopify over Lemonstand for a particular project that involved a lot of content marketing. The downfall of that decision is that I have to deal with Shopify’s less than ideal URL structure, which is also very important to content marketing / SEO.
Ultimately I had to choose between better URLs with Lemonstand or an on-domain blog with Shopify, and the blog won.
I wish I could have the best of both worlds, but Lemonstand currently does not offer an integrated blog. It is listed on their Roadmap as In Progress and Ross with Lemonstand confirmed via e-mail that it’s on the way.
You can still have a blog on your website for the time being if you use Lemonstand, but it would have to be hosted on a separate server via a sub-domain. This isn’t ideal because 1) it’s not as good for SEO to be on a sub-domain, and 2) it requires hosting and securing a blog on a separate server, which takes time and money.
Lemonstand’s price tag includes CDN hosting, unlimited bandwidth with a 99.95% uptime, sitewide SSL encryption, and automatic backups for your store. That type of hosting is expensive to replicate for a single blog, especially if you wanted your blog to load as quickly as the rest of your site and be secured with SSL (which you do). It’ll be great logistically and fincially when Lemonstand’s hosting extends to your blog too so you don’t need a separate host. I’ll update this site when that happens.
I am most familiar with Wordpress, where your blog has Posts, Categories, and Tags.
Shopify Blogs function a little differently by offering Posts, Blogs, and Tags. So I tend to treat “Blogs” like my “categories” in order to separate different types of content.
As an example, let’s say on WordPress I’d have separate blog categories for Company Updates, Press, Product Updates, and Resources, which I’d further divide into sub-categories like Top 10, How To Videos, and Reviews.
If I were to replicate that on Shopify’s blog, I could do either:
Option 1) Create a separate blog for Company Updates, Press, Product Updates, and Resources. And then Tag resources as Top 10, How To Videos, and Reviews in lieu of sub-categories. So I’d have 4 Blogs and 3 Tags on Shopify.
Option 2) Use one blog called “Updates” for everything, and create Tags for Company Updates, Press, Product Updates, Resources, Top 10, How To Videos, and Reviews. So I’d have 1 Blog and 7 Tags.
Shopify Blog vs WordPress
There is no comparison between the two. WordPress is an entire content management system that can power blogs, websites, online stores, marketplaces, forums, membership sites, and so on. Shopify Blog is more of a “blog feature” built into their e-commerce platform.
Here’s a snapshot of Shopify Blog’s backend when adding a post:
As you can see, you’ve only got a few options. It’s a streamlined blog that’s easy to use. All of the images you upload are optimized and responsive, just like your product images, so the blog loads as quick as your Shopify store.
You can replace the comments with Facebook or Disqus. And there are a number of Apps available to extend the functionality of the blog, similar to how Plugins work on WordPress.
The blog feature on Shopify could be better, but it works, and that’s a solution for most.