There is debate among webmasters and SEO experts regarding whether to write content as a blog or a page. One of the latest buzz-word selling points is that a website must have a blog to be successful. Perhaps. But exactly what should be put into a blog post versus a page remains a matter of debate. Should a blog post be short or long? Should topical content be put into pages or only posts? How can a website owner know when the information to be provided to readers would be best-served by a blog post or by a page? Glad you asked.
To Post or to Page…THAT is the Question
Many owners of website struggle with understanding when and how to use blog posts rather than pages on their site. A brief illustration will help.
Think of a website as a book…an ever-growing, ever-expanding book. It is the book of your business, be it a law firm, real estate office, educational website, or online store. Then too, some websites could be considered entire libraries of books. With these two simple illustrations in mind, consider the following regarding blog posts versus pages.
The Pages of Your Website
Just as a book will have pages, so too a website has pages. When a website is starting out, the pages will likely be about the same length and will contain plenty of great information directly related to the theme of the site. Yet, as the site grows, some pages will take on a life of their own. These may then father additional pages (as seen in a submenu).
Look at the website CriminalJusticeLaw.org. On that site, you will notice that each page shown on the menu has a dropdown menu of pages and more subpages. In fact, there are about three generations of pages. So, this site is more of a library than a single book. As such, the pages (or books) contained therein are of different lengths. Click on some of them and notice the different lengths and styles. This is exactly what one would expect at a library — books of different lengths and styles.
So, Pages Versus Posts…
The Blog Posts of Your Website
The blog was originally designed as a form of journal entry or journal roll. It was intended to provide readers with news and views outside of the direct theme of the website. As such, it was intended to be mostly topical, featuring current events, trends, and timely information of use to readers in quick-to-read form. Think of the blog post as either a teaching box in a book or a magazine in a library.
When a website is new, blog posts will be fewer and rather scanty. These will be more like the little teaching aids found scattered in some books. But as the site grows into more of a library of books and gains more readers, the blog posts will often increase in frequency. Posts will be treated more like magazines in a library — they will be published regularly, on topical information, and in quick-to-consume format.
How long should a blog post be?
The length depends on the subject and the readers. Generally, a five to seven minute read is suitable (500 – 700 words), but if the subject calls for it, do not limit the length. Check out some of the blog posts on the Criminal Justice site mentioned above. It has blog posts that are 1500 words which perform very well. It also has short posts performing well. The point is, do the material justice and the readers will come.
Now, to the question of posts versus pages…
There are not hard-and-fast rules but at Oakes Writing Website Services, we advise our clients to use posts for generally current information and topics to be written in a less formal way. Save your pages for more in-depth, meaty articles — the kind of information often found in books, rather than in magazines.
When deciding between whether to write a post or a page, just remember that if you start a blog post and change your mind, you can. If the information starts to run long and it will retain its value long-term, perhaps cut and paste it into a page and delete the post.
More important than whether you made the right choice or not is: Once published, leave it alone. Do not move it, do not change a post to a page or page to a post. It will do fine as it is.