Marketing Strategy & Pro Tips

How To Determine The Best Blog Platform For SEO & Your Specific Needs

Posted by Chris Taglia on Dec 14, 2016 6:06:29 PM
Marketing Professional
best blog platform comparison chart, side-by-side

There are so many blog platforms out there today that bloggers, businesses, and online marketers are having issues figuring out which blog platform is best for them and for SEO. They all have different features ranging from search engine flexibility, hosting, the ability to monetize (make money off ads), costs involved, and user interfaces.

When it comes to blogging, there are plenty of free and paid options available for all user levels. It’s also important to know if you own the blog or not. If you want to transfer your site down the road, is it even possible and will everything transfer seamlessly.

To figure out the best blog platform for SEO and for your needs, we focused on 4 of the top sites (WordPress, Blogger, Ghost, & Tumblr) comparing 6 specific categories (Platform Flexibility, Usability Level, SEO Grade, Hosting Options, Monetization, & Price Range).

WordPress

Blog Platform

WordPress actually has two platforms, Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. With Wordpress.org, you host your own blog, but it's more for intermediate to advanced users. It is extremely flexible, expandable, and offers a plugin for almost every situation. Wordpress.org is free, unless you want a premium template or plugin.  Wordpress.com is more for novice users and pricing ranges from free to $25 per month depending on various features, support, storage, etc. With this platform, you don't have to worry about hosting your own blog.

If you're planning to create a blog to make it popular, build followers, increase search engine rankings, and possibly earn money from it, you should prefer WordPress to the competition. It is absolutely the best option for bloggers (blogs) and businesses (websites).

User Experience

It may sound technical and difficult to learn at first, but with such an amazing support from WordPress community, you can always get help and learn everything needed in no time. Compared to other blog platforms, WordPress gives you more flexibility and customization.

SEO

WordPress is considered the best SEO friendly blog and website platform. The WordPress default installation is not very SEO friendly, but with the help of many available plugins, it can be tweaked to perfection. You get complete control over your meta tags, permalinks, sitemap, and more. Plus, you can see your SEO and readability score, not to mention speed up your site’s load time. Don’t over do it with plugins though, as the javascript slows down your page's loading speed, and you can run into conflict issues in the after an update.

The free version of the Yoast SEO plugin provides amazing control. Try the WP Smush plugin for image optimization and when combined with the plugin W3 Total Cache it’s insane how much of an improvement you’ll see.

Blogger

Blog Platform

Blogger.com is a free publishing platform owned by Google. A publishing platform means that you have a comprehensive tool to publish articles on a domain. Therefore, users don’t have to use file transfer protocol (FTP) to run their blogs site, the platform takes care of everything. More blog platforms are doing this now.

Blogspot.com is a free domain provider that is owned by Google, with a sub domain looking like example.blogspot.com. Custom domains are available with just a few clicks, but they are not free. Blogger is supported by BlogSpot only and delivers a free blogging service. Because BlogSpot service can only be accessed with Blogger, you cannot use it with any other publishing platform.

User Experience

Many users like Blogger, because it is considered to have less tech hassles. Blogger is very useful when you just want to share your thoughts online. Blogger is good for new users, very simple to get started, and offers casual blogging at almost no cost.

If you are blogging for money or branding, Blogger is not recommended. Reason being, you have limited control on visibility in search engines and are limited when trying to add new features.

SEO

Blogger is fine to get started with when it comes to SEO and organic search, but it does not include any plugin or control features like WordPress itself. There are many limitations of Blogger in terms of functionality and SEO benefit; however, there are still many ways to optimize content for search engines.

There are articles online that state that Blogger is a Google product, and it therefore has more SEO advantages; however, that is only a rumor and is not true.

Ghost

Blog Platform

Compared to WordPress, Ghost.org is a radical new blogging platform for publishing professional blogs. Unlike WordPress, Ghost doesn’t have a free hosting option. Their rates are anywhere from $19 to $199 per month depending on support, bandwidth, storage, etc. Custom domains are included in all of their packages.

User Experience

Ghost is simply just for blogging, without any need to be a hosted website; however, it is more powerful, open and elegant than current platforms like, say, Tumblr or Svbtle.

No custom post types, no plugins, no permalink tweaking, and complex settings to fiddle with. You get a preview of your posts and the option to add or edit them. All of their packages include automatic updates and backups, so no need to worry about losing your data or conflicting plugins.

SEO

The Ghost blogging platform does not have external plugins for SEO; it’s built in directly. You will need to focus on quality content and have knowledge of how search engines work and crawl page content. Meta data is automatically generated, but does have a manual override option for more advanced users. You will also have control of the XML sitemaps and Google AMP (fast mobile pages) is supported.

Tumblr

Blog Platform

Tumblr.com is often overlooked, but has tremendous SEO and social media marketing potential. With 300 million monthly visitors, 50% of the users being under the age of 25 & many of whom are teenagers, Tumblr is already the largest hosted blog platform on the web.

User Experience

Tumblr has all the blogging functions of a platform such as WordPress, but also includes all the features of a social site such as hashtags, sharing posts, and like/follow buttons. It's a blog platform with built-in social functionality for incredible viral potential. Tumblr is easy to use and designed for novice users.

SEO

If you use good SEO tactics within your content, and post on a consistent basis, you will be able to build some strong backlinks to your site, as well as promote your content and build your brand online. It’s not difficult to optimize your Tumblr blog; however, there are not many expert tools for SEO integration on individual posts yet.

 

Still not sure which blog platform is best for you? Contact Tag Marketing for a free consultation. We take into account growth, frequency, budget, and experience.

 

View Our FREE eBook Inbound Content Marketing Strategy

eBook Content Marketing Strategies and Knowing Your Audience

Topics: User Experience, Search Engines, Web Content

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