If you are a regular reader here at Social Media Explorer, you know that I’m a strategic advisor to Compendium Blogware and have been involved in a corporate blogging research project with Compendium CEO Chris Baggott, corporate blogging expert Debbie Weil and fellow social media marketing practitioner Jay Baer. Our research to date has shown that as many as 80 percent of corporate blogs report that the vast majority of their traffic comes from first-time visitors, erasing the myth that we blog for some loyal community.
This means your corporate blog is better off if you focus on blogging to win search results since the majority of visitors are either coming from referring sites or search results. As a result of this research, I’ve focused some energy discussing search engine optimization and your blog here. But I haven’t done you a full service by telling you more about Compendium, which by the way, is a pretty darn good corporate blogging solution.
Admittedly, I’ve been hesitant to do so because I’m working with them. They’re paying me for my role in the research, a recent webinar I did with them on the Myth of the Repeat Visitor, some strategic counsel for their social media activities and more. I can’t talk about Compendium without telling you I’m biased. But if you are a frequent reader (which even my analytics tells me the majority of you are not, so you’ll have to trust me on this), you probably know that I don’t endorse or recommend anything I wouldn’t use myself.
A couple of weeks ago, I told you about a keyword targeting exercise I performed on this blog using Scribe SEO (affiliate link). I use Scribe SEO because my blog platform is WordPress and it is pretty simple to use and relatively inexpensive (currently $27 per month, I believe). While I do not use Compendium for Social Media Explorer, I have recommended it to more than one client, and even before I had a relationship with the company. I’ve also recommended it to several companies who have simply asked my opinion on blogging platforms.
The main differences in the two lie in simplicity and price. Scribe SEO is clunky in that you write your post, analyze (using one of your allotment for the month), then improve. If you then re-analyze to make sure you’ve improved it well, you use another of your monthly allotment for analysis. If you are optimizing a blog post per day or more, your price goes up. Granted, you can still get a healthy amount of analysis for less than a few hundred dollars per year, but the way Scribe works, you can’t tell if you’ve done a good job, or improved on the first set of recommendations without burning another turn.
Compendium, on the other hand, works in real time, moving a red-to-green bar as you type your post, telling you if your post has good (green) or bad (red) keyword density. If you paste pre-written copy into the tool, it gives you the read out so you can adjust accordingly. (Click the screen cast below to see a larger version.)
Compendium also lists keywords you are targeting in your post entry area, so you don’t have to reference charts and graphs or spreadsheets. It’s right there while you type or edit.
Certainly, the differences are more vast. Scribe SEO is a plugin you use with an existing blog platform. Compendium is a full blog platform. It’s better suited for corporate blogs and larger-scale search engine optimization efforts. Their system turns typically author-centric methods of blogging into keyword topic-centric, multiple blogs that go after search engine results with more efficiency … and success. A couple of examples of that success have been covered here and here.
The bottom line here is that I think Scribe SEO is great for individual bloggers trying to win some keyword searches or for corporate blogs using WordPress or one of the platforms Scribe supports. But if your company’s primary (or even secondary) purpose is to win search results for a number of keywords (Compendium charges by the keyword targeted – expect an entry-level price around $1,000 per month), you’re not going to find a blog platform better suited to accomplish that.
For more insights on corporate blogging, Compendium’s next webinar features Debbie Weil and is focused on the top misconceptions of corporate blogging. I highly recommend you attend. Debbie is brilliant and wrote the book (literally) on corporate blogging long before many corporations would consider it.