Subdomains are very common, and businesses use them to segment their websites. Some companies have multiple websites running on different subdomains. But using subdomains without understanding their impact on SEO can be bad for your website and blog. It can compromise your SEO efforts and waste a lot of your time. Plus, it detracts visitors from a unified user experience. Let's find out why you should avoid subdomains and exceptions when using subdomains is acceptable.
In the simplest terms, a subdomain is a separate extension of your domain.
Let's say you have a main website, www.businesswebsite.com. Your subdomain is a division that acts as a different part of businesswebsite.com. Some examples include www.shop.businesswebsite.com or www.blog.businesswebsite.com.
Google treats a subdomain as a separate website, not an extension of your website. According to Google's John Mueller, "You'll need to verify subdomains separately in Search Console, make any changes to settings and track overall performance per subdomain."
In other words, any SEO work on a subdomain won't count towards your website's SEO, and it's not good. Likewise, if your blog is hosted on a subdomain, any engagements you get from your posts won't benefit your website. It is the same as if your website doesn't have a blog.
This brings us to our next point. You don't want a subdomain on your website because it can compromise and harm your SEO efforts. If you're a small business with limited resources, you should make the most out of what you have. Creating a subdomain can waste your SEO budget and leave you with no results.
Internal links connect different parts of the same domain, and they help your web pages rank better on Google. In addition, they act as "votes of approval" for other pages, which gives more authority to your website pages.
In addition, they help provide a seamless digital experience to your website visitors. For example, with an internal link, someone on your homepage can easily go to your product pages, blog, or other parts of your site.
Since your website and subdomain are two different websites, creating internal links with a subdomain will not have any SEO benefits. If you link your homepage to your subdomain, Google will treat that link as an external one.
Finally, you will need to do separate SEO for a subdomain. And since it will not affect your main website domain, all this work is wasted and will not benefit your main domain ranking. At worse, it can even distract you from working on your main domain and improving its SEO ranking.
But there are situations when using subdomains makes sense and works well for your business. For example, you may want to host your billing application on a separate subdomain, and it's fine to do that because you are not interested in doing SEO for your billing application. You may not even want your billing app pages to appear in Search results.
Another use case of subdomains is when you have a large business with independent business segments. Suppose you are building a website with multiple segments representing different business divisions or target audiences. Then, you can use subdomains to segment different parts of your website to highlight differences in content.
For example, Disney has a couple of subdomains on their website, as seen here.
Each one of these opens a distinct part of Disney's digital experience and makes it easy for visitors to find what they need. Someone who wants amusement park tickets don't need to sift through a list of movies. But remember that you will need to manage SEO for each subdomain separately, which may make sense in your situation.
You can also use a subdomain to create distinctions between different brandings. Meta's main website, for example, mostly caters to individual users. But it has also set up various subdomains for other target markets, such as businesses, creators, and developers.
Another practical application of subdomains is when you need to deploy different applications or offering on separate server space for specific categories or sub-categories. This is what Google's support page does. It groups all queries and information related to technical issues under one subdomain.
Finally, subdomains are ideal for catering to different regions. For example, if you need to host content in various languages, creating a separate platform for each language is easier.
Across these applications, the main thing to remember about a subdomain is that it exists as a separate, independent, and distinct part of your website. Therefore, you will need to manage SEO for each subdomain separately, and the growth in one subdomain will not help the SEO efforts of your main domain or different subdomain.
For a small business website with a small structure, hosting your blog on a subdomain is not a good idea because the SEO benefit you gain from the blog and additional web pages for SEO are lost.
As your trusted SEO provider in Sydney, iVersion is committed to helping your business leverage SEO best practices for success. Our SEO team has extensive knowledge in the industry to help you fine-tune your strategies, including not using subdomains.
Get a free SEO audit report today to see which parts of your website needs work. And then, contact us on how we can improve your website's performance and help you achieve your business goals.
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