Let’s consider you have an amazing website and huge pieces of great content. How do you think you would like to separate the two?
Definitely, using a subdomain! Or, might be, you have a website with various subdomains that you want to promote.
No matter what the case is, in order to get through to those higher rankings, you ought to SEO optimize your subdomains.
So, how can you go about the process?
No need to think much as I’ve got it covered through this post. In this post, I am going to share with you about subdomains, their importance, and why you need to SEO optimize it.
What are Subdomains?
A subdomain is a subset or string of characters preceding the main domain of a website.
For instance, consider this example, ‘www.abc’com.’ In this example, ‘abc’ is the main domain name. And if you create a subdomain for the blog then this subdomain will have its URL as ‘blog.abc.com.’
The good thing about subdomains is that you can create them for absolutely free. Yes, you don’t have to spend any money. Even, you must have seen famous domains of Google, such as scholar.google.com, maps.google.com, mail.google.com, and more.
- The main domain or website is known as TLD or Top-level domain,
- The second website is named as SLD or Second-level domain,
- The third level domain is called as subdomains
Subdomains are absolutely different websites. These sites can have unique content. Also, they can be hosted on completely distinct platforms from the rest of the website. It is a convenient practice that you use to begin a blog using a reliable platform such as WordPress. Here, you can manage the blog or subdomain without changing your main website.
You see, there are numerous top-level domains such as .org, .net, .gov, .edu, and even regional domains like .ru, .it, .etc, .es, and more. It is the second-level domain that makes the website address unique. And finally, the subdomains can have custom names like help., blog., online., store., and more.
Just remember, you can have a free subdomain only when your domain name is registered. But you always have to update the registration with information that you are designing a 3rd-level domain.
Why there is a Need to Create a Subdomain?
You are required to create a subdomain if you have one or more of the following reasons.
1. For Promoting Bulk Content Across Countries and Regions:
Might be your business have offices in different cities or countries. Sure, you would want to promote your business as well as its offerings in a particular region or area.
With the help of subdomains, you can split the local keywords. You can link them for distinct regions so that they don’t compete with each other or overlap.
Also, your subdomain can be a great platform to promote information on a particular topic or subject. For instance, consider the subdomains belonging to Craiglist that are differentiated for each city like Miami.craiglist.org, newyork.craiglist.org, and more. You can also consider subdomains from Amazon that are again separated from different countries like www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.es, and more.
But before you invest in country or region specific domains, you must take into account all the related pros and cons.
2. For Separating the Content Based on their Unique Purpose:
There are some websites that include a different kind of information like blog, product catalog, knowledge base, forum, an area for registered members, and more.
All such content pieces contain distinct information and can serve different functionalities and purposes. In this situation, you can use a subdomain to separate the information from one another.
Consider the subdomains of WooCommerce, which is a customizable e-commerce platform for medium and small businesses.
If you closely check these subdomains, each of them has a different purpose and interface. Similarly, you can differentiate the various content sections of your website like help section, store section, cloud service, blog section, and others.
3. For Differentiating the Content Based on Product Categories:
If you are a retailer store or an e-commerce website, you would have numerous categories of items available for sale. In this case, a subdomain is an easier way to categorize the products as per countries, levels, and other aspects.
The important thing here is that having subdomains makes it easier to run a big website when separated into subdomains. Hence, with subdomains, it becomes easier to manage a big website, with each team responsible to handle a separate subdomain.
4. For Categorizing Bulk Volume of Content:
When you create a subdomain for various product groups on your e-commerce site, it is quite similar to creating 3rd level domains for huge content on big media platforms.
Here, you can consider the example of BuzzFeed, which has its main subdomain. But along with it, there are other subdomains also like
advertise.buzzfeed.com used to advertise service for different brands that want to promote their business,
tech.buzzfeed.com, which collects technology news and tutorials on one platform,
tips.buzzfeed.com, which is a platform to get news.
All these content pieces are absolutely different from each other, but they come under the shed of BuzzFeed. These content pieces target a distinct audience and define different purpose. Hence, they need separate managers to handle the task. Separating them into different subdomains has made it easier to track data on each of the platforms.
5. For Handling the Desktop and Mobile Version of a Website:
The mobile version of a site is like a different site that intends to target different audience using mobile. One excellent way to satisfy the varying needs of mobile users as well as to track the required data is by creating subdomains.
Remember, Google suggests using responsive design as it makes it easier for the developers to maintain it without putting in much efforts and care.
6. For Testing New Things on Your Site:
An excellent thing about subdomains is that it can be used for testing new CMS or designs.
When you test a new CMS on a subdomain, it would not impact your work on the main domain. You just have to launch a new engine for the subdomain, test the features, and explore their best applicability for the website’s functionality.
Also, you can make necessary adjustments to CMS as per the special needs of the hosting service to fine-tune the CMS. Once all tests are done, you can use it on your main domain or for the entire site. This way, your websites can function without interruptions, and generate revenue and traffic.
Moreover, the test subdomains are secured by a password. Also, it is closed for bots of services, which run website audits. This implies you cannot use automated edits to scan the subdomains.
By now, you have learned how subdomains are the best way out to numerous problems. So, it is time you SEO optimize your subdomains so that they can influence the rankings of your main domain.
For this, you just have to practice some techniques!
Best Practices to do SEO for Subdomain:
Before you head on, you must keep in consideration that your domain and subdomains are distinct websites.
1. Define Settings of the Webmaster for Subdomains:
First and foremost, you have to register each of the subdomains in the webmaster panel separately. For this, you have to follow instructions from Google on how you can submit the website properties to Search Console.
While your complete website is tracked by Google Analytics, you can set proper filters, goals, and get adequate reports for your subdomain.
2. Define an Adequate Content Strategy:
If you have identical texts on the subdomain and domain, then they will be considered as a duplicate content. Hence, there is no point in creating subdomains if you cannot provide enough unique content on it. And if the content on subdomain does not differ from the main domain, then both the platforms will come under the category of duplicate content.
It is therefore essential to eradicating all common content or duplicate content issues. This can be done by using rel=canonical for showcasing the prioritizing page. Once you have created an entirely new page for the subdomain, you must interlink it with the domain. Just make sure, you include the subdomain to the sitemap of the website so that it can be indexed fast.
In order to let your subdomains rank well in the search engine results, you have to develop a link profile from scratch. It is because the backlinks of the main domain do not spread the authority to the subdomains. Moreover, there are instances when subdomains may differ drastically from the main domain page. For such reasons, it is important that you must create separate backlinks for the subdomains page.
Only then you can expect higher SEO rankings for your subdomain.
4. Consider the Technical Aspect:
Further, you need to consider the technical aspect of your subdomain. You require different robots.text files for each of the subdomain. An important thing to note is that the www.robots. textfile is different for each subdomain and will not be valid for any subdomain or main domain.
Moreover, you also require separate XML maps. You need to include the ahreflang attribute for the subdomains created in distinct languages. In order to make it easier for Google to index the subdomain, you must interlink it to the main domain.
However, don’t consider that the domain will support your subdomain to rank higher. You have to perform different SEO for them and begin the SEO for each subdomain from scratch.
5. Closely Monitor the SEO Results for Subdomains:
It is possible to track the subdomains as well as main domain together or separately, based on your preferences.
If you select to track subdomains and main domain together, you have to make necessary changes in the settings. You can check the advanced options and include a checkmark in the checkbox.
Hence, this service will take into consideration all pages of the subdomains when you calculate the SERP rankings.
Alternatively, if you select to track each subdomain separately, you are required to create a separate project for each subdomain that you wish to monitor. For this, you have to enter the address of the subdomain into the site’s URL. This way, you will be able to check the rankings for a particular subdomain only.
Does Subdomain Effects SEO for Website or Main Domain?
Google is far more intellectual and is aware of how closely the main domain and subdomains are inter-related. But if the technical aspects are considered, then both of them are two distinct websites. For this, you can consider the example of a website created as subdomains for the domain .wordpress.org.
It straightaway answers that a subdomain cannot harm the SEO rankings of the main domain. But things can be different if you have malware subdomains. If you have one or more malware subdomains, Google can label the entire website as malicious. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to make sure that none of the subdomains is malicious.
Moreover, if you try hard to push the domains or subdomains in search of the same query, Google can label a penalty to your main domain. Hence, always use the subdomain and main domain to serve different queries and target a different audience.
But there can be the worst scenario as well. This is when you identify indexed subdomains, which you are not aware of, with the same content. Such subdomains are very harmful and the worst part is that they are very difficult to find.
To Sum Up:
It is great to create subdomains and you even now know how to SEO optimize them. However, handling them can be quite difficult, if you don’t know exactly how to do it. Therefore, make sure you create subdomains only when you need it.
In addition to this, you must clearly define your goal or purpose from the subdomain and must then design it accordingly. Most importantly, your subdomain can be a part of your main domain, but it must be absolutely different from it in terms of content, SEO, target audience, purpose, and more.
Finally, do hide the subdomains including confidential details from the search engines. And if you are planning to create numerous subdomains then you must have the necessary workforce to handle the same.