SUBDOMAINS ARE BAD FOR YOUR WEBSITE AND HERE’S WHY…
Let us guess, your shiny new website is now ready and you want to add the icing on the cake by creating a sub-domain to host the Blog.
It’s safer to assume at this stage, you have been reading SEO topics non stop for quite a while only to realise that this is also a critical part of generating index-able content, but at the same time you’ve doubted yourself when it came to your blogs sustainability, and what we mean by that is generating contents frequent enough and make them revolve only around the products you offer on your site.
Spoiler Alert: We are here to tell you, from personal experience, it’s possible. Although it’s nowhere close to anything related to the word ‘fun’ but it’s possible.)
So now that you’ve been convinced in the knowledge that having a blog is a necessary part of content marketing (which is the main ingredient needed for effective SEO), but now you need to find a place (domain address) to put it.
You would be surprised if we told you how many people got their website developed without a blog in mind, and now you’re convinced that you need to fit a blog in it somewhere.
Depending on what you have been searching and where you are getting your information from, you may have read about two different options.
1. Set up your blog on a sub-domain of your website, creating something that looks like: www.blog.yourdomain.ie
2. Set up a blog on a sub-folder, like: www.yourdomain.ie/blog
You may be thinking of the third option that you could put it on a .blogger blog, you need to stop that right now!
Let’s take a look at the differences between sub-domains and sub-folders and see why one is so preferable over the other.
# Sub-domains are treated as a different website.
By setting up the blog.website.ie sub-domain solution, what you are doing here is essentially setting up an entirely different website.
And the truth is that Google and Bing will indeed crawl and index both of them, but doing it this way you are simply limiting the full potential of your online marketing efforts.
When you decide to separate your website and blog, by doing so it also creates two separate entities that need your equal attention.
It’s like taking two girlfriends or boyfriends on a date out at the same time.
And now, with things like ‘time spent on site’ also known as the ‘Bounce Rate’ contributing to your website rankings, you just cannot afford to let users spend their time on pages that Google and Bing sees as a different domain to your main website.
Here is our explanation in practical terms:
1. All pages on your sub-domain won’t add to your total indexed pages for a site.
Google and Bing are looking at how much you expand and enrich your content, and splitting your blog through a sub-domain will make it appear as though your website is totally static while the sub-domain is getting more traffic, thus; attention!
2. All the inbound links, well written blogs naturally attract will not contribute any value to your website. So all your work won’t contribute to your site rankings like it could.
If you have your blog and website properly integrated, on the other hand, Google and Bing will see that the traffic to your website as one entity that continues to grow while generating traffic.
This translates to search engines like Google and Bing as a website that has some obvious authority and deserves higher rankings.
As long as you keep your blog on a sub-directory or sub-folder, it will keep the search engine bots coming to your main website to re-crawl and index your site time and time again.
# So Why Do Companies Use Sub-domains?
The fact is that blogs on sub-domains provide very little to no SEO value, some companies still choose to divide up their brand like this way and usually those companies have a team of employees that are dedicated to content generation and marketing.
It can also be down to infrastructure concerns. Their website might also be very old which could make it extremely difficult to add new content in any other way.
Other instances when sub-domains are valid options include medium to large but temporary promotional landing pages and seasonal offers etc.
Sometimes you may want to create a sort of microsite and host it on “contest.website.ie” so that it can be easily removed when the contest is over.
In this case, a sub-domain may be a good option because it probably doesn’t matter if those pages are getting much value from link building efforts.
Those pages are, by nature, temporary and you probably don’t need them to rank for anything major for your main site.
Of course, sometimes you may want to segment your audience.
Wikipedia is a good example here. Wikipedia wants to make sure you’re getting information in your native language, so they will separate the English (en.wikipedia.com) from the Japanese (jp.wikipedia.com).
So, the question becomes whether or not you need to deal with that kind of geo-targeting on your website.
If you deal mainly with the Irish audience, then no. You don’t.
However, if you are going international, and you are providing different products or services at different price points, then you may want to use a sub-domain structure to keep everything organised.
Having said that, though, be sure to talk to your SEO consultant about it.
Sub-directories may still be the better option for you.
# Our Recommendation
While there may be some valid reasons to use sub-domains, if at all possible, we recommend avoiding them if you can.
Blog integration is an extremely important part of your content marketing, and more and more of your SEO is going to rely on that high-quality, regularly produced content as time passes on.
You do not want to separate all that good stuff from your main domain.
As a hardcore online marketing and company growth perspective, you need to be focused on directing as much traffic as possible to your main domain site.
When your website and blog are integrated as a sub-folder structure , all of your SEO efforts will be focused on one thing, rather than split between the two different sites.
At Brains.ie we would like to know your thoughts on this subject.
What blog domain method did you select for your blog?
Why not let us know?
We’d love to hear from our readers just like you!