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  • Subdomain SEO Best Practices

    Subdomain SEO Best Practices

    All websites are not created equally. Many websites use subdomains, which is normal and won’t harm your original website’s SEO in any way. That doesn’t mean you should optimize your subdomains for SEO.

    The topic of subdomains and SEO is tricky for beginners. There is a lot of confusion about what a subdomain is, why it’s important, and how to optimize your subdomains to receive more online visibility.

    In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about subdomain SEO to give you a better idea of how to create a successful strategy.

    What is a Subdomain?

    Understanding Domains and Subdomains

    A subdomain is a domain that’s part of the original website. For example, if your website address is “ABC-shoes.com,” then you could also have an additional subdomain like “subdomain-abc-shoes.com.”

    Subdomains are sometimes used as a way to divide content or create different sections from one site. They’re not always necessary and won’t harm your main domain in any way, but they should still be optimized for SEO purposes when possible.

    What are the Benefits of Using Subdomains?

    Using subdomains can help you increase the amount of content your site has, which is great for those with larger websites.

    Subdomains are also sometimes used to organize specific types of information or give a domain more depth than just one category.

    For example, if your website is about cats then you could create a subdomain “sub-cats” as well and post all cat-related posts on that page instead of being spread out over different sections on the main domain.

    This will make it easier to find what you’re looking for and make it less frustrating when someone’s trying to browse through an entire site at once.

    Subdomain SEO: Best Uses

    Subdomain SEO: Best Uses

    You should only use a subdomain for SEO in very specific cases Below are some scenarios when using a subdomain is appropriate:

    When You Want to Separate Content by Region:

    If you need to publish content targeted at a specific region, then it might be wise to create a subdomain that targets just one area.

    For instance, if you sell shoes and want to promote your product in China but not have the same advertising on other regions of your site, you can create “china-shoes.com” for this specific purpose without affecting SEO for any other countries or pages.

    When You Need Separate Content on Different Topics:

    If two different products require similar information about them like types of materials used or what they’re meant for such as boots vs. sneakers; then instead of creating multiple individual pages across your entire domain, it would make more sense to break these up into two separate subdomains.

    When You Have Both a Mobile Website and an App:

    If you have a mobile website and an app or just two different versions of your site, then it might be worth keeping them separate to avoid any confusion.

    For example, if the “mobile” version is optimized for smartphones with limited screen space while the other has more content that would show up better on a desktop computer, then by separating these into subdomains based on their function they can each serve their intended purpose without sacrificing SEO value from one another.

    Subdomain SEO: Best Practices

    Now that you know what a subdomain is and when you should create one, let’s drill down the basics in optimizing subdomains for SEO. Here are some SEO strategies to follow if you have multiple subdomains.

    Avoid Creating Duplicate Content:

    Duplicate content

    You should never publish the same content on multiple subdomains, even if one is targeted towards a different region. This will lead to duplicate information and confuse readers because your site won’t follow any logical pattern.

    This can also cause duplicate content errors with both Google and Bing and lead to indexing issues.

    Create Backlinks for Every Subdomain:

    Backlinks for your main website will not affect your subdomain. This is because Google deems a subdomain to be a completely different website. For this reason, you’ll need to create link-building campaigns for every subdomain you have.

    Create Different Robot.txt Files for Every Subdomain:

    Robots.txt files are used to tell search engine crawlers which pages on your site they should index or not.

    If you have content on a subdomain that’s meant for Google, then make sure the robots.txt file is set up in such a way that it won’t be indexed by other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.

    Create Different XML Sitemap Files for Every Subdomain:

    XML sitemaps are only necessary if you want your entire website to be crawled more often than just one page at a time because there will be too many individual URLs being requested otherwise.

    It also makes sense to create different ones in order to get an entire picture of what each domain has available without having duplicate entries from either subdomain.

    Track the Analytics of Your Subdomain:

    It’s important to track the analytics for each subdomain so you can see how your SEO efforts are affecting it. If you are using a platform like Google Analytics, you can easily measure the progress of your subdomains and make any necessary adjustments.

    Target Different Keywords with Subdomains:

    This is one of the easiest ways to get higher rankings for your website.

    If you have a subdomain set up as an eCommerce site, then it would make sense to optimize that specific domain by creating content around keywords related specifically to your products or services- such as “buy shoes” and “shoe store.”

    This will not only increase traffic but also help you stand out among competitors because Google looks at keyword usage in order to rank sites (and we all know how competitive this digital world can be!).

    Need Help With Subdomain SEO?

    There are a lot of factors involved in optimizing your subdomains. It’s in your best interest to hire an SEO agency to do all of this work for you. This way, you can save a lot of time and focus on running your business.

    Do you want to learn more about how we can help? If so, contact us today to speak to a member of our team.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter