Subdomains vs. Subfolders

posted by Hare Krishna Dash  |  

Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, isn’t that hard to apply. But when it comes to understanding how it works and all the variables that take part into it, that’s when things get complicated. Subdomains and Subfolders are, among so many other things to consider, part of those variables.

So, when a website owner decides to create a blog for its website, there’s a question that always comes up: Subdomains or Subfolders? Which one is better for SEO purposes?

Before we try to find an answer for this difficult matter, is important to establish the difference between subdomains and subfolders.  When you place a blog in a subdomain, it would be something like this: blog.website.com. On the other hand, placing a blog in a subfolder would be like this: www.website.com/blog. Notice the difference on the domain? Great, let’s continue.

What you need to know about Subdomains?

  • Deciding whether to use a subdomain or not will always depend on your business situation.
  • Keep in mind that search engines treat subdomains as unique websites. This means that even if you have just one domain, if it’s placed in different subdomains, Google will treat each one of them differently.
  • If your website’s purpose is to sell services or products, you’ll probably want to have a presence in more than just one language. In this sense, you’ll be able to establish a subdomain for every language you want to target.
  • Even when franchises focus on the same products, they all have important information such as owner information, phone, address, specials, among others. This content must be called out for each franchise, and subdomains can be set up for every franchise store.
  • Subdomains are a good option if you’re looking for targeting traffic to every product your company offers. This will allow you to focus your marketing strategy in specific products among all the ones that are available.
  • Most of the times, subdomains don’t receive any value from the root domain on which it exists. It’s difficult to consolidate value in just one place when you place a website on a subdomain structure.
  • It’s important to keep mind that every time you create a subdomain it’s like starting all over.

What you need to know about Subfolders?

Once you place your website on a subfolder, all pages besides the homepage will live under your top-level URL. It will be like placing your document folders on your hard drive. In case you need to place more folders within it, you can do it. But the all will be placed under “My Documents”.

Implementing a subfolder-centric navigation approach, instead of using the subdomain-centric navigation approach, has many benefits, such as:

  • Better practices when it comes to synchronization with SEO.
  • Subfolders are easier to integrate with the upcoming digital marketing innovations.
  • An enhanced user experience.

So, as we mentioned before, choosing subdomains or subfolders will depend on the situation of your company and the things you want to achieve. This means that we can’t really establish which one is better, that it’s up to you to decide. Every website owner needs to figure out which one is better for its purposes.

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