In this article, we are going to talk about these terms that may appear and also present what is best for your marketing strategy: using a subdomain or a subdirectory?
When we start investing in Content Marketing, one of the first steps is to create a blog. At this point, many may have the following question: use a subdomain or a subdirectory?
Before that, questions may arise about what is a subdomain or a subdirectory and other terms that appear when creating a website.
To help you out, in this article Blue World City will talk about these terms that may appear and present the best alternative, subdomain or subdirectory, depending on your objective.
Explaining some terms: domain, subdomain, subdirectory and parked domain
Domain is the identification name of a website, for example, resultsdigitais.com.br. It is formed by the name and the extension: resultsdigitais is the domain name and .com.br is the extension.
A domain is unique and to be used it is necessary to register it. You can register a domain on a website that is associated with the agencies responsible for the extensions that you intend to register, which in most cases is a paid service. One of the most common is Registro.br, responsible for the .com.br extension.
Other extensions can be privately registered. This is the case of non-governmental organizations that use org.br, for example.
Subdomain is an address that is part of the domain, that is, it is a branch of the domain. It is usually possible to create as many subdomains as you like from one domain.
The subdomain uses the main domain and is differentiated by adding another name in addition to the domain name. For example: agenciasderesultados.resultadosdigitais.com.br.
As advantages, through the subdomain, it is possible to have related sites, as well as cost cutting and indexing different from the main domain.
Subdirectory is a directory or folder created from the main website. For example: resultsdigitais.com.br/blog.
You can group multiple subdirectories, such as file folders on your computer. It can also have multiple levels such as resultsdigitais.com.br/relacionar/email-marketing/.
Parked domain is a domain directed to your website, it works as a reflection of the main domain.
In a practical way you can have two domains: resultsdigitais.com.br and resultsdigitais.com. When someone accesses resultsdigitais.com, which is the parked domain, they are directed to resultsdigitais.com.br, which is the main domain.
After all, is it better to use subdomain or subdirectory?
Now that you know some of the related terms, the question remains: is it better to create a subdomain or a subdirectory for my blog?
It all depends on your goal.
Improve placement in search engines
If the focus is on improving results with organic search, a subdomain may not be the best option, as Google considers the subdomain to be a different domain and not part of the same site. In other words, you will have to build the authority of your subdomain and this will not generate results for your main domain.
In this case, use a subdirectory, as it will benefit from the authority that your domain already has, which facilitates a good ranking in search pages.
If you already have a good front-page position and your goal is to popularize your business and increase traffic to your website, you should create a subdomain. You basically open more visitor gateways to your website content, increasing the chances of achieving SERP Domination.
SERP Domination is about getting multiple links on the first page of search engines and not just having one well-positioned link. With differentiated SEO work for your domain and subdomain, you can have more links pointing to your site on the first pages, even for more specific terms.
For example, the Google search results for the keyword “Inbound Marketing for traditional companies” show the Digital Results domain and the subdomain for agencies, agenciasderesultados.resultadosdigitais.com.br.
This result doubles the chance of someone clicking on a Digital Results link, increasing site traffic.
Sites in other languages
This is another example where the best option is to use the subdirectory.
Even in rankings in different countries, your domain will benefit from links on pages in other languages, positively influencing the ranking of all content on your site. Example: seusite.com/pt and seusite.com/en.
If your company operates in different segments and intends to create content targeted to each target audience, you can choose to use a subdomain or not. Again, it will depend on your objective, but also how competitive your scenario is.
If the keywords for a particular segment are very popular and you want to guarantee the authority of your domain. The most suitable is to use subdirectories.
If you want to compete for long tail keywords (low competition) and increase traffic (SERP Domination), have a good SEO job and a competitive subdomain.
When we analyze how the addresses of the websites of companies are, we can easily see that most use their own brand in the address, with the extension .com.br.
In a few cases, we find those who use .net or .org, but rarely use other possibilities and variations.
Nic.br recently approved the use of special extensions for cities in Brazil. João Pessoa (jampa.br), Florianópolis (floripa.br) and Porto Alegre are some of the cities with extensive sites available.
In addition to this new feature, there are a number of extensions that can be used to register your domain, increasing the engagement of your target audience.
Different extension: alternative or main for your site?
There are several factors that we must take into account when choosing the domain for our website.
Using a less conventional extension, when it’s aligned with your business purpose, can be a great way to make your website address memorable and authentic.
There are so many extensions available that it’s quite likely that by choosing a less classic one, you’ll get a short address that’s totally relevant to your area.
Some examples of extensions versus business types:
- .blog: if you have a blog, be it personal or for your company, nothing is more relevant than using the .blog extension to mark the objective of this environment.
- .tech: work with technology? No matter if you deal with software development or any other IT service, ending your domain with .tech you can, through your website address, associate your brand with the main activity of your business.
- .press: this is the ideal extension for anyone working in journalism. Are you a press officer? Do you have a news portal and want to make your position clear in your browser’s address bar? So welcome to the .press domain.
Why using multiple domains and extensions might be a good idea?
If you have already registered your domain name with the extension .com.br, this is no reason to think that you don’t need to think about it anymore.
Planning the registration of other domain names and redirecting them to your main one can, in addition to providing the opportunities mentioned above, avoid a lot of headaches.
A strong online presence is essential to attract more customers and improve conversions. In Landing Pages, for example, specific domain and extension names, which are associated with your product or service, can have a big impact on your users’ behavior, giving a boost to your campaign’s success.
For this and many other reasons it is advisable for businesses today to have multiple domains.
Example of extensions that can be used for different types of engagement:
- .space for communities: if you are part of a marketing team or have your own business, you can use this extension to create your own forum or community and generate a sense of belonging with your audience.
- .fun for quizzes and games: how about increasing the engagement of your audience by launching some kind of quiz or game related to your service’s area of expertise? Create a yourgame.fun domain to make your content even more memorable.
- .store for a store: do you have an online store? How about associating the .store extension and using it to promote your business?
- .poa.br, floripa.br and jampa.br for local businesses: create a differential in your local business using extensions that your target audience identifies with. Ventures from several cities in Brazil already have the advantage of having exclusive extensions of their cities at their disposal.
4 reasons for you to consider when choosing multiple domains for your website
1. Make your site easier to find and limit competition
Most of the time, people remember your brand name, but not necessarily your website.
Thus, whenever your consumers have to visit your company’s website, chances are they may forget the domain extension, whether .com, .com.br or .net.
Registering multiple domain extensions for your primary domain will ensure your online identity is secure, preventing your competitors from buying alternative domain name extensions and ending up diverting traffic from your audience.
2. Positioning for local or international businesses
We’ve already mentioned that using an extension can help you position your local business more effectively with your target audience.
Likewise, if you have a business with an international presence, by registering a domain with a specific extension of a geographic origin, such as .co.uk, .us or other, you gain relevance among users.
These country-specific extensions will let visitors know that you are present in those locations, as well as help you establish your brand in those countries.
Having more than one extension for your website gives you an added advantage and, at the same time, it doesn’t require a lot of effort. Instead of creating a separate website for each of the extensions, you can simply redirect visitors from the alternative extensions to your main website.
3. Not to lose direct traffic
Do you know what direct traffic is? This type of traffic occurs when a user types your domain directly into the browser. In this case, unlike referral traffic (when he clicks on a link from another media), he needs to know exactly your website address so as not to go wrong.
You can identify common misspellings linked to your brand and register these variations as extra domains. These additional domains will help you redirect visitors looking for your main site, ensuring they visit your main site.
It is always time to review your domain registration strategy and think carefully about which domains extra to your main one should be worked on. This turns out to be a cost-effective way to protect your brand online and not lose visitors.
With more domains, it will be easier for users to find your website on the web, making your brand more dynamic and visible.
4. Each extension makes it easy to find your ideal available address
Each domain extension, in addition to the classic .com and .com.br, ends up being an extra opportunity for creative entrepreneurs to promote the growth of their brand and engagement with their audiences.
A great advantage of alternative extensions is that, in general, there are a greater number of domain combinations that have not yet been used.
As they are new or usually ignored by the public when hosting and registering a new website, there are many domain possibilities still available.
Cautions when changing domains
Change of domain is a very delicate action. Many people complain that when they change the domain site they lose organic traffic and link positions in search results. However, this only happens when the exchange is done incorrectly.
To change your domain safely, some precautions need to be taken.
1 – Leave the two domains coexisting for a while
The first one is in relation to the maintenance of the old domain. What we have to keep in mind is that for a short period of time the current domain and the new domain must coexist.
So, right after you publish the new domain, keep the old one active for a while longer. Both must be “alive” for a period of time so that this transition is smooth and doesn’t jeopardize your authority.
2 – Create a sitemap for the new domain
The next step is to make a sitemap for domain 2. We’ve already commented on sitemaps in another post and also in Advanced Search on Google, but it’s always good to emphasize about it.
In short, the sitemap is a file that Google looks for when it arrives at your site to understand some of its information architecture. Therefore, it is highly recommended that it exists and that it is hosted on your server.
It’s basically a file to communicate with Google, and that will explain how your new domain is structured.
However, first of all you need to confirm ownership of this new domain. Google needs to be informed that you really own this domain, and the way to do this is through the Google Search Console tool, formerly called WebMaster Tools.
The moment you confirm ownership of your domain via Search Console, you can tell Google where your site’s sitemap is hosted.
3 – Apply canonical tags
Since the two domains are still coexisting until this step, what you need to do is tell Google which domain should be considered over the old one. For this, it is necessary to apply a canonical tag, which is nothing more than a snippet of html code that must be inserted in the <head> of your site, warning or pointing with a link which is the original url or which url is Google should take this into consideration at this point.
Example: <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.novaurl.com.br” />
Also read Redirect 301 and Canonical Tag: Why are they important for SEO and when to use
What should be done at this point is to revisit the pages from domain 1 and point a canonical tag to domain 2. On the other hand, what should not be done is to take all the pages from domain 1 and point a canonical tag to the home of the domain. domain 2. Don’t do this, the correct way to apply the canonical tag is page by page.
Example: take “home” from old domain and point to “home” from new domain, take talk to us from old domain and point to “talk to us” from new domain, and so on.
The canonical tag, in addition to warning that the old domain should be disregarded because it is a copy or a duplicated version of the new domain, will also pull much of the authority of the old domain and will transfer it to the urls of the new domain.
So, when a new domain is launched, it is not actually born from scratch, as it already carries the strength of the old domain.
After applying the canonical tags, what you have to do is go back to the sitemap and analyze how many urls of this new domain are already indexed, that is, they are already on Google’s server.
When the time comes when you upload your sitemap in Search Console, you can read some relevant information like how many urls are present in that sitemap and how many have not been indexed yet.
So, especially on your site’s content pages, when a good index level is reached (above 90%), it will be time to go for the last slap and, now yes, kill the old site
4 – Make a Redirect 301
The last step to correctly migrate from one domain to the other is to redirect 301 of all pages from the old domain to the new domain. It is now that the old site will effectively cease to exist and leave the space open only for the new site.
But why this redirect just now? Because only after completing these steps is it guaranteed that Google understands that there is a new site, that it has indexed this new site and that the authority of the old pages has been transferred to the new ones. After the 301 redirect done on the pages, whoever tries to access the old url from now on will be automatically redirected to the new domain.
And why redirect 301 and not redirect 302?
Well, the 301 redirect is the permanent redirect. It is this function that involves passing on authority relevance from the old page to the new page. If you put a 302 redirect, there won’t be this transfer of authority to the other.
Then, the new page would be without the relevance of the old page, as if it just came out of nowhere. That’s why in this case it is more recommended to use the 301 redirect.
Suggestion for anyone creating a website or blog
Our initial suggestion for those who decided to start a blog is that you should not use a free address (URL). Sites like UOL, WordPress, Blogger and others have very attractive free service offers, in addition to being simple services to configure and start using.
However, they are not the best options for you to start your company’s blog. Because? Well, we’ll present three reasons to justify the suggestion:
1 – Free domains do not give you full autonomy
The first reason is that you want to have complete control over what happens inside your company. And that extends to her website.
When you use a free domain, you are restricted to always using that same platform, becoming limited to what is offered by it. Any modification you want to make or new technology you want to implement may be unfeasible.
2 – Your domain is your brand!
The second reason is brand enforcement. Do you accept a printer to put her logo on your business card? So why should you accept other brands entering your blog address?
In addition, a free address conveys an amateur image, which can greatly damage the blog’s credibility.
For example, which address would you click on?
As you can see, a proper address can make a lot of difference to your audience, as it conveys a more authentic and professional idea.
3 – Blogs with their own domains have an advantage in SEO
The third reason is that by opting for a free address, your company’s website does not receive one of the main benefits provided by a blog: being better positioned in Google for the important keywords in your business.
When searching for terms related to your blog, your company’s domain will not appear, as your blog will be just a subdomain within the free service you will be using (ex: http://yourcompany.blog.uol.com. br).
Thus, all external links that your blog receives will give authority to this other service, and not to your own company’s website.
In short: If your company already has a website, remember that your blog must be on the same domain as that website. Only then does it make sense to work with content optimization for search engines.
Bonus: free domain doesn’t allow you to have a personalized email
If your company is starting with a blog and does not have a website of its own, another reason not to use a free service concerns its channel of contact with your audience.
With a free domain, in which the hostname comes with the extension, it is impossible to create a friendly email that matches your brand.
Answer what seems most professional to you:
Easy, isn’t it?
If you are looking for professionalism in your company, one of the fundamental steps is to have a personalized email with your brand, or in this case, with your domain.
As we’ve seen in this article, determining the best strategy, subdomain or subdirectory, is directly linked to your goal. You don’t have to choose between one or the other, you can use both strategies for different goals. That is, regardless of which one to use, what is not recommended is simply not making content.
Also, if you are creating a website or blog, using toll-free addresses is not a scalable business practice for your blog and anytime you need to migrate. And this migration will result in a very large rework.
The ideal address is a subdomain or subfolder of your company’s domain. It can be “blog.suaempresa.com.br” or “www.suaempresa.com.br/blog”. This format, in addition to providing SEO gains for the company, implies that the blog is a part of the site and that there is a company behind it.