What is a Subdomain?
A subdomain is a second-level domain that is part of a larger domain. Subdomains can be used to create separate web elements within a single domain. For example, the website blog.example.com might be a subdomain of the example.com domain.
More About Subdomains
The Benefits of Using Subdomains
Subdomains were originally created as a way to group related web pages together. For example, if a company was running a blog on their website, they could create a subdomain called “blog.companyname.com” and all of the blog related content would be housed there instead of within the main domain. This helps keep things organized and makes it easier for users to find related information quickly without having to search through multiple menus and links.
Today, subdomains are used for many different purposes including marketing, SEO, branding, content building, and more. They are also used to organize websites in an intuitive way that is easy for users to understand. For instance, rather than having a long URL with several parameters at the end, companies can use subdomains to break up sections of their site into categories that make sense and are easy to navigate.
How to Set Up and Manage a Subdomain
Setting up a subdomain is a relatively straightforward process that will vary depending on the domain registrar you are using.
Generally, you’ll need to access your domain name settings page and input the new subdomain into the “subdomains” field. Depending on the registrar, it may be necessary to manually enter an IP address for your subdomain as well. Once saved, a new CNAME record will be created in your DNS records with your new subdomain prefix pointing towards the main domain.
To learn more about adding a subdomain on DreamHost, click here.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Subdomain
When setting up a subdomain, one of the most common mistakes involves issues with a missing or misconfigured CNAME record. Without this record in place, the subdomain will not be reachable. A CNAME record is an important part of the DNS settings and should always be included when creating a subdomain.
Another common mistake is creating multiple subdomains that are too similar or even identical. This can have a negative impact on your SEO rankings as it will reduce the relevancy of each domain in search engine indexes. It’s important to ensure that each subdomain you create has unique content and serves a distinct purpose from any other related domains or pages.
Finally, don’t forget to set up subdomains as separate properties in Google Search Console. This prevents you from taking full advantage of the search engine optimization and reporting features available for each subdomain.
Subdomain Naming Conventions & Best Practices
Subdomains should be named in a way that is both relevant and meaningful. A good practice for naming subdomains is to include keywords or phrases related to the content on the page, such as “blog” or “tutorials”. This will make it easier for search engines to categorize and index your content. Additionally, avoid using numbers or special characters in your subdomain name as these can be difficult for users to remember and type into their browser.
Wherever possible, it’s beneficial to keep your subdomain names short and descriptive, so visitors can easily recognize them. For example, a subdomain about marketing could be named “marketing” instead of “the-complete-guide-to-marketing”.
Finally, when deciding on a name for a subdomain it’s important to consider any potential legal implications that may arise from its use. Some terms may require additional research to ensure you’re not infringing on any trademarks or other legal rights with the name you choose.
Subdomains vs. Subfolders (or Subdirectories)
Subdomains are different from subfolders (or subdirectories) in that they appear as a separate entity within the domain. A subdomain can be thought of as a separate website, fully hosted on its own domain name and within the same root domain. Subdomains are indexed by search engines separately from the main domain and any other associated subdomains. This means that when creating content for a particular subdomain, you should focus on optimizing it independently from the rest of your website’s content to maximize its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
In contrast, subfolders exist under the same root domain as their main page. For example, if the URL of a main page is example.com, then its subfolder could be located at example.com/subfolder/. Subfolders do not have their own independent indexing by search engines and do not require optimization separately from the main page.
When using subfolders for SEO purposes, ensure that any content created is relevant to both the parent URL and all associated URLs in order to maximize visibility in SERPs.
Strategies for Directing Traffic To Your New Subdomain
When directing traffic to your new subdomain, many of the same principles apply as for driving traffic to any other website or page. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of driving organic traffic to any website. This includes researching and using keywords relevant to your industry that people are likely to use when searching online, and optimizing metadata and content on each page accordingly. Additionally, building link authority by earning backlinks from reputable sources can help increase visibility in SERPs.
Taking advantage of social media marketing can also be a very effective way to drive traffic to a new subdomain. Developing a strategy for outreach on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can draw attention to your content and drive people directly to your website through links shared in posts or tweets.