What Are Subdomains, Do They Affect SEO & Do I Need One?

A subdomain, also known as a child domain, is a third level domain used to organise content within a website. It is a part of a larger existing domain name, and makes it easier for someone to remember a web address.

Tha's the technical explaination of what a subdomain is. Now the remainder of this article will explain more about subdomains, how they work, and if they affect a website's SEO or not.

Easy to Understand Guide to Subdomains 

Every live website has it's own unique domain name, of which there are different parts. Let's use this as an example:


  • https - is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, used to keep information sent between your site and elsewhere (and in reverse) secure. It is not a domain name.
  • www - this identifies your address as a website. It is not a domain name, and may be missing from some URLs.
  • co.nz - this is the top or first level domain.
  • thedomain - this is the second level or primary domain.
  • elephants - this is the third level or child domain.

So as you can see, subdomains are web addresses to which you have added a third level domain to. A subdomain can consist of any text, but since the aim is to make a URL easy to type and remember, make it a simple one.

What Benefits Do Subdomains Offer?

Not every business website needs or has a subdomain. In fact, as a subdomain is essentially another website, there is the potential for your SEO to suffer. We recommend that you consider things carefully before adding any subdomains. As with anything SEO, nothing is guaranteed. These benefits may or may not occur for you, but have provided positive results for other websites previously:

  • give you a specific place to put specific content
  • create a testing or staging version of your website
  • have a specific mobile site
  • create a seperate eCommerce store
  • provide the opportunity to have your subdomain rank alongside your website in a SERP (search engine results page)
  • for a specific niche
  • only need to buy one domain name
  • have a subdomain for different branches or business locations, such as for a franchaise

Do Subdomains Affect SEO?

When you do anything with your website, there is the potential to affect it's SEO ranking. This includes using a subdomain. But, could using a subdomain affect it positively or negatively?

  • search engines treat subdomains as a different site, so what you put on it content wise won't benefit your main site.
  • you can insert keywords to your domain, which can increase ranking.
  • can create authority for a niche using a subdomain, which is easier than on a site filled with lots of topics.
  • with a subdomain, you're starting your SEO ranking from scratch again.
  • subdomains can accrue brand value in online searches

In conclusion, should you use a subdomain? If your site is large and you want to create a second site which is specifically targeted, then possibly yes. Otherwise we'd say keeping all of your pages on your single main domain is your best choice.

Tags: domain names  

Posted: Friday 7 December 2018