If you’re building a website today, and your business needs to create addresses for different online directories, it can be hard to figure out the best way to go about it.
There’s a lot of debate about this topic on the internet, so the question to ask yourself is: “Should I use subdirectories or subdomains?”
Figure: Difference between subdirectories and subdomains
The general consensus is that if you are starting from scratch, it’s better to use subdirectories as they’re easier to maintain and less time-consuming in the long-term. However, if you already have a domain and a lot of legacy structures in place, using subdirectories could be a big change and might not be worth it. You would need to update your properties in Google Analytics, your Google Search Console settings, a lot of redirects, and much more.
Keep in mind, Google is now smart enough to work this out for you – it's just an extra step for Google’s bots. Watch the official video from Google Webmasters below on YouTube to find out more about this:
Figure: Video - Subdomain or subfolder, which is better for SEO?
Do you know how Sub-directories and Sub-domains effect your SEO?
You want to launch a new blog on your website, do you know the pros and cons of Sub-directories vs Sub-domains and how they effect your Search engine optimization (SEO)?
Here's a quick snap shot of the pros and cons:
Sub-directory (also known as Sub-folder) e.g. ssw.com.au/blog - (Recommended)
- Integrates much better with the main-site for better user-experience ✔️
- Easier to track with Google Analytics ✔️
- Backlinks and social mentions generated from this link (e.g.: a blog) is better for Google juice ✔️
- Does not help generate backlinks for which the anchor text that you control (e.g. editorial links within a blog copy) ❌
Sub-domain e.g. blog.ssw.com.au
- Verify sub-domains separately ✔️
- Might be technically easier to create ✔️
- Track performance per sub-domain ✔️
- Will not rank highly or as quickly as a sub-folder ❌
- Needs to establish its own rep/credibility through backlinks from other sites. ❌
- Visits to sub-domain are not included in your original sites website visits (not included in Google Analytics) ❌
In short, use the set-up that works for you and think about the long term plan.
But for now, for SEO purposes - sub-folders are the recommended way to go.