setting up a blog on a subdomain

Is Setting Up a Blog on a Subdomain Worth It?

In the current landscape, blogs provide a valuable resource to any company. Blogs provide fresh, keyword rich, searchable content to search engines and can be a great way to engage an audience. Knowing all this, we realized that setting up a blog would be a great option for a particular client.

The problem is, it’s impossible to add a subdirectory to their current website. That means our only two remaining options are setting up a blog on a subdomain or an entirely separate URL. (For reference in the URL http://valeo.marketing.com/delivers/ “valeo” is a subdomain while “delivers” is the subdirectory). Setting it up on a subdomain made more sense than a brand new domain, but is it as good as a subdirectory?

Unfortunately, in terms of SEO, a subdirectory is better than a subdomain. A subdirectory with a good URL structure will give you a URL like www.mywebsite.com/blog/post-title-here. This is preferable in that it passes more “link juice” to the root domain than a subdomain does. However, for various reasons, it’s not always an option. Since this was the case with a particular client, we’re considering setting up a blog on a subdomain. This would make the “link juice” a little more difficult to pass. However, it does have some advantages over a totally separate domain.

Advantages Setting up a Blog on a Subdomain

  1. Branding – Because the regular domain will be in the URL, it will still be clear to the user that you are closely linked up with the main domain. Compared to a subdirectory, a subdomain is also a crisper, shorter URL.
  2. Authority – Though you don’t get any of the “link juice,” you do get the domain age which can help the blog gain authority pretty quickly.
  3. In 2007, Google did make a change to associate subdomains with primary domains. So, though they are still not as effective as subdirectories, subdomains do pass some link juice on to the main domain.
  4. SERP Saturation – With a subdomain, you could potentially have multiple plages show up in the SERPS. This means if your site is about “water bottles,” both your blog and your main site could rank in the top 10 of google for the query “water bottles”, thus driving more traffic.

Is It Worth It?

So let’s say you are in a situation where a subdirectory (your best option) isn’t a possibility. Should you use a subdomain blog? It depends. If you set up the linking structure correctly, a subdomain blog can be an effective way to draw traffic and link juice to your site. That being said, don’t expect the same ROI you would from a subdirectory blog. More importantly though, you need a client that will maintain, grow, and curate the blog. Since no direct link juice is being passed, links to the primary domain need to be done strategically and intelligently and blog content needs to be updated consistently.

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