Before we start, let us first say – we are well-aware that subdomains are considered a dubious matter in the world of SEO. Namely, the popular opinion is that it’s better to have several main domains so your rankings don’t suffer.
The real question is – is it always the case? Well, not necessarily!
In fact, if you learn to use them wisely and to your advantage, subdomains can be highly beneficial for your business.
1. Boost Brand Recognition
Let’s imagine you have a product you want to improve or a product line which range you want to extend. At the same time, you already have a recognizable brand name. Now, instead of creating a different website for each product, using subdomains is not only easier but it will also further improve brand recognition and share the SEO juice.
For example, you run a website that specializes in selling fitness and workout clothes. Since the business took off, you now want to extend your range of products and include different sports apparel and equipment. To make use of an already popular brand name (and to take advantage of the opportunity to popularize it even more), you can use subdomains for each distinct sport you plan to market. Such site layout gives you a logical URL structure which keeps your branding intact, while also making your website structure user-friendly.
This works well with generic, “can-provide-you-with-almost-anything” domains as well. Just look at what Amazon is doing – they came up with a distinctive subdomain for some of their more specific offers and services, such as https://developer.amazon.com/ where you can sell your apps, https://services.amazon.com/ where you can sell your own products or https://advertising.amazon.com/ where you can advertise the products or services you offer. That’s what we call a proper branding strategy!
2. Create a Place for Customer Support
If you have a service or a product you’re selling, chances are you’ll need to set up customer support or how-to page. And why not create a “support.yoursite.com” subdomain? Doing so can improve customer experience since it will make it so much easier for people to get around your site and get the help they need in no time.
In addition, creating a support subdomain will enable your support team to categorize and track any customer request, because you’ll avoid having such a wide range of information on the main domain. This kind of setup will significantly increase the efficiency of both parties – those who are looking to have an issue resolved, and those trained to resolve it.
Even though a customer support website has a completely different function and purpose than your regular sales site, keeping your branding consistent and your customers satisfied is an imperative of every successful business.
3. Build a Hub for Your Employees
A subdomain is a perfect fit in case you decide to create an “employee entrance only” online space for your staff members. Such an environment can have numerous different uses – from communicating and exchanging information with colleagues, providing resources, support and guidance to team members, to organizing training sessions and private consultations.
We say – go ahead and build a place where your employees can have free eBooks and videos, tips and tricks on every potential bump on the road they may have, a community support forum, and other information readily available to them. It will do wonders when it comes to productivity and efficiency.
4. Handpick your Visitors
This idea might be especially alluring if your profession is considered industry-specific.
If you are, for instance, a musician trying to make a name for yourself, you are probably using your website not only to sell your music but also to get in touch with industry insiders, such as various managers, agents, label executives, and so on. The details (especially personal information) you want to share with them are probably completely different than those you share with your fans. And that’s where having a subdomain proves to be really handy.
Make your subdomain hidden from Google, so that the only visitors are the ones you personally direct there, and voilà – now you can share all the info you want without the fear that your address or phone number will become publicly visible.
5. Think Globally, Act Locally
Another amazing way you could benefit from having subdomains is to use them to target a specific local area in different countries, cities, or states. Aside from simplifying the structure of your website, it will also help you improve your website optimization and ranking.
Let’s say you have an online pet shop and notice that a particular city has a high number of purchases. Basically, your products are sold like hot cakes among animal-lovers who live there. Don’t wait too long – create a local subdomain and start optimizing it as soon as possible if you want to see your business growing.
6. Have a Risk-free Testing Sandbox
Once you have your main website up and running, you probably don’t want to do anything that will disrupt it in any way or, even worse, cause it to crash. But you’d probably still like to be able to change a thing or two from time to time. Now, this is not an issue if you are tech-savvy and know exactly what you’re doing, but things might escalate quickly if you and Richard Hendricks have nothing in common.
Here’s where subdomains come to your aid – you may use them as a place where you’ll be testing the changes you wish to make, before actually making them on the main site. Think of a subdomain as a giant sandbox which allows you to try out new plugins, blog themes, additional features, or different software. Also, you can use a subdomain to test out your site’s backup and see whether it actually works.
With such a safe testing playground, you’ll know exactly how any change is going to affect your main website without having to tamper with (and, potentially, mess up) any built-in settings.
7. Create a Space for Yourself
If you want to create a well-known online personal brand and you’ve already registered a personal .ME domain, why not take advantage of the opportunity and use a subdomain to create your own online place to do with it what you see fit.
Whatever you’d like to use it for, you’ll be able to – the world is your oyster. From blogging for friends and family, writing a personal diary, uploading photos and recipes, making a travel journal and recording special occasions, to backing up files, installing multisites, managing your tasks, creating and organizing your itineraries, and so much more.
Actually, there’s little you can’t do with your personal subdomain.
To Sum Up
Subdomains can take the load off your main website while giving you the opportunity to improve various aspects of your business, such as customer satisfaction, brand awareness, employee productivity, optimization, and ranking of your website.
When it comes to deciding when and how to use them, take a moment to think about the right strategy for you and your business.
And just remember – be creative and have fun in the process.