Search Engine Optimization with Sub-Domains

When looking to increase both the number of people being reached through a website as well as a site’s page rank, many website owners are utilizing multiple domains to backlink through. There is actually an easier, and of course less costly, way of doing this. It is possible to optimize a site for traffic and page rank by using sub-domains instead of buying multiple domain names.

Understanding Sub-Domains

The first thing to understand about a sub-domain is that they are not separate websites but a secondary domain under the main domain. Perhaps you have seen URLs that are in a format that looks like “understanding.subdomains.com” in which “subdomains.com” is the actual domain while “understanding” is the sub-domain. Search engines actually look at sub-domains as if they were an entirely separate website and the key benefit to the website owner is the greatly reduced cost involved. Not only is it necessary to buy the rights to each domain name but some web hosting companies charge extra for hosting multiple sites over a certain amount that comes with a package deal.

Sub-Domains for Niche Domination

Another key benefit to sub-domains is in the fact that it is possible to capitalize on a niche because each sub-domain will include the main keyword in the address. Since SEO centers on keyword optimization in the name of the domain, that keyword will always be in the sub-domain name. For example, a website might be named “dolls.com” while the sub-domain might be called “handcrafted.dolls.com.” Every time someone searches for dolls that site gains rank as well as every time someone searches for handcrafted dolls. Then it would be possible to expand from there with other sub-domains such as “boy.dolls.com” or “army.dolls.com” or even “china.dolls.com.” The point is that the search engines will not view those sub-domains as part of the primary domain which adds to the rank of the primary.

Proper Use of Sub-Domains

It really isn’t difficult to learn the proper use of sub-domains as it simply takes a bit of common sense and some good old fashioned creativity. The first thing to understand is that this is all about keyword optimization. It is important to choose sub-domain names that are as closely related to your main domain name as possible. Although this might sound like a silly example, you wouldn’t add a sub-domain like “vehicles.pizza.com” to “pizza.com” unless you were selling delivery vans, that is! But you might use a sub-domain like “italian.pizza.com” or “stonebaked.pizza.com.” That is only common sense as the terms are closely related. The best way to create effective sub-domains is to research keywords and choose the most searched for dozen or so. Then simply narrow that list down to the keywords that most closely tie in to the product or service you are selling and you have an instant (and effective!) sub-domain.

You may find that it takes a bit of practice to find the right keywords that closely correlate to your main theme or niche, but after you get the hang of it you will find that it is much easier (and cheaper) working with sub-domains than it is to keep buying up separate domains. Remember, unless you have unlimited funds to work with there really is no reason to buy a ton of domain names. Search engines will see them as separate entities and you can accomplish the same SEO results with a sub-domain as you can with separate domains.