Keyword in Subdomain and SEO: What You Need to Know

February 8, 2024
Keyword in Subdomain | Cover Image

What is Keyword in Subdomain?

A ranking factor in the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to certain criteria applied by search engines when evaluating web pages in order to determine their position in search results. “Keyword in Subdomain” is one such factor. It’s the practice of including relevant keywords within the subdomain name of a website’s URL.

Imagine you are in a large library looking for a specific book. The library is organized into sections (domains) with various aisles (subdirectories) and shelves (subdomains). Finding the book becomes much easier when the shelves are labeled accurately according to the topics or keywords. A shelf labeled “Gardening” might hold books specifically about gardening. If you were looking for a book on herb gardening, a shelf subtly labeled “Herb Gardening” (akin to a keyword-focused subdomain) would be exactly where you would head. This organization helps you, the visitor, find exactly what you’re looking for quickly and efficiently.


Why is Keyword in Subdomain Important in SEO?

Judicious use of keywords in subdomains offers SEO benefits, including:

  • Improved Relevance Signaling: Aligning your subdomain with a keyword instantly indicates the content’s topic, enhancing relevance for users and search engines.
  • Targeted Focus: Subdomains help target niche audiences or geographical regions.
  • Potential Visibility Boost: If the subdomain is seen as authoritative and relevant, it may rank well for its target keywords, contributing to the website’s overall visibility and traffic for those specific search terms.


How Keyword in Subdomain Affects SEO?

Including a keyword in your subdomain can positively impact SEO by:

  • Targeting niche markets: It allows you to tailor your subdomains to specific parts of your audience, improving targeted traffic.
  • Link Building: Subdomains can acquire their own backlinks, which can help build the overall domain’s authority.
  • User Experience: By creating direct, relevant pathways to the information or products users are searching for, you can improve engagement metrics, which are key to SEO performance.


When to Use a Subdomain vs. Subfolder?

Choosing between a subdomain or a subfolder for your content depends on your site’s structure and goals. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Subfolders: Best for content closely related to your main domain to fully leverage the existing domain authority.
  • Subdomains: Ideal for content that is significantly distinct from your main focus, aims to build its own brand, or targets a unique keyword set or location.


Things to Keep in Mind

  • Not a Ranking Shortcut: Keywords in subdomains, while helpful, are a small factor. Prioritize high-quality content and an excellent user experience.
  • Semi-Separate Sites: Google sometimes treats subdomains as almost standalone sites. They need to build their own authority with quality content and backlinks.
  • Technical Considerations: Ensure proper canonicalization (pointing to the preferred version) between your subdomains and main domain to avoid duplicate content issues.



Does having a keyword in my subdomain guarantee higher rankings?

No, while it can help signal relevance to search engines, high rankings are the culmination of numerous factors including quality content, user experience, page speed, and more. Keywords in subdomains are just one part of a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Is it better to use a subdomain or a subfolder for SEO?

It depends on the structure and goals of your website. Subfolders are generally recommended for most content as they inherit the authority of the main domain. However, subdomains can be useful for separating out content that is significantly different or for targeting specific keywords or audiences.

How many keywords should I include in my subdomain?

Keep it to a single, relevant keyword or phrase that accurately describes the content or focus of the subdomain. Overstuffing your subdomain with keywords can appear spammy to both users and search engines.



“Keyword in Subdomain” is an SEO strategy that involves inserting a relevant keyword into the subdomain part of your website’s URL. While not the most critical ranking factor, it can contribute to a website’s overall SEO performance by improving relevancy, targeting, and user experience. However, it’s crucial to remember that the ultimate goal of SEO should always be about providing value to your audience with high-quality, engaging content, and a great user experience. Incorporating keywords naturally into your SEO plan, including into subdomains when appropriate, should be part of a broader, comprehensive SEO strategy.

February 8, 2024

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