Should you host your blog on a subdomain or a subfolder for SEO

7 minutes read
Sarah - 26.01.2022
Should you host your bold on a subdomain or subfolder for seo?


We all know that having a blog on your website is a sure way of generating more web traffic and eventually more leads, but many HubSpot clients are wondering whether using the subdomain will hurt their SEO instead of using a subfolder.

Businesses that blog get 55% more web visitors than businesses that don’t, that’s according to HubSpot.

And those that blog generate an average of 67% more leads per month compared to businesses that don’t have a regularly updated blog - according to DemandMetric.

So the benefits from a traffic and lead generation standpoint are obvious.

But when it comes to SEO, there’s always an argument in marketing circles about whether you should host your blog as a subfolder on your main website, or as a subdomain in its own right.

As always with search marketing, there’s no easy answer, and it can all come down to your preference.

To help you understand the ups and downs of each option, here’s a quick guide to the subject.

What is a subfolder?

In a typical website hierarchy, a ‘subfolder’ is literally just a folder that sits within the main domain.

Here’s a simple example using our own website.

Our main domain is

We host our blog as a subfolder on our website, the URL for which is: (you should check out blog page out by the way because it’s full of other great tips for improving your inbound marketing through blogging, video and ABM - among other things)

For service pages, this subfolder hierarchy can get more granular as you drill down but for a blog it’s pretty simple.

The only time it can get more complicated is if you’re running separate brands from the same blog, or you have separate blogs targeting different segments of your market.

The pros of using a subfolder for your blog

The main SEO benefit of having a subfolder for your blog, is it keeps your blog, the traffic it gets and the backlinks it generates (plus all the authority it gets) connected to your main website.

As your main domain grows in authority, your subfolders will get some of that authority trickled onto them, and their authority will rise as a result.

With some internal linking, you can also share the SEO authority of the subfolder blog page with other pages on your website, improving the overall SEO performance.

It can also be easier to find your way around because you simply click on the blog link on the main domain, and you go to the blog - simple.

Plus, provided you don’t go overboard with the subfolders and keep your URLs relatively short and user friendly, you can create a tonne of industry-specific blog pages or landing pages to drive segments of your audience towards.

So, obviously, you should just use a subfolder?

Not quite.

The cons of using a subfolder

While subfolders are great for creating layers of pages on your website that can each earn their own page authority, and stay connected to your main domain, you can go overboard.

For a blog, it’s not usually such a problem as most websites simply use a single subfolder - usually a single blog - to host all the content.

But, if you create too many connected subfolders it can become a nightmare for SEO and the user.

Having subfolders within subfolders, like “blog/marketing blog/SME marketing blog” as an example simply moves pages further and further away from the main domain, meaning any authority they get can be hard to pass back.

Plus, a complicated subfolder structure can be difficult for web crawlers to get around, meaning you risk blogs not being found and indexed by search engines, and ruining any SEO benefits you might have had.

From a user experience, all these subfolders are a bad thing too, because the URL just gets longer and longer so as the user gets further away from the main domain or page they were on, it can be hard to find their way back and you risk them just giving up and going somewhere else.

So, if you’re going to go down the subfolder route, the best advice is to keep it simple and stick to as few folders as you can.

But what does that mean for subdomains?

What is a subdomain?

A subdomain isn’t that different to a subfolder in theory, in the sense that it follows a website hierarchy under the main domain.

But in this case, each subdomain is essentially treated as its own website - with its own CRM and analytics attached.

Using a subdomain can be a good option if you’ve got a tonne of blog content that’s hard for one person to manage across a single website.

Or if you have a number of separate brands that run under your main brand’s name that require their own content.

Subdomains can also be useful if you run branded events requiring their own landing pages or run regular campaigns that need separate content producing that sits outside of, or isn’t entirely relevant to your main domain.

It’s not uncommon for websites to host their blogs on a subdomain, and many are highly successful.

HubSpot, for example, hosts its blog on the blog.hubspot subdomain, and it’s one of the most successful marketing blogs around from an SEO perspective.

One way you can manage and report on your entire website in one place is to set up a Google Search Console account and set it up using the domain setup. This will give you insights into all your subdomains in one place.

So obviously a subdomain is the best option for a blog?

Again, not exactly.

The cons of using a subdomain

The main disadvantage of using a subdomain for your company blog is it won’t automatically benefit from any increasing SEO authority from your main domain.

It means you’ll have to build its authority in isolation, alongside your main domain’s URL.

From a pure resource perspective, it means you’ll essentially need a separate team to run your blog domain.

You’ll also have to be careful about the content you’re producing and create a content calendar for your main website and your blog’s subdomain.

This is because if you create similar content across both sites, you could potentially end up competing with yourself for SEO authority. But we also don’t recommend that you compete with your own content on the web.

As we’ve mentioned too, you’ll also need to invest in a separate CRM system and analytics tools (as these subscriptions are often based per domain) so it can increase your costs and admin for web management -  this is not an issue if you already have HubSpot.

But that’s the only real downside to hosting a blog on a subdomain.

If you’ve got the resources to update it regularly, it won’t struggle to rank any more than a blog hosted as a subfolder of the main domain.

Subfolder vs subdomain - which should you use

While we’re always wary of not giving definitive answers to questions, in this case it really is a matter of preference and working out what you want to achieve from your website and its blog.

If you’ve got a newer website and are looking to build the overall authority of the site and don’t have the resources to manage content across two domains, then you’ll likely benefit from having a subfolder hierarchy for your blog.

Similarly, you could benefit from this if you’re a single brand and have content that runs across a similar theme.

On the other hand, if you have a content-heavy website that’s becoming hard to manage on one platform, breaking your blog into a separate entity could be a better option.

If you have a lot of different types of content or are trying to run different brands under one umbrella, then using subdomains can help you create and maintain those different brand identities in isolation while keeping some connection to your main brand and domain.

With those considerations taken care of, there really is no difference in how your blog will be judged from an SEO perspective providing you follow the basic content marketing and SEO principles. Great content will always rank better, no matter where it is hosted!

If you’re looking to make the most out of your business’ blog or wider inbound marketing, download our complete guide to inbound marketing where you’ll find plenty of tips to help your business grow.

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