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I'm working on the renewal of a large website. In the past, several brands were added to the website. You can access these brand via the menu.

Each brand has its own subdirectory as follows:

  • www.domain.com/brand-1
  • www.domain.com/brand-2
  • www.domain.com/brand-3

The new set-up will be such, that each brand gets its own website. I'm wondering if its best to use individual domains:

  • brand-1.com
  • brand-2.com
  • brand-3.com

Or subdomains:

  • brand-1.domain.com
  • brand-2.domain.com
  • brand-3.domain.com

What are the pros and cons of these?

Which is the better way to go?

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If the brands are related to each other, like an Apparel company who own multiple brand names, and the audience segment is the same, then you can go with subdomains.

Pros of subdomains:

  1. Branding and niche authority are maintained.
  2. You can more easily link between your various subdomains.
  3. It is cheaper and easier to manage a website with one main domain and several subdomains than one with several different domain names that may have to be interconnected if you want them all associated with your brand.

However, if the audience segment is different, for example, one brand label deals with affordable daily-use clothing and another brand deal with high-quality expensive tuxedos then it would not be a good idea to keep them both associated with each other as it might dilute down the value of more expensive merchandise.

Cons to Subdomains:

  1. Your branding is diluted by associating it with a variety of unconnected products.

  2. The URL might appear long, depending on the length of the main domain name and that of the subdomain.

  3. They may not be regarded as ‘proper’ websites in the eyes of Google users – although Google rankings are full of subdomains and internal web pages and blog posts rather than Home pages.

In these cases, it would be easier to get individual domain names for every brand so that it represents itself as a unique brand in the long run.

The niche audience of the brands would be different and would be easier to define based on the product.

This would be very helpful while planning SEO and Marketing strategies.

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