Subdomain vs. Subdirectory vs. ccTLD: Knowledge For Better SEO
Subdomain vs. Subdirectory vs. ccTLD: Knowledge For Better SEO

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory vs. ccTLD: Knowledge For Better SEO

No matter how good an SEO company or professional is, great SEO takes time.” Thus, SEO is not limited to forum posting, blog commenting, social bookmarking and so forth. There is a wide conception of search engine optimization. As a SEO specialist, you need to know a lot. In this article, we cover International SEO Strategies with Subdomain vs. Subdirectory vs. ccTLD let’s start thinking broader and try your hand at international SEO.

Now, If you have a website which comprises the content or product that go beyond the range or limits of (a field of activity or conceptual sphere) then you need some sizable growth which can be achieved by focusing on users from other countries. Thus, you can manage SEO for a global audience.

In order to work on International SEO, there are so many strategies to follow like fruit like translations or Multilingual Website this will lead to significant traffic and revenue growth as searchers in that new language find your site.

We discuss these three- Subdomains, Subfolders or ccTLDs to get the right choice for the site structure, and these all come with pros and cons which need to be considered. So how do you know which choice is best for your business? Let’s explore.

Country code top-level domains(ccTLD): YourDomain.keyword

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Factors to Consider

Before you can decide whether a subdomain, subfolder, or ccTLD is right for your site, you need to check the factors:

  • Targeting different countries/regions, or just a multilingual community?
  • How many different languages are you targeting?
  • Are you planning to translate content manually, or use a plugin to do the heavy lifting?
  • How do you handle mobile sites?
  • Are you handling global commerce or just information?

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory vs. ccTLD: Knowledge For Better SEO


Using a subdomain for international expansion is good as they are cheaper to set up and maintain than ccTLDs and is well understood by search engines. However, there is the problem while going with this route that there is no guarantee that any search engine will use the authority of your main site when deciding how to rank the sub-domain.

According to users perspective, they may become confused about what content they can expect to find at your URL as it is not as a familiar to them as a ccTLD.

Subdirectory or Subfolders

Subdirectory or Subfolders considered as easier site structure to set up and understand as they are the same as setting up any other folder on a website or subdirectories are the easiest to roll out as they are just another folder on the site.

Moreover, You can track subdirectories individually in Google Search Console and Google Analytics. So, If you have a domain, global TLD such as .com or .net. you can go with option Subdirectory or Subfolders. For eg (  this would be a subfolder on a .com domain which was targeted to German users)

Note* Subfolders can also be used as a means of targeting different languages as well as countries. 

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Country code top-level domains(ccTLD)

ccTLDs have the highest degree of accuracy, this is not necessarily the best approach for all brands. But, if you have the money and resources then choose ccTLDs. Moreover, This option requires significant investment. But can be the right choice for larger brands, such as internationally-known brand names that already have a presence in international markets.

For ccTLD structure keep below points in mind:

  • Large audiences in each of their target countries.
  • Development and design resources in order to build and maintain multiple sites, customized for regional audiences.
  • Professional Content which can be translated in the local language.
  • Offices in the target countries


Hope you get the idea which site structure is the best for the international SEO. When it comes to making a decision of ccTLD vs subdomain vs subdirectory, I recommend to go with the subdirectory.

As subdirectory will rank the fastest and is the choice of many large enterprise multinational websites (e.g., Apple, Samsung, HP).

Use separate ccTLDs if you aim to have a strong country-specific presence.

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