Quick Tip: Competitive Intellegence on a Subdomain Level

Compete PRO has the ability to show you performance on a subdomain level. A lot of insights can be drawn from companies that use subdomains to organize and divide up their website.  Some examples of insights gleaned from subdomain activity are listed below:

  • Month-over-month and year-over-year changes in Unique Visits can indicate a shift in content strategy and performance.
  • Some business to business companies segment their client lists via subdomain – use this report to determine who their largest and most active customer groups are.
  • Secure and SSL subdomains can indicate performance on conversions like opened emails, ads, log-ins for returning customers, and sometimes indicate e-commerce activity.

One specific site that does a great job at dividing its URL at the subdomain level is Linkedin.com. I’ll briefly walk through how to read the subdomain table using the image below. The numbers within the image will correspond with the appropriate description.


  1. The subdomain list. You’ll see the root domain listed at the top with all of its subdomains listed underneath. This list goes in order of Unique Visitors.
  2. Unique visitors is a monthly  metric that calculates individuals that are unique to individual subdomains in the given month published. The first listing is for the root domain, which calculates all Unique Visitors to the top-level domain. If you were to add up all the Unique Visitors for each subdomain, it will always be greater than or equal to this number. This is because an individual can be a unique visitor to multiple subdomains in a given month, but is only unique to the root domain once.
  3. Monthly Change – the percentage increase or decrease from the month prior.
  4. Yearly Change – the percentage increase or decrease from the same month, the year prior.

If you’re viewing a competitor’s subdomain data and there are significant increases MOM or YOY, you might want to take a deeper dive into their subdomain. Click on any of the subdomains and you’ll be taken to the website profile for that specific subdomain. While data might be limited, you can look at the available Compete PRO metrics and paint a better picture of the popularity and traffic for that specific subdomain among the US browser population.

About Alison Shafer:
Alison Shafer is a Customer Success Manager at Millward Brown Digital. She has a degree in Marketing and Communications from Syracuse University and has worked in various marketing roles since graduating in 2011. Find her on LinkedIn or Google+!