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Medium.com Custom Domains for Careers Blogs? Good Idea or Run Away?

TL:DR version – If you’re exploring the possibility of using Medium’s future custom domain service, dig deeper into their intention and understand why they’re rolling out a service they canceled in 2017. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see a visualization that may tell the story of their ‘why’ behind this new service reboot.


In November 2017, Medium canceled its custom domain service and now they’re bringing it back.

Why is this a big deal? It’s a big deal because if you currently use Medium to house your blog, your URL would look something like this: travis-l-scott.medium.com

It’s using what’s called a subdomain. The primary domain is medium.com.

Most people, even bloggers, would prefer to have their own domain that they can use to promote their articles and drive traffic to.

In the current state, all traffic is driven to Medium. That’s what they want. Remember, in today’s social media-driven world, you’re the product, not the user.

 

What does this have to do with recruitment marketing?

Well, recruitment can sometimes be the odd-person out when it comes to getting a place on a company’s website for their content.

Marketing doesn’t want their content riddled with recruitment-related content and if there’s already a company blog, that means there’s no room for a separate careers blog using a website’s more SEO-friendly subdirectory architecture.

I’m an SEO purist, meaning, if my company is going to create content, I want it to benefit my primary domain. That’s the secret sauce of inbound marketing – use content to attract visitors to your website and then turn them into customers or, in this case, employees.

 

Medium vs Wix?

Back to Medium and their custom domains. When I tried to find more information about them bringing this service back, what I could find was very limited and mostly about their deprecation of the service back in 2017.

So, I don’t have a lot to pull from right now. My guess is that they’re trying to get into the same game as Wix and SquareSpace when it comes to easy website hosting and building.

If that’s the case, I would look at this more holistically and consider whether the functionality exists to create your entire career site using the service.

When you create a subdomain, like careers.company.com, you’re essentially creating a new website in the eyes of search engines like Google. The SEO benefits generated by the subdomain do not flow directly to the company.com domain.

If you work for a large company, that’s not a big deal. They probably don’t need the small amount of SEO juice your careers site would generate.

However, you do want to treat your careers subdomain like its own free-standing site and you do want to improve its overall visibility in search.

That’s why a lot of companies create blogs and content in the first place.

What you don’t want is a free-standing blog on Medium, even if it’s a custom domain. The user experience of bouncing between blog and careers site/main site would not be good.

 

Content Drive Visits Which Drives Quality Leads (or Applicants)

Ideally, you want people who visit your blog to take some kind of action on your site, whether that’s applying to an open role or subscribing to receive updates and content you regularly share.

That’s inbound marketing 101.

For this reason, blogs are usually part of the website’s subdirectory, meaning you would see something like this: company.com/blog

You could create something like company.com/careers/blog

But you would need to work with your company’s design and web dev team to build it.

If you’re getting pushback from marketing or your web dev team or higher-ups about bolting on to the primary domain, then your next best option would be to create a microsite focusing on your career opportunities and content.

In that instance, you would create a subdomain and act as if it were its own free-standing site- because it is.

You could have something like careers.company.com then build your subdirectory from there.

So, your blog would be found at careers.company.com/blog

Now, every article you write or piece of content you produce will drive traffic and begin to build search equity around the domain of careers.company.com

It would also create a better user experience because the user would not be bouncing between different sites. Often, if someone bounces from your externally hosted blog into your company’s page, it’s very difficult to get back to the blog if you weren’t finished reading something.

Ultimately, content creating in marketing is about driving quality traffic to your website to begin the relationship between you and them. Ultimately, leading to something more.

 

Understand How it Helps You…and Medium

If and when Medium rolls out custom domains, take a step back and view it more holistically. It’s a long-term decision because SEO is a long-term strategy.

Is Medium getting into the website hosting and building space or are they looking for another way to drive more traffic to their site because their traffic has flatlined since last February?

(Source: SEMrush; Medium.com's all-time organic search traffic)

 

Are you the customer or the product?

Travis L. Scott

Travis is the Managing Partner/Founder of RainierDigital. He has over 10 years of digital marketing and advertising experience. He has worked at companies ranging from startups (Jobster) to Fortune 500 (Microsoft, Comcast, Cricket Wireless). Travis has a BS in Public Affairs from Indiana University and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Colorado.

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