It used to be that all you needed was quality content and some links to rank high in the search engines.
My friends, search engine optimization (SEO) has changed to become smarter, faster, and more agile. Of course that is great for those searching but what about for those businesses, bloggers and authorities that want to get found online? Not to worry, I’m going to help you with sharing the 3 less known factors that affect your search engine rankings.
1. The Location of Your Website’s Server
If you have a dedicated server for your webhost then you know exactly where your server is and have someone on hand to convey its location to the right sources. However, if you are using a shared webhosting service, do you know where your server is located? Yes, it makes all the difference because the search engines know where your server is and it may not even be in the same country as your business.
To break this down into Human SEO, the location of your server tells the search engines where your business is located and uses this information to display your website to those searching. So, if your business is in the United States of America and your webhost is using a server in India, the search engines think your business is in India and will rank your website higher in the search engine results for people searching your keyword terms in India. See how this can cause a problem?
To fix this, contact your webhosting company and verify where your server is located. If it is not in the same country then you will either need to request that they move your website to one of their servers in your country or you will need to move to another webhost.
2. The Longevity of Your Website’s Domain
How long has your domain been around and how long are you reserving it? Securing the perfect domain name is a feat in itself but are you only purchasing your domain for 1 year at a time? Yes, the length of time you’ve had that domain name does add weight to your search engine rankings but the search engines also take into account the length of time you purchase that domain.
If you are only purchasing your domain in 1-year intervals, the search engines may view your website has a “fly-by-night” website meaning that it is here today and gone tomorrow. When you purchase the domain for 10 years though, the search engines understand that you are in it for the long haul and that you plan to stay around.
In Human SEO language – let’s think of this as residency. If you were to sign a renter’s lease for a year at a time, the landlord doesn’t know whether you are going to be gone from year to year. However, when you sign a long-term lease agreement, the landlord knows you are going to be around for a while and may treat you better because he or she feels you are someone they can trust.
The easy fix is to sign your lease – or renew your domain – for a few years ahead of time. This shows that you plan to grow and add quality to the World Wide Web.
3. Your Social Media Reputation
I have to laugh at this one because so many people still place SEO and Social Media in separate containers. Sure, they had completely separate online strategies a while ago but as the Google, Yahoo, and Bing get smarter, social media reputation is having a greater influence on search engine rankings (SERs).
To take advantage of this opportunity, you need to add quality to the Internet and share your knowledge with others. Becoming part of the conversation, instead of standing on the sidelines, adds weight to your authority online and increases your reputation in the eyes of the search engines.
Let’s take the Human SEO stance on this again to further explain. Let’s say I have a Halloween sized bag of M&Ms that I plan to give out to kids. From that one bag, there are 20 miniature bags – one for each kid. Those kids then take what I give them and decide whether they like the candy or not – giving extra to their friends or swapping. The friend may then go home, open the bag and divide the candy according to color as his little sister watches with big pleading eyes. He wants to be the nice big brother and shares her favorite color, red, with her because he knows she will like it. Now, let me ask you, did you follow the breadcrumb (or M&M) trail? How many steps did it take from my house to the little girl’s hands? Well, that’s the flow of information through social media and it all comes back to me holding the big bag of candy (or my website with quality content).
Of course, there are many other SEO factors that can help you increase your search engine rankings. However, if you follow these 3 simple tips given, you will be that much closer to getting in front of your target audience and increase your potential for website conversion.