There are numerous variables that determine search engine rankings. This ranges from the implementation of keywords and links to the layout of your pages, the proper use of metadata and much more. These elements are very important but there are other aspects of search engine optimization that do not get much attention at all. One critical area that often gets overlooked is the location of your web hosting provider. Believe it or not, the company hosting your site has a major influence on search engine rankings.
Location, Location, Location: Not Just a Brick and Mortar Consideration
Popular search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo all use an IP address to determine the host’s physical location, a factor that helps them to generate localized search results for web surfers. This all makes sense because users surely do not want to receive results for electronic stores in the London when they are located in the United States. Some search engines go even further to define rankings such as using a combination of your top level domain such as .com or .us along with the location of your provider. Even your backlinks are analyzed according to location. So if you have established a few links on the same IP address or with someone in another country, they may be deemed as less important to the search engine algorithms. If you are trying to receive targeted traffic, hosting with a provider in your home country is not only practical, but a must.
Other Optimization Techniques
So what else can you do to boost your SEO efforts besides residing with a local host? It’s simple - optimize your website for local traffic. This could be the city or state you live in as well as your country. Instead just targeting the market in general, focus on going after customers in a certain area. Sure, you may not get all the traffic of a big name company, but you could find yourself on the first page of Google when optimizing for the right niche market.
Here is an example of how you can use the location of your web hosting company and the search engines to generate targeted traffic. If your business revolves around teaching people how to make money online, you can narrow down your niche by leveraging the keywords “make money online in California”. If you sell laptop computers, you could get better traffic by going with “laptop computers in California” rather than “laptop computers”. There is simply too much competition for the latter key phrase but by narrowing things down, you can get better results in the search engine and ultimately the traffic you are looking for.
You already have a major advantage in the eyes of the search engines by residing with a web host in your country. When combining this with good old fashion SEO, you can benefit from all the traffic search engines have proven to generate. Remember to do your research to find some keywords suited for your ideal visitor and most importantly, a good web hosting provider that helps you reel them in.
12-12-2008 @ 07:53
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