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Country

What country is someone located in?

For obvious reasons the country of the searcher plays a role in the results they see from the search engines. Someone searching in China or London won't see the same results and someone searching from the United States or Australia. Each country has it's own governing bodies too that can influence what's displayed.

The best example of this is a user in the United States searching for football will see different results than a user in London searching the same term. Unless your company wants to be an international player - stay concerned with your country of origin.

Locality

What city or local area is someone located in?

Are the visitors to your website actually reading your content or are they getting frustrated and leaving. When visitors leave after reading your content - that's normal. When visitors come to your site and then leave within seconds, that's considered a bounce and that's not good. It tells the search engines that users come to your site - see what you have to offer and it doesn't meet their needs. Search engines interpret that as your site not providing the proper content for what the users have searched for.

Many of the modern searchers will add a locality to what they are searching to help steer their results to their respective area. For example - Traverse City Web Design will give results, including us, for web designers that the search engine has deemed relevant to the Traverse City locality.

If there is a specific locality that you want to target, have an office in, services or sell - make sure your SEO efforts are addressing those specific localities. This can mean creating specialized content targeting that locality so the search engines understand your relevancy. This is a very common tactic to address multiple localities with consistency - be careful you're not spamming or creating duplicate content though.

History

Has someone regularly visited your site or socially favored it?

What is the history of the searcher? What are they clicking on in the search engine results pages? What sites to they regularly visit? What have they liked +1 or tweeted?

This type of history is used to varying degrees by the search engines to influence results. Ever since the invention of cookies and user tracking - search results have changed. They track what you search for, what you view and how you interact during your web surfing and use that to help guide the results they display. This is a significant factor and the worst part about it is that you can't do much to help make it work for you.

The best way to utilize this factor is create a positive experience for the users on your site to ensure that they enjoy their visit and return. Over time they will start to prefer your site because of their previous positive experiences or vice versa if it's a bad experience.

Social

Has someone or their friends socially favored the site?

Social connections are becoming more and more influential on search results. This is a newer ranking factor but it is influencing the search results on a regular basis. Social interactions and connections will influence what a user sees in the search engines.

Social connections are important because it's understood that search engines use those as as a personal set of advisors for the user. Offline those advisors are physical people that you ask - online the social connection is considered that advisor.

Conclusion

To conclude this section - it's important to understand that there are some personal ranking factors that we can influence through SEO and others that we can't. Have content that targets specific localities that you want, create a positive user experience so that users keep coming back and make sure your engaged on social media. Create that lasting impression that turns into a long term relationship.

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