Where does your business’s website rank in the search results? Even if you’re unfamiliar with search engine optimization (SEO), you’re probably well aware of the fact that higher rankings means more traffic. And with more traffic, you’ll sell more products or services. In this post, we’re going to reveal six surprising things that can affect your website’s search rankings. By including these elements in your SEO strategy, you’ll achieve greater success in the search results.

#1) Device Compatibility

If your website is only compatible on desktop computers, it probably won’t rank high for mobile searches. Google and Bing have revamped their search ranking algorithms in recent years to include separate results for desktop and mobile searches. To ensure that your website ranks high for both sets of search results, use a responsive design that automatically changes based on the user’s device.

#2) Search Location

The geographic location from which a user searches for your website on Google or Bing may affect its search rankings. If your website is for a local business, for example, it will probably rank higher for searches performed in or around that local area.

#3) HTTP vs HTTPS

HTTPS is a ranking signal used by both Google and Bing. If your website still uses HTTP — the older and less secure internet protocol — there’s no better time than the present to switch to HTTPS. In addition to boosting your website’s search rankings, visitors will trust your website more if it uses HTTPS.

#4) Internal Links

The presence of internal links — links within your website that point to other pages within your site — can increase your website’s performance in the search results. When creating new pages, try to link phrases and images within the content to other relevant pages on your site.

#5) Duplicate Content

You’ll probably create some duplicate content when building and optimizing your website. Too much, however, can hinder your website’s search rankings. If you publish the same article or blog post on two or more pages, for example, search engines may index the wrong version. To prevent this from happening, use canonical URLs to instruct search engines on which version they should index.

#6) Content Freshness

Finally, the “freshness” of your website’s content can affect its search rankings. What does this mean exactly? Basically, search engines prefer content that’s new over content that’s old. If you rarely or never publish new articles on your website, you’ll probably struggle to achieve or retain a high search ranking.