When we talk about SEO, we focus on keywords, readability, the site’s user interface, keyword intent, and much more. While it’s easy to get obsessed with optimizing the site’s content and UX, there’s more to SEO than just keywords and search volume. Today, we take a look at server location & we ask how important is server location for SEO.

In fact, your site’s page load speed is one of the most critical (and under-appreciated) factors.

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Think about it: how many times have you clicked off a website because it was slow to load. For site visitors, every second counts. Few of us want to sit, watching the load wheel spin round and round as we twiddle our thumbs.

Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. If a page takes too long to load – say, greater than 4 to 10 seconds, the abandonment rate continues to rise. Some data even suggest you lose as much as a quarter of site visitors if the page load time is four seconds.

A critical factor behind your page’s load speed is the server location. In this article, we’re answering four important questions about server locations – so you can optimize your site and increase your visitor retention rate.

  1. How to check website server location
  2. How to locate server address
  3. Where is the DNS server located?
  4. How important is server location for SEO?

How to check website server location

Searching for your website’s server location is as easy as checking a directory. But before you can start searching, you need a critical piece of information. Like searching for the location of a business, you need an address.

For websites, this is called the IP address. Short for Internet Protocol (IP) address, it is a numerical code attached to a computer. Computers cannot contact other computers without an IP address.

How to locate server address

The simplest way to find your website’s IP address is to use command prompt – you can also use several apps. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open “Run” in Windows, and type “cmd” into the field, then press Enter.
  2. You should now see a black screen. Type “tracert” followed by the website’s URL onto the top line in the black box and press Enter.
  3. The IP address should appear in closed brackets on the line that says “Tracing route to,” followed by the URL.

Once you’ve got the IP address, you can copy and paste it into IP Location, and you’ll find the country, region, and city listed.

Where is the DNS server located?

A DNS server is a computer server that contains a database of publicly available IP addresses and their associated hostnames. Such servers use special software to communicate with each other using special protocols.

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You’ll often hear DNS servers called a name server, name server, or domain name system server. It all refers to the same thing.

DNS servers allow computers to translate a website address, e.g., clictadigital.com, into an IP address. When you search for a domain name, the DNS server checks its database and opens the page’s relevant IP address. Think of it as the phonebook of the internet.

Because DNS servers sit in the space between the human and the computer, they’re critical for determining your page’s load speed.

Just like before, you’ll need to open Command Prompt to find your nearest DNS server. Type “ipconfig/all” into command prompt and press Enter. Look for the field labeled “DNS servers.” You should see two addresses: the first address is the primary DNS server, and the next address is the second DNS server.

How important is server location for SEO?

While data signals seem instantaneous, across the vast distances of the planet, they’re very much not. The physical location of your website’s server is a determining factor in your site’s loading speed.

The further away the server is, the greater the delay in data transfer. The result: visitors experience site latency.

Here are some metrics about why that matters:

When selecting your data center region, you’ll want to choose an option offering localized hosting near your audience. If you’re exclusively based in Europe, selecting a server near where your customers will ensure they receive the best load speeds.

However, some websites receive traffic from all over the world. That’s where CDN comes in. The Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of a network of servers located at strategic geographical locations that store cached content.

Using this system ensures your page loading speed remains the same no matter where your users are located. For many businesses, CDN can substantially speed up page load times – thereby increasing visitor engagement and retention.

Final thoughts

Let’s recap:

  • Your website’s server has a unique IP address. Using this address, you can find the server location.
  • DNS servers translate domain names into IP addresses, so you can easily access websites
  • Your website’s server location determines your page load speed
  • Optimize your website’s load speed by selecting a server near your customer base or using the CDN