The right web host can improve a website’s SEO ranking on Google and other leading search engines, while other hosting providers can have a negative impact that results in reduced traffic and sales.
Web hosting is where you pay a company to put your website files on their web server so they are displayed on the internet. While that sounds simple enough, there are different types of web hosting offered by thousands of hosting companies. For your website to use SEO marketing strategies successfully, not just any web hosting plan will do.
Most web hosting providers offer shared hosting and VPS hosting. Shared hosting is usually very inexpensive but not very efficient since your site will be placed on a server with many other shared hosting sites with no guarantees on the resources available for its use. The end result is a site that’s slow, frequently unavailable, and vulnerable to security attacks.
Many hosting providers offer VPS (virtual private server) hosting also which is a much better solution for site owners who want to use SEO to grow their business. You are paying to have your own server with guaranteed resources not being used by any other websites. VPS hosting costs more but it’s worth it for a variety of reasons, including the benefits to SEO strategies. You can even choose the host server’s operating system and go with VPS Windows if that is your preference.
What other features should hosting have to meet your needs for SEO? There are four important factors your web hosting must have for successful optimization: high speed, consistently high uptime rates, host server location, and security.
While speed is only one of over 200 factors that are part of the secretive algorithms of most search engines, it’s still a very important consideration for successful SEO. The more allocated RAM and bandwidth available on your server, especially when combined with great processing capabilities like those you’d find on a VPS Windows server, the faster your website will be.
How fast your site loads is not only important in SEO, and there’s a good correlation between speed and organic rankings, but it helps you keep customers on your site. In today’s world of instant gratification, every extra second your site takes to load is a second the consumer can decide it’s taking too long and move on to the next site.
No one, including search engine spiders, enjoys visiting a site only to find it’s not available for whatever reason. Some web host providers don’t seem to think uptime is a big deal but when you consider that a site that has a 99% uptime rate will still be unavailable, on average, for a total of 7 hours per month, it’s a huge deal.
The more times your website is unavailable when the search engines visit, the greater your chances of having them downgrade your ranking since it makes them look bad to send users to a consistently unreliable site. With this in mind, take a close look at a hosting provider’s uptime rates and reviews on such when deciding on whether or not to acquire hosting service from them.
Does hosting location affect SEO? Yes, the location of the server your site is hosted on is important. If you have a website you’d like to rank on Google in the US and in the UK, but the server your site is hosted on is in the UK, your SEO efforts will be stronger in the UK. It should also be considered that the closer your target audience is to the location of your website’s server, the faster the service they will receive.
A hosting provider that offers strong security is essential not only for SEO, but for every other aspect of your online business. One of the things search engine spiders look for are unsecured servers.
If the unthinkable happens and your website is hacked, it will be noted by the search engines who can even flag your site unsafe until the situation is resolved and you provide proof to the search engine that it’s resolved and what steps you’ve taken to ensure that your site is less vulnerable to attack. For SEO, such events can be disastrous to your rankings and it can take some time to undo the damage.
If your site is ecommerce, strong security is also important in protecting the information of your customers. Buyers are highly unlikely to return to a store or vendor whose site’s hijacking resulted in their data being stolen.
Selecting a well-reviewed hosting provider to ensure that your site has the guaranteed resources it needs is a must for your business and your SEO marketing strategy. The hosting provider should offer speed, good uptime rates, a geographic location that makes sense for what you want to accomplish in your SEO efforts, and security to protect your site and your customers. Now that you know what to look for, do your homework on hosting services and select one that will allow you to use SEO to take your business to the next level.
**About the author: Wassana Lampech is a digital marketer at Andaman SEO. She likes blogging, using social media, and traveling.
* image courtesy of Freepik