If you’re interested in placing higher among search engine rankings, you may want to consider the website hosting provider with whom you work. Your web hosting can affect your SEO and choosing the wrong host can spell disaster for your search engine rankings.
The way that web hosting affects SEO is a little different than other factors, though. The content of your blogs and the rate at which you post them, for example, has a more immediate effect on your SERP rankings than your choice of web host provider. You don’t get an automatic jump in rankings if you go with one host over another.
It’s best to choose a web hosting company with the potential to boost your rankings and mitigate risks you’d otherwise incur from choosing the wrong host. Take a look at the biggest reasons your web host can affect your site’s SEO and how best to rank higher among search engine results pages based on your provider.
Your Site Has Too Much Downtime
Popular search engines like Google need to crawl your site to index and rank it. Google’s Googlebot site crawler collects data from websites that are online and accessible to rank user experience. Websites that experience a lot of downtimes are, according to Googlebot, unable to provide a user experience worthy of a high ranking.
Avoid regular downtime by choosing a web host with verifiable uptime guarantees. Don’t settle for an uptime guarantee of less than 99.99% — a 99% guarantee lets providers get away with periods of downtime that can last for days. You need to keep downtime periods to as few as a couple of minutes per year to avoid drops in SEO performance.
Site owners, in addition to choosing a reputable web host with verifiable uptime guarantees, should minimize malicious threats to their website’s uptime. If, for instance, you copy code from an unknown website or WordPress tutorial, you may unknowingly add malicious code to your website that can make unauthorized changes and can take your site down completely. Malicious code such as ransomware can hold your site for ransom until you pay a hefty sum for renewed access.
Consider hiring a backend developer that can help you set up your site’s hosting and implement protections against malware code. You can expect to pay at least $60 an hour for an experienced backend developer. The backend developer you hire should work with your front-end developers, web designers, platform specialists, and IT specialists to safeguard against threats like ransomware that impact your uptime.
Your Page Load Speeds Are Too Low
Certain web hosts put page load speeds on the backburner, a decision that can harm your SEO performance in the long run. It’s not often obvious how well a web host has set up their networking infrastructure unless you ask and, too often, cheap hosts cause poor load times due to poor hosting practices.
Poor SEO performance due to slow page load speeds is a shame for sites that create high-quality content. Website owners commonly focus on creating strong link profiles and social media presences and neglect the speed of their site. Slow-loading websites will ruin your visibility among search engine results pages.
There are thankfully some steps you can take to create a faster browsing experience for your site’s visitors, all without spending loads of money on UX optimization. There are many different ways to speed up the performance of a site, and chief among them is the use of a content delivery network (CDN).
The way a CDN works is simple: instead of powering your website with a single or shared server that’s in one location, a CDN instead places your website on multiple cache servers across different locations to load content from your site faster for end-users using the server that’s physically closest to them. No matter what type of website you have, it’s important that its pages load as quickly as possible; imagine the impact that just one extra second could make on sites like Amazon or eBay — it would cost them millions!
You’re Hosting Your Site in the Wrong Location
Website crawlers such as Googlebot need to verify the location of your site before it can rank it. Factors such as the location in which you host your site in addition to your content and backlinks help search engines rank your site among their results pages.
For example, you can’t rank well for visitors based in the US if you host your site somewhere in the UK. If you’re interested in improving your SEO performance via your web host, you’ll need to take your hosting location into account. The IP address that’s assigned to your site is based on the location of your hosting servers.
This is important to know since you’ll want an IP address assigned to your site that’s based on the country of your target market. In other words, you need to host your site with a third-party provider whose servers are in the country that you’re focusing on.
Do your best to get an IP address assigned to your site based on the right country. According to the online marketer and web developer Nathan Finch of Best Web Hosting Australia, it’s important to find a hosting provider who can help you migrate to a new site.
“One of the best and most practical ways to transfer your current site to a new hosting account is via FTP (File Transfer Protocol),” says Finch. “This method allows you to transfer your important site files to and from both remote and local computers. Many of the providers on this very list utilize FTP to upload files quickly and conveniently, allowing you to transfer large files without any problems.”
Always consider your website hosting when trying to improve your site’s performance. Remember that websites that load slowly, have a suboptimal IP address, and experience frequent downtimes can struggle with SEO. Keep this in mind as you choose a hosting provider and allocate a large enough portion of your budget to your hosting efforts.