When you hear someone speaking about search engine optimization, the first thing that probably comes to mind are keywords, backlinks, and content. On the technical side, you may be aware of considerations like site structure and mobile compatibility.
But did you know that where you host your site has an effect on search engine optimization?
Many companies overlook hosting’s potential influence on SEO and end up missing out on potential traffic and higher rankings. It’s an easily preventable issue that can boost your site’s visibility in search results, reduce your bounce rate, and ultimately increase your sales.
What Impact Does Hosting Have on SEO?
Although hosting is sometimes overlooked, it plays a significant role in SEO. Website performance is a major factor in Google’s ranking and is something your host can assist you with. A reliable web hosting provider, like HostPapa, can ensure your website’s performance is optimal, which can greatly impact your SEO efforts.
A reputable SEO hosting company can offer you multiple domains that you can use to link to your own website which will increase your authority and, in turn, help you reach a bigger audience. It’s best to look for a company that offers various SEO hosting plans and choose the one that best fits your requirements.
Besides that, here are a few instances in which your host can impact your site’s visibility in search engines.
Site Performance and Load Times
A possible client looks up something relevant to your business on Google and decides to check you out. How much would you say they are willing to wait for your site to load before clicking on a different result? You could be overestimating people’s patience if you claimed they would wait several seconds.
Customers are more likely to buy from a site if it loads quickly. A 1-second site load time increases conversions by three times compared to a 5-second site load time. In addition, a study using mobile site data showed that a 0.1-second increase in site speed prompted retail consumers to spend over 10% more.
A faster site might also help your rankings in search engines. How do we know this? Google said so. In 2010, Google officially acknowledged site speed as a ranking criterion (and still mentions it to this day).
When servers go down, businesses risk losing a lot of money. Having your website offline means losing out on potential revenue. And don’t forget about your reputation – if a consumer visits your site when it’s down, they might think you are unreliable and not return.
It just gets worse. When servers go down, SEO takes a hit as well. A search engine may temporarily remove your site from its index if it crawls it while it is down. As an added SEO negative, Google has been known to scan a site less often during outages.
Consider the physical location of the host’s data centers.
For better search engine optimization, it’s best to host your site on servers that are geographically near where your target audience lives. The laws you must follow regarding data storage may also depend on where you are located. As non-compliance might result in mandatory downtime, this is important for SEO.
The domain name you choose is also related to your physical location. A .au domain, for instance, will have your site automatically optimized for Australian users by Google. It is more likely to rank higher in that country’s search engines than in others.
Type of Hosting
Whenever you begin researching hosting providers, you will see a large pricing range as well as several distinct terms and conditions. Don’t rush into a choice; instead, give careful consideration to the sort of hosting you want before deciding on something. If you’re not sure which one is the best for you, you can talk to your hosting provider or a third-party expert. You have the choice between the following types of hosting options:
- VPS (Virtual Private Server);
- Cloud Hosting;
- Managed Hosting.
Obviously, Google doesn’t want its users visiting malicious sites.
They declared in 2014 that proper HTTPS encryption will be a ranking factor. Using HTTPS, a user’s browser or web app may connect to your site safely and securely. Google made it clear in the statement that HTTPS would be a “lightweight” ranking indicator, meaning it would be given far less weight than factors such as content quality. According to research, this still holds true.
While hosting is seldom emphasized as an SEO element, it can have a major influence on your site’s visibility, visitor volume, and conversion rate. Google says it doesn’t matter which host you decide on, however, it does care about factors such as load time, server reliability, and security. As a result, think carefully about all of those things before deciding on a hosting service.