Before we start, let’s get one thing clear: SEO or search engine optimization is not just about good keywords and a few authority links. It’s much, much more.
Sure, maintaining a steady flow of posts and updates is good for your website’s ranking, but the foundation of it is also very important—specifically, the type of hosting and hosting company you use for your website.
Speedy and trouble-free websites have a better chance of being ranked higher, and this is possible only if you go for a top-rated web hosting provider. With that said, we’ll shed some light on the ways web hosting affects SEO score, and list 7 key things you should pay attention to when searching for a hosting provider.
1. Uptime and Downtime
This should be on top of your list when checking out a hosting provider. The uptime and downtime percentage can be a make-or-break for your website. If your website is down frequently, that means that you should change your hosting provider ASAP.
Not only does downtime affect the performance of your website, but it also has a negative effect on both the search engine results pages (SERPs) and your SEO score. A website that is down will not show up in search results because the search engine won’t be able to find it. Also, it will decrease the bounce rate, which directly affects the authority of the website in question.
For best results, pick a top-notch hosting provider that will offer the best uptime percentage for your site.
2. Page Loading Time
No one sticks around on a site that takes a lot of time to load. And just to be clear, if your site takes a while to load fully, you can usually point the finger at your web host.
It’s been 10 years since Google first announced that they will take page load time as a factor in determining ranking, and it has become more and more important since.
There’s an unwritten rule that says that if a page takes more than two seconds to load, users are highly likely to choose another option on the SERP. So the lower the page load time, the better the reputation of a website and the higher the page views.
So before you jump to the best-looking offer, check out sites with online tools like GT Metrix and Google Page Speed Tool, which measure page load time.
3. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is considered to be the best option for all who enter the webmaster world, as they present a cost-effective solution to the web hosting aspect of website building.
But there’s a catch. See, Google doesn’t have much love for websites that are on shared hosts because they go against their SEO ethics. And, of course, another thing that can hurt your SEO ranking when using a shared host is spamming. Shared hosts are notorious for having many spammers for customers.
This will all lead to your website ending in a bad neighborhood, which directly affects your site’s authority and ranking. Instead, you could give a PBN host a try, as they are far more reliable and your sites will have a better chance of ending up in the good neighborhood of the internet world. We suggest you give Private Blog Network a try. Oh, and shared hosts are also not really famous for their security, which is our next topic.
4. Website & Web Host Security
You can have all the passwords and mechanisms in place to protect your website(s), but sometimes that isn’t enough. Your hosting provider needs to have good protection, too.
An unsecured website or web host will sooner or later get hacked or get infected with malware. Aside from the fact that your site just got hacked, it will also get de-indexed if this isn’t resolved fast.
Make sure your hosting provider is safe by checking out customer reviews. Don’t forget to ask them what safety measures and which mechanisms you can turn to if things turn sour.
5. SSL Certification
Having an SSL certificate is a must since Google has confirmed that it’s also a factor that determines SEO score. Most web hosts provide free SSL certificates, so use the one you’re given.
While an SSL certificate can get you additional SEO score points, it also improves the reputation and reliability of your site. Users will feel much safer browsing through your site and inputting data, knowing it’s all protected.
6. Server Location
The location of your server is very important, and can drastically affect the audience and SEO ranking. The closer your server is to your target audience, the more visitors your site will have.
For example, a Germany-based website will get good SEO ranking if it’s being hosted in Germany and will get more relevant visitors to it.
The thing that plays the biggest role in all of this is the IP address. Your website’s IP address is like a geographical coordinate for your site. And Google works in a way that likes to pair Germans with German websites and Italians with Italian websites.
Also, the location of your server can have a small effect on the load speed, as fetching information from a distant server takes a bit more time than it would if the server was nearby.
7. The Domain
The domain of your website can also affect your SEO ranking and the number of visitors you have.
Let’s take the Germany example from above. We said that Google likes to pair Germans with German websites, and this means that, for them, Google is more likely to recommend websites that end in .de, while it would recommend websites that end with .es to Spanish visitors. This isn’t an issue for local brands, as they usually set their domains this way, but how can one know if their .com site is getting in front of the right audience?
That’s simple: they use geo-targeting tools.
There are a few of these on the market, and even Google has one. Pick one, choose the target country, and you are all set.
Resist your urge to just go for the most affordable hosting solution. Find one that will suit your business and your needs—something that will set a perfect foundation for you to build your business on. There will always be cheap options, but in the long run, they do more harm than good.