How can web hosting affect SEO
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With SEO being an ever-changing philosophy of its own, there are many things you need to know if you want your website to be well ranked. One of those things on your checklist should be the choice of your hosting provider. Although it is usually the thing we think about the last, it can have a substantial impact on your website’s SEO.
The list of things that can have a strong impact on your website’s ranking can usually be directly connected to your hosting provider. We can roughly say that they are: website speed, availability, security, server location and neighborhood.
Website speed is one of the most important factors of your website, not just the SEO part. Don’t let people wait for your website to load, and be sure to test your loading speed. Good website speed and response can lead to more conversions because happy visitors are returning visitors.
Speed and uptime
Bear in mind that Google crawlers will try to visit your website a couple of times every day. Their mission is to access all the available information on the website and match them with corresponding queries. If they wait too long, they will just move to the next website. If this tends to happen several times your website will be flagged as inaccessible, and your content won’t find its way to people who are searching for it. Search engines avoid unreliable websites in their results because it is not good for them if someone clicks on the suggested link and cannot access the site.
It is similar to uptime and downtime. Whatever you do, you want your website to be available, because you can have visitors from around the globe. Google crawlers don’t sleep either. Like with loading time, if your website is down often, don’t hope for the good search engine rankings.
This is where a good hosting provider can change things to your favour. Choose the type of your hosting wisely, and always look for the option for an easy upgrade. In case you get much more visitors than you expected, be prepared to allocate more resources, and upgrade your plan to address your needs. When it comes to uptime, always look for guaranteed uptime, and one with lots of nines in it too. Some downtime is inevitable but you should try to keep it as less as possible, and your rankings will benefit.
There is no way around it, security is the crucial aspect for every website. Without proper protection, websites are exposed to malicious hackers that can bring the website down, delete your data, or add/change links on your pages. When your website is down, or have irrelevant links in the content, you can have penalties that will affect your website rankings. Many hosting providers include SSL as a standard option within their plans, as well as DDOS protection, regular backup, and many other tools that can help you maintain your website’s integrity.
Server location and neighborhood
Server location is an important factor that can increase your loading speed, and indirectly your SEO rankings. It’s simple physics. If you are targeting a local audience, your server should be local. This way you will eliminate the lag between server and visitors and keep the loading speed high. Also, the geo-IP location of your server is one of the factors Google uses for search results rankings. With server close to the target audience, your position in search results will be better. If your audience is Norway, pick a host with servers in that country.
Server neighborhood is similar to your neighbors. Like you wouldn’t like to live close to criminals and gamblers, your website should not be hosted on the same shared server with unwanted website neighbors. If you are hosting educational content or online store, and other websites on the same server are gambling and pornography oriented, this can not be good for your SEO. When crawlers go through your website and see that it shares the same IP with above-mentioned websites, what do you think, how will that affect your rankings and promotional activities?
Don’t underestimate your website host. It can affect your SEO directly and indirectly, and the experience you provide to your visitors. But, don’t focus only on SEO. The good hosting provider will offer a lot of things, from good customer support and resources to regular backup and a lot of additional features. Pick a hosting provider that will allow you to grow, as your visitors start to rise. And remember, good hosting can help you with your search engine optimization, but it will not do it for you. You still need to implement SEO basics and optimize your website for the best results, and good hosting is a great place to start.
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