If you are serious about starting an online business, you must agree with me that web hosting and domain name are must-haves.
Even after sieving through the humongous list of different web hosts, the next hurdle is to deal with the SEO of your website and how to rank in search.
However, when it comes to website SEO, there are lots of moving parts to it. In addition to all other facets of SEO, does web hosting affect SEO?
While most webmasters usually focus their attention on things like on-page and off-page SEO, keyword optimization, backlinking, etc.
They may not have even noticed that the reason why their ranking isn’t improving is as a result of their web hosting provider.
It is for this reason that this post will seek to examine how does web hosting affects the SEO of your website.
This post will go into detail to look at things such as web hosting features that may play a significant role in ensuring that the SEO of your website is up to speed.
Not just that, this post will recommend to you how to choose a good web host that will not interfere with your website search rankings and provide a list of the best SEO-friendly web host.
Does Web Hosting Affect SEO of Your Website?
The response to this question is an unequivocal YES!
The web hosting company you want to host your website has an impact on how well it will perform in the search engines.
Even with that said, picking the right web hosting platform does not guarantee an immediate ranking improvement, but it does indicate you will be able to escape the negative effects of selecting the wrong host, which can be major.
As a result, you must choose cautiously and not solely on the basis of your budget, though this is an important aspect to consider when selecting a web hosting services provider.
The crucial web hosting factors that affect SEO – speed and uptime/downtime – can differ considerably from month to month, so you should check them on a regular basis.
You can notify your web hosting provider as soon as you find an issue. Don’t just presume they’re aware of the problem. Even if they are aware of the problem, they might not be concerned.
As a result, you should avoid signing a long-term web hosting contract, because what keeps people for so long to a particular web host is mainly the fact that they don’t want to lose the money they have paid for hosting.
Furthermore, you should be aware that the effect a bad web host would have on your website’s SEO will vary depending on the scale of your site and its total traffic levels.
To this end, you should understand whether your host is helping or hurting your rankings. Clearly, you want a host that can do both.
Web Hosting Factors That Affects the SEO
1. Website Speed
Sites that are fast and responsive are much more likely to climb up the search rankings than their slower counterparts. And it makes perfect sense. The user experience is severely harmed by a slow load time.
That’s a huge deal for Google. The tech conglomerate, Google was the first to start penalizing slow pages, and other search engines quickly followed suit.
If a website is slow to load and takes a long time to load, it is almost always due to a problem with the web host.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, also mentioned the impact of loading time on website results.
Now, simply making a fast-loading website isn’t enough to propel the site to the top of the search results. However, if you already have good onsite and offsite SEO and improve your site pace, your rankings should improve.
Users would have a bad user experience if the host is slow to load since they will be sitting there looking at a blank screen.
Bad user experience results in poor metrics such as a high bounce rate and a short period on your website, all of which will lower your rankings.
However, a relatively slow loading speed isn’t always the failure of your web host.
Your site’s configuration and coding may be the cause of the delay, but if you’re confident that your site’s technological setup is as optimized as it can be and you’re still experiencing slow page loading times, you can request that your web hosting company switch your website to a different server.
It’s not unusual for a website to share server resources with thousands of other websites, and the more websites you have on a server, the more resources those websites use, and the slower your site loads.
Page load times would increase immediately if you transfer your site to a less busy server, or perhaps a private/dedicated server.
A reliable web host uses the latest caching technology to reduce a website’s load time, resulting in a high volume of traffic. Be aware that a faster load time translates to more page views.
The following are some of the top online tools for estimating page load time:
2. Your Hosting Plan
It’s also crucial to know whether you’re using a shared or dedicated server. Your site will most likely be tethered to a server used by hundreds of other businesses if you choose a low-cost hosting option.
This isn’t really a negative thing because most web host offers shared hosting and it is the plan that most beginner webmasters start with.
If you use shared hosting, your blog will be hosted alongside hundreds or even thousands of other websites on the very same server.
Your IP address may be flagged as malicious if any of those other websites are operated by scammers, hackers, or other cybercriminals. If your website is considered to be in a bad neighborhood, its search engine rankings will plummet.
Shared servers are very common and suitable for most websites. There are, however, better alternatives if you’re working with a high volume of traffic, a high-maintenance web design, or just want to maximize speed. On a shared server, a resource-hungry neighbor will wreak havoc on your site’s efficiency.
There are, however, better alternatives if you’re working with a high volume of traffic, a high-maintenance web design, or just want to maximize speed. On a shared server, a resource-hungry neighbor will wreak havoc on your site’s efficiency.
You’ll always be sharing space if you use a virtual private server (VPS), but there will be some key differences.
With a VPS, you’re granted a certain amount of server resources, allowing your website more consistent capacity. A dedicated server is a best (but most expensive) choice.
If you sign up for one of these, you’ll have complete leverage over the server, as well as VIP status with the business you’re working with.
3. The Server Location
The location of your server is essential in providing a quick browsing experience for your website users.
This, of course, is dependent on the type of hosting you’re using. If you use cloud hosting, for example, it won’t be an issue.
If you’re using a shared, virtual private server, or a dedicated server, however, the further your visitors are from your server’s physical location, the slower your website will load.
You should expect the data center to be as close to the majority of your site’s users as feasible. Your website can take longer to load if your server is located far away.
The location of your server may also appear suspicious to search engines, thereby affecting your SEO. There might be something sinister going on if you work in one nation but use a host halfway across the world.
It needs to be noted that the servers should be fast itself and that the hosting provider should use a Content Delivery Network to improve performance even further (CDN).
This is a web host’s first and most important evaluation. If your site regularly experiences web server downtime, this is the first sign of a shady web host.
Downtime refers to the period of time your website is unavailable due to issues with the server on which it is hosted.
Spiders from search engines would most likely try to reach your website many times a day. If they come to your website during downtime, they will notice that it is unavailable and pass on to the nearest site.
If this occurs often, your site will be flagged as untrustworthy, and your rankings will feel the consequences.
Since it reflects poorly on search engines if searchers click on a result they have and then are unable to access the site, search engines do not want to rank unstable sites highly in their rankings.
Even a 99% uptime rate implies that the website will be unavailable for approximately 7 hours per month.
While you would want your website to be available all of the time, even on the most costly web hosting plans, some downtime is unavoidable.
While no hosting can guarantee 100 percent uptime, the better your host, the better your blog’s uptime will be. If you’ve been having a lot of downtimes, it’s probably time to consider changing your current hosting provider.
While having your site down shouldn’t have a significant effect on your rankings, it can have a detrimental effect on your user experience.
If a visitor wants to visit your website often and it is unavailable, they can immediately leave. Your bounce rate and CTR from search results can suffer as a result of this as well.
5. SSL Certificate
On the internet, trust is extremely important. If your website does not appear to be trustworthy, Google will not trust you and you will struggle to rank.
Your visitors are in the same boat. If your visitors don’t trust you, they’re less likely to buy from you or stick with your company in the long run.
Installing an SSL certificate on your site is a simple way to increase your trustworthiness. The link between your server and your user’s web browser will be encrypted with an SSL certificate.
This will allow for the safe transmission of personal data. An SSL certificate can also help your site boost its rankings in addition to making your visitors feel comfortable. Since 2014, Google has stated that SSL certificates are essential.
6. Incorrect TLD
TLDs (top-level domains) are the sections of a domain that follow the dot (e.g. .com, .org, .net) Despite attempts to popularize other TLDs such as .co, the majority of people still want your website to have a .com TLD. Using other TLDs makes a website more difficult to remember and can result in traffic loss.
TLDs do have an impact on Google search engine rankings, but not in a significant way.
Although the TLD of a website is only one of the hundreds of ranking criteria used by Google to rate websites, using a .com TLD can aid your SEO rankings because the name of your website is more memorable, enabling people to convey it with others.
If you’re targeting a specific region like the United Kingdom, a regional suffix like.co.uk is a good alternative to .com because Google can give your website a boost in local search results.
7. Responsive Support Team
Pay close attention to how people speak about the support of any web host when you read through their reviews.
You want to be able to quickly restore your site in the improbable chance that it goes down. Typically, this would include speaking with a support person.
A decent host should provide free service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Check the hours of operation for your future host’s support staff, as well as how you’ll be able to contact them. Is there contact information, a live chat option, or an email address?
Also, take a look at their social media pages. Web hosts who care for their customers are more likely to make customer service widely accessible on social media, perhaps even via dedicated support social media accounts.
It’s like creating sandcastles if you take all the precautions to protect your website but your hosting company doesn’t.
Malware, or all the negative stuff that people try to do to your website without your consent, is the most common external threat that digital marketers face today.
In addition to the reputational damage that occurs when a company’s website unintentionally harms its clients, blacklisting by popular search engines causes those sites to lose all of their SEO wins.
Many of you who have had your website hacked understand what I’m talking about and how annoying it is to have your company hacked.
A website with poor protection is likely infected with malware, which can result in de-indexing and domain blacklisting if not addressed quickly.
You will want a site backup that you can recover quickly if anything goes wrong. Check to see whether your host provides automated backups for free or at a premium.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is SEO web hosting?
Since SEO web hosting is not a process or product in and of itself, it lacks a formal description. Instead, it is a concept that people use to define a web hosting provider that is SEO compliant.
In fact, an SEO-friendly web host does not offer anything unique that will improve SEO, but it also does not do anything that will harm SEO.
In another word, an SEO web hosting company is one that does not engage in activities that can damage SEO.
2. How do I choose the most SEO-friendly web hosting company?
It’s not difficult to find an SEO web hosting service, and the best part is that there are a lot of them.
Due to the obvious fierce rivalry, they are able to provide quality products at lower cost, which benefits the customer.
However, this does not imply that all hosting platforms are excellent, so I will attempt to provide some guidance on how to choose a nice, SEO-friendly vendor for your digital business or website.
a. Check Reviews
You can conduct a Google search using the hosting company’s name and the term “reviews” (e.g. Liquid Web reviews).
Don’t waste your time reading affiliate website reviews because they will almost always support the web host in order to sell you their service and earn affiliate commissions. Rather, focus on reputable websites and social media feedback.
You can also read customer feedback on WHreviews, a third-party hosting review platform. Try to remove any choices that have a lot of negative feedback from irate customers.
b. Server Location
The location of your hosting server should be as near as possible to where the majority of your target visitors are.
For example, please ensure your web server isn’t on the other side of the planet if you’re a small business in Canada.
c. Check Uptime
Netcraft maintains an up-to-date list of all major hosting companies, measured by uptime.
You can look up any web host’s uptime/downtime history from the previous week, together with any errors.
Make sure the hosting company you’re considering has a spotless track record.
Issues will occur irrespective of how carefully you choose your hosting provider. When this happens, you want to be able to speak to or communicate with a technical assistant right away.
The individual you’re speaking with should have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong as well as how to correct it. Examine the level of customer service provided by the web hosting providers you’ve shortlisted.
Is it by email, online support, SMS, or a toll-free phone number? They must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and prioritize customer satisfaction.
Check to see if your web host is compatible with the technologies you’re using. All common platforms, such as Drupal, Magento, WordPress, Zen Cart, Joomla, and others, are supported by the majority of hosting providers.
However, if you’re using anything more unconventional like MongoDB or Ruby on Rails, double-check.
f. Hardware and Features
Almost any web host claims to be the world’s fastest and most dependable service.
It’s also difficult to predict exactly what sort of speeds and uptimes they’ll offer based on their hardware and features. Even so, a simple comparison isn’t a bad idea.
g. Check Speed
Rather than settling for “blazing fast” speeds, use online resources like Bitcatcha and PickupHost to get an overview of your potential hosting company’s server speeds.
Evaluate the servers’ CPU, RAM, and SSD storage. While website speed is affected by the way your blog is designed and the amount of traffic on the server, it’s a positive sign when a provider is open about these details.
Check out all of the freebies and enhancements that come with the hosting package.
Do they have a free domain, one-click downloads, a website builder, subdomains, or, most importantly, a content delivery network (CDN)?
If you have a large website for global audiences, the last one is a basic requirement.
Although saving money can never be your primary concern, it never hurts to get anything for free or at a reduced price.
Most hosting services claim to provide unmetered bandwidth but this is impossible to do, and you should always read the terms and conditions to understand the terms of service.
Plans with unlimited bandwidth are ideal for small websites with a few hundred to several thousand visitors every day.
However, if your site has tens or hundreds of thousands of regular visitors, your hosting provider can slow your traffic if it exceeds a certain bandwidth cap.
You would need to go for dedicated or cloud storage so that you can scale up and down easily and just pay for the bandwidth you use.
k. Compare Control Panels
The most prominent dashboards for controlling and monitoring your hosting and domains are cPanel and Plesk.
The most feature-rich control panel is cPanel, but it is only compatible with Linux.
If you really want Windows hosting, you’ll almost certainly get a Plesk control panel, which is the second most common control panel.
It is less cluttered than cPanel and has almost identical features. With one of these, you should be perfect.
l. Compare Pricing
The price is listed last because it should be the last consideration when purchasing hosting, particularly if you want to please the search engines with your website speeds.
There are plenty of low-cost hosting options available, but they will almost certainly fall short in the race for pace when pitted against rival websites.
It is my belief that this post has been able to answer the question “does web hosting affect SEO?”.
The popularity of a website is one of the most important aspects of its success. A web hosting service plays an important role in the success of your website.
Your website will not be used by almost as many people if it does not have a high search engine ranking.
As a result, it’s critical to do whatever you can to boost your website’s SEO, including choosing the right hosting provider and strategy.
Although good SEO is critical to any online business’s success, don’t forget about the impact website hosting will have on your search engine rankings.
Although there are no SEO web hosting providers, you can safeguard your website from unexpected surprises that also affect SEO such as outages, slow loading speeds, and security threats by choosing a trustworthy and reputable provider.
Increase your hosting budget to ensure that your SEO efforts are not jeopardized by weak infrastructure.