Choosing your website hosting is a complex process that deserves some thought. We recently shared our thoughts on what to look for when choosing your hosting provider. We’re now going to delve a little deeper to look at the intersection between SEO and hosting.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a complex process. It’s not a button that you hit once your website goes live. It’s also not a journey with a defined destination. It’s an ongoing process of small steps that all add up to a stronger website presence.
Website hosting is the foundation of your SEO campaign. Without strong foundations, the rest of your efforts will be resting on shaky ground. It doesn’t matter how many links you build and how many stellar articles you publish, if your website hosting isn’t up to scratch, your website will never reach its full potential.
In this article, we are going to explore why choosing the right website hosting is so essential to your SEO efforts. We’ll also explore what steps you can take if you’ve chosen the wrong website host.
The link between website hosting and SEO
As we mentioned above, your website hosting is the foundation of your SEO campaign. Without effective hosting that meets the demands of your users, search engines will never reward you with high positions.
Search engines are tasked with providing the best possible user experience. Imagine you click through to a result and the page takes forever to load. You try the next result and you land on a website with an awful user experience and a page full of keyword stuffing. If this happened time and time again, you would eventually look for an alternative search engine.
To stop this from happening, search engines reward the sites that offer the best user experience with higher rankings. This, in turn, allows users to find the results they are looking for faster.
So, how does website hosting impact this?
If your website hosting is slow, suffers from regular downtime, or struggles to keep up with bandwidth demands, your website user experience will suffer.
From the location of your hosting server to the type of website hosting you choose, these will all have an impact on the user experience. This is why getting your hosting right from the start can help to put your SEO campaign on the right track.
Why speed matters
Users expect a fast website experience. Whether looking at your site on a desktop, mobile or tablet device. The user experience should be lightning fast when using fibre broadband, or patchy 3G internet in a train tunnel.
Your choice of website hosting will have a huge impact on your website speed. It could also impact your website downtime. It’s normal for website hosting to have some downtime. But outages should last minutes, not hours.
Hosting companies will typically state their uptime guarantees, so look for a provider that offers above 99.9% uptime. This will equate to just 1.44 minutes of possible downtime per day. If you can find a hosting provider with a higher guarantee, this is even better.
If you’re not sure how well your current website hosting performs you can use the Uptime Robot. This will send you an email alert when your site is down and when it’s back online again.
Which hosting is best for SEO?
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your website hosting. You can refresh your memory of the different types of website hosting here. Consider the following factors when choosing your website host:
- Uptime guarantee
- Server location
- SSL included
- Responsive support
Server location matters because it will impact how quickly your website loads. An SSL certificate will also help to boost your SEO efforts. And finally, responsive support will ensure you can also get through to a real person if anything goes wrong with your site.
We’ve mentioned scalability on this list as you should always be thinking about growth. While you might have modest traffic levels at the moment, as your website authority grows and your site traffic grows with it, you need website hosting that can keep up. You don’t want to be in a position where you grow your traffic through your SEO efforts, only to be penalised when your hosting can’t keep up.
What can I do if I’ve chosen the wrong host?
If you aren’t happy with your current hosting, don’t worry, you’re not stuck with them forever. You can easily migrate your website to a new host. We’ve shared instructions on how to move your WordPress website to a new host here.