Being an SEO expert, and as SEO experts, we already have a lot in our minds like making authoritative backlinks, unique content creation, competitor analysis, etc. However, amidst all the noise. One factor often gets overlooked, one that’s so crucial, it can literally make or break your site.
You guessed it right, we’re talking about web hosting, of course.
Being a huge determinant for your site’s accessibility (and thus SEO), your fight for online prominence doesn’t start with keywords & metrics; it actually begins when you find a brilliant hosting solution & pick the right plan.
Below, we have listed some of the major ways how a hosting and its quality would affect your SEO strategies & experiences;
How can a web hosting choice affect SEO? (A brief overview)
The job of Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about bringing organic visitors to your sites, and it does so by ranking you in a top area on the SERP’s. It is well known that smooth/swifter sites are more likely to get better SERP ranks – and if you want the same for your site, you must work with top-notch hosting.
Ultimately, you want a web host that supports your SEO efforts, rather than impeding them – one that will prevent server errors and timeouts (among other things) and stop users from going back to Google killing conversions.
Below, let’s take a closer look at how a web hosting choice can affect SEO, addressing each & every factor in great detail;
Explained! The top 7 ways how a web hosting choice can affect SEO
While a good hosting doesn’t guarantee top rankings, a bad one can actively destroy the chances of you ever being able to come out on top.
Here are all the ways a hosting may impact your SEO game;
1) Loading speeds
Sites that are quick and responsive are more likely to rank higher – and it makes sense. Slow loading times are ruinous for the user experience. For Google (and all other SE’s), that’s a pretty huge deal breaker indeed.
Of course, several factors can slow a website down. Things start from TTFB and can go to an individual static file. You should start to fix the largest one first.
Oversized media are huge culprits, so is poorly coded CSS & HTML foundations. But hey, even if you fix all these, a slow hosting can still undoubtedly put you on the back burner. This is especially true and no one can not deny this if your site is looking to experience a lot of traffic, media, and engagements.
Ideally, you want hosting that lets your site load in 2 seconds or less. The faster, the better, as this will massively reduce bounce rates.
2) Downtime rating
What’s worse than a site that loads slowly? One that doesn’t load at all! When the hosting (and your site) is down, it obviously makes a bad customer impression, and your traffic will turn to your competitors – we don’t want that!
When a site goes down due to a host issue, you bet Google will note that. If the site is frequently unavailable, Google will flag it as unreliable, and your SEO will go down the drain. In fact, if the site is unavailable for too long, they may get even removed fully from the search results – we definitely don’t want that!
To avoid this, get a host with at least 99.9% uptime (higher if you can get it). On average, that translates to around a downtime of 8.8 hours a year, which should be okay even for a professional website & its needs.
3) Server location (this is important)
While uptime is all about keeping up your websites light on at all times, your server locations dictate how quickly the content will be accessible to the users. This is a major ranking factor, so considering this is very crucial.
In every hosting solution (beside cloud), your site data is going to be stored in a physical location. Ideally, you’d want that as close to home as possible for speed & reliability. This has big repercussions for SEO, as Google is big on relevancy – meaning that they will want to answer queries from a certain country with results from the same place.
The solution? Opt for a hosting service that’s based or has data centers near to you – that it! It also goes without saying that servers themselves should also be fast, preferably with a boost in performance via CDN and SSL certificates.
4) Other features to consider
Beyond just keeping your site alive, there are many, many features that you can enjoy with modern web hosting at large. Indeed, most of them are optional add-ones, and along with boosting websites, some can upgrade your SEO too.
Some of the popular SEO ready – features include;
Automatic backups: if something ever goes wrong with your website or SEO, it’s smart to have a backup of your site to restore from. Whether you get it for free or for an extra cost, make sure your hosting offers this feature.
SSL readiness: HTTPS websites have long been a major ranking factor. If you haven’t made the switch yet, it’s time to get started with an SSL supported hosting. Some offer it fully free of cost, while others may charge a premium.
Upgradable plans: overtime, your website will grow, and you’ll eventually need to get more resources to help run it, like a dedicated server. This pace swap will be cheap and lighter on your SEO if you just switch the plans & not the hosting.
5) Customer support
No matter how good hosting is, it’s bound to go down sooner or later, which, as explained before, can affect your SEO detrimentally. When this happens, you’d want to fix it up quickly, and this often involves dealing with customer care.
To ensure fast resolutions, make sure to go for hosting with customer care support available 24/7 all around the year. Consider all the ways and how easy it is to get in touch with them when problems occur – be it phone, live chat, or emails. Some good ones also tend to offer c-support via social media channels.
Reading up on old user reviews is a great way also to know how user-friendly a hosting (or literally any service) is – so make sure to do it.
6) Security aspects
Even if you take all measures to secure your website but if the web hosting provider does not do the same, it is like building a sandcastle – all it takes is a wave (a hack) to destroy your hard work in a jiffy fully.
And hey, if there is no website, then there is no need for SEO either.
To avoid this troublesome situation, make sure to invest in a hosting that’s secure enough to tackle most cyber threats better.
Opt for one with secured servers, firewalls, SSL certificates, data encryption, and, as explained before, automatic site backup options, as this can help you rebuild your site should things ever go south.
7) The hosting type
Even if you choose the best hosting provider available, your site and your SEO could still suffer very annoyingly if you didn’t pick the right web hosting plan/type for you. Believe it or not, this is a mistake that’s all too common.
To save you from such pitfalls, here is a closer look at all the common hosting solutions and to whom it’s designed for;
Shared hosting: Under this cheap hosting, you’ll be storing your site on the same servers as many others, sharing resources like RAM, bandwidth, CPU, etc… naturally, this plan is wonderful for beginners entry-level sites.
Dedicated server hosting: Under these pricier plans, you’ll be getting an entire server exclusively to your site to play around in. You get full root & access along with ALL the resources. This is great for heavy multimedia-rich, large sites.
Cloud hosting: Instead of a physical server, cloud hosting leverages the cloud’s power to host your websites online. You get a ton of resources; it’s secure and is also scalable, meaning that you can upgrade as you see fit.
Investing in the right plan is crucial to both your SEO & your sites long term health. So consider your needs deeply & make a choice appropriately.
Web hosting choices that affect SEO – the conclusion
In its essence, a nice, SEO-ready web hosting is one of those things that keep running in the background without you ever having to spare a thought for it. The best hosting will get you top SERP ratings with the least effort possible.
An SEO-friendly host will look different based on the kind of site you’re operating & how much traffic you will receive. Thankfully, you live in a buyer’s market, and there are plenty of hosting companies to choose from these days. Consider all your needs, both today and tomorrow, and use that info to pick the best-suited hosting. Above all else, never rush it. Subpar hosting can be more than just a nuisance-they can burn your SEO down if not careful.
So did you find the best SEO – ready hosting for you? We’d like to know. Please share with us in the comments below, along with your thoughts & ideas.