How Does Web Hosting Affect Your Website’s SEO Ranking?
Article by John Yee
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
Improving your website’s search engine ranking typically involves putting industry-related keywords across your site. Many also believe that updating your content regularly could easily land you a favourable spot on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Little do they know, staying on top of the SERPs requires another thought-out component: web hosting.
Regularly refining your website is, without a doubt, the cornerstone of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, any attempt to improve your SEO will not bring about your desired impact if having a professional web hosting service for your website wasn’t considered in the first place.
4 Components that Make Web Hosting Critical for SEO
1. Site Reliability
Your site’s reliability is measured on its uptime or downtime, wherein the latter refers to the amount of time it’s inaccessible due to several problems with its server. Search engines always put reliable sites on a higher rank to maintain quality and credibility of their search results. So when their search spiders visit your site while it’s down, they will flag it as inaccessible and unreliable, resulting in a negative impact on your search engine ranking.
A reliable web hosting provider will ensure that your website is always accessible for users to discover what you have to offer. If your website’s been experiencing a significant amount of downtime, then it’s definitely high time for you to change your host.
Having an efficient website design by itself is not enough. Ideally, you would prefer your website to be accessible all the time because even a 99% uptime means that it will be down for 7 hours over one month. Then again, technical problems are inevitable so opt for a hosting provider that guarantees at least 99.9% uptime.
2. Site Speed
In 2010, Google declared site speed as a significant factor in their search engine results algorithms simply because they want visitors to get the best user experience possible. Since then, fast and responsive websites have gained the favour of search engines. Aside from benefitting in the SERPs, a fast website helps visitors to swiftly navigate across your webpages, eventually increasing your page views.
Enhancing your site speed will depend on two factors: programming and the server specifications by your hosting provider. This means that on one hand, resources like code and images on your website should be optimised for viewing across all platforms. On the other, your site should be under a hosting plan that provides the best hardware for your needs.
Even though you are in control of having a responsive website, your hosting provider is entirely responsible for supplying good data infrastructure and fast hardware for your website. It’s important to keep in mind that the abovementioned factors go hand in hand all the time. Otherwise, it would be just like having a skilled race car driver being unable to drive fast because of his mediocre-performing car.
3. Server Location
Search engines evaluate the location of a user whenever they place it on their rankings. So when a person searching is in Singapore, then websites hosted in the country will be ranked higher. In order to do this, search engines determine for example, the IP address of your site that is based on the location of your server. Hence if your business is targeted locally in Singapore, then it would be wise to choose a hosting provider whose servers are in Singapore. This is specially the case for e-commerce website development.
However, if your website caters to clients outside the country, your site may be ranked lower in search results abroad. So if your current provider can’t offer you a hosting plan with a Content Delivery Network (CDN), then your best option would be to migrate to a more competent provider. CDN refers to the network of geographically-distributed servers that deliver contents based on the user’s location.
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4. Website Security
Google announced in 2014 that implementing an HTTPS encryption on your website can earn you a slight increase on the SERPs. While web security carries a minor impact on SEO, we highly recommend businesses to not neglect it.
In fact, businesses should learn from the recent threats in cyberspace that resulted in data breaches and cyber attacks on the biggest and most prominent institutions. Poor security puts your site at risk and is detrimental to your SEO. Because once your site becomes vulnerable, hackers will penetrate, attack, and create malicious content to your website. This can cause your site to be de-indexed and blacklisted by search engines.
Therefore, when choosing your web hosting provider, it’s important to know if they offer:
- Secure File Transfer Protocol to secure your files and protects them from being intercepted and modified.
- An SSL Certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s crucial for making sure that communications and transactions in your website are secure. Know more about the importance of SSL certificate here.
- Automatic, regular backups to protect you from losing important data.
- Server maintenance to protect your site from security breaches.
We discuss more about how you can ramp up your site’s security in this article.
What Your Next Step Should Be
Verz Design believes that any effort to improve a website’s SEO should always begin with engaging a competent web hosting provider. This ensures that the site is protected from any unfortunate events like downtimes, slow loading speeds, and security breaches – factors considered as a red flag by search engines.
Ideally, you should also know the needs of your site prior to selecting the right hosting provider. Doing so allows the web host to narrow down on the best hosting plans for your business. Moreover, your provider of choice should be able to give you expert pieces of advice in cases of uncertainty of what your requirements should be.
No matter the scale of your company, we advise that by all means, don’t compromise quality by choosing the cheaper option. The right hosting plan will help improve your site’s search visibility while it ensures a better user experience for your visitors.
Our clients here at Verz stand as a testament to quality web hosting solutions as we have pushed thousands of them towards web excellence.
Be confident about your SEO. Know more about reliable web hosting solutions by giving us a call at 6841 1680 or sending us an email at [email protected] for a free consultation!