So you want to grow your online business and take your web presence to the next level. Maybe you’ve contracted an SEO agency to oversee your content and hired a specialist to develop your backend. You’ve put hours of effort into improving your website’s layout, aesthetics and function. Surely, this should all mean that your web traffic increases. But what if it doesn’t?
Think of your website as a house and search engine optimization (SEO) as a road map to your house. You want your customers to select the route straight to you by using the right combinations of words and key phrases to draw them in. Yet, one small misstep in your planning process can ruin all your efforts and send your potential customer to a completely different business. And for many, the mistake they make is in their choice of a web host.
A web host is a platform where a website operates. The web host server is where all files related to your website are saved and made available for online viewing. Think of it as the foundation for your house. Issues with your web host can affect your website’s performance and where it appears on search engines and can make the difference between attracting new clients or losing business. Here’s how web hosting can affect your website’s SEO.
1-Using a host with a bad reputation:
Not all web hosts are created equal. A web host with a good reputation should have updated security certificates and regular checks to ensure they’re only hosting legitimate websites. Hosts that have scammer or virus peddling websites on them will regularly get flagged by Google’s algorithm. If this occurs frequently enough, even other legitimate websites on the server will be impacted, and your website SEO could suffer as a result. Even if your content or landing page is well-designed, a bad host could push from the first page of search results.
To avoid this issue, research your potential web host thoroughly. Read reviews, check consumer ratings and even look up what websites you share a server with using a reverse IP lookup service. A large amount of spam or poor-quality websites should be a red flag. Additionally, make sure your web host offers secure socket layer (SSL) certificates, ensuring that your and your customer’s private data will be protected. To improve SEO and server performance, pick a server located in a country where either your business or the majority of your clientele is located.
2-Using a host with a slow server
You’ve probably experienced the frustration of clicking on a website only for the landing page to take ages to load or worse-for the whole website itself to be down. Those precious seconds wasted can be costly as research shows many consumers have limited patience for technical issues and will navigate away quickly. Your SEO will also be affected as search engines, such as Google, penalize slow loading speeds by moving sites down the results page.
To make every second count, you need a web host with fast server speeds that will allow quick loading and navigation on all your website pages. A good web host should avoid hosting too many websites on the same server to maximize speed and have the proper infrastructure to avoid lags. Make sure to test for speed when selecting your web host.
3-Using a host with a lot of downtimes.
When searching for a potential web host, make sure to look for an uptime percentage. Many web hosts will provide a guarantee that your website will be up for 99 (or even 100% of a time). A shoddy server means your website may be offline frequently, which will lose potential traffic and affect your search engine ranking. In addition to downtime, the web host should also have strong database connection speeds. Slow connection speeds can slow down media content loadings such as images and videos or affect vital commerce processes such as checkout or product selection. Sometimes, if too many people attempt to access the same page or another website on your server gets increased traffic, this can cause the whole server to crash. Your web host should have safeguards in place to mitigate this.
Some downtime and the rare server issue are unavoidable even with the best host. Still, your web host should also provide round-the-clock customer service to immediately work on downtime errors and provide live updates on your server status. Read reviews from other website owners on their experiences with customer care before making your final decision.
This is just a small sample of how poor web hosting can affect your website’s SEO success. Web hosting is a background process but a vital one that can make all the difference in your website thriving or falling.