When it comes to SEO, one of the criteria that matters a lot is the choice of your host. However, this is unfortunately often something often overlooked by webmasters. We will see in this article how your web host influences the ranking of your site in search engines and how to choose a quality web host.
Why your hosting can impact your SEO
Downtime affects not only the overall performance of a website but also it’s ranking in the search engine results pages. Let’s see this in a practical way.
When a website unexpectedly breaks down, it no longer appears on search engines. Finally, your site is visited daily by Google robots. If the crawlers can no longer find your site, this will have the consequence of degrading the referencing of the site. In addition, the bounce rate of this site will also be impacted which will influence the authority of the site in a negative way.
To avoid downtime and obtain a maximum availability rate for your website, you must choose the best host available for your website and use monitoring tools.
Page loading time
The second factor to take into account when testing a web host is the loading time of a website. If a website is slow and takes a long time to load, it will directly impact your visits.
Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s “Webspam” team, also highlighted the effect of page load times on website performance.
A faster website is good for everyone, but especially for users. Numerous examples have shown that the acceleration of the user experience leads to an increase in usage. The speed of your website is therefore not only an element that can affect your ranking in search engines, it is also something beneficial for your user experience.
It is universally recognized that if a website takes more than two seconds to load, visitors are more likely to move on to the next possible option. The loading time of the pages of a website is, therefore, a very sensitive factor for its reputation.
Rental of hosting servers
The server location plays an essential role in providing visitors to your website with a fast browsing experience. The proximity of the server to the target audience makes it easier to redirect the audience to your site.
Each website is assigned an IP address that is directly linked to the geographic location of your website. Choosing a local host will allow you to easily target the local audience and, ultimately, improve the ranking of your site in local search engines.
However, the location of the server also plays a role in the loading time of web pages. To remedy this, it is possible to opt for a CDN which improves the performance of your websites across the globe.
How to choose your web host
The criteria for choosing a web host vary depending on the type of site you manage and the volume of traffic you receive. There is no perfect hosting choice for every type of website.
For example, if you have a small site that does not receive a lot of traffic, then a shared host will be enough to support your site.
However, if you receive hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, the use of shared hosting will probably have a negative impact on the performance and positioning of your site. In this case, the best solution is to switch to VPS hosting, in the cloud, or on a dedicated server.
In order to find the best SEO friendly host, an overview of these services can be found here. Several criteria can be used to compare the different hosts. We can cite the different offers offered, technical performance, ease of use, price, or customer service. Here are some questions to ask yourself before choosing your supplier:
- Does the host have a high level of performance?
- Does your host have an automated backup system or does it use a third-party plugin?
- Do you have the option of installing or purchasing an SSL certificate for your site?
- Does your host guarantee a high operating time for your site?
- Is there data or a backup guarantee?
- Can you choose the location of your data center?
- Does your hosting include an integrated or third-party CDN?
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Some SEO optimization tips compared to your host
Set up geo-targeting
Geographic targeting is a great feature of the Google Search Console. This tool allows you to target the right audience on a global scale, regardless of the location of your server.
If your website has a local domain such as (.fr, .be, .ch), you don’t have to worry about targeting the target audience, as it is likely to get it automatically. On the other hand, if your domain is global like (.com), you must identify the country you are targeting in the search console.
If you do not define the target country in the search console, Google will follow the IP address to identify the country of the website which may become a problem later. Using the search console may allow a global domain to target a specific country.
Set up an SSL certificate
Confidence is huge online. If your site does not appear to be trustworthy, then Google will not trust you and you will have difficulty ranking yourself. The same goes for your visitors. If your visitors don’t trust you, they probably won’t buy your products and services.
An easy way to improve your confidence is to install an SSL certificate on your site. An SSL certificate will encrypt the connection between your server and your user’s web browser. This will allow the secure exchange of personal information. But in addition to reassuring your visitors, an SSL certificate will also help your site to improve its ranking. Since 2014, Google has recognized SSL certificates as a ranking factor.