Does your web host affect SEO rankings? The direct answer is yes.
Truth is, your hosting provider can make or break your search engine rankings.
We know that keywords, backlinks, and content optimisation are must-haves for any good SEO strategy. But if you’ve been focusing on these methods without yielding positive results, it’s time to look into your choice of web host.
The question is — how do you know if your hosting is good for SEO?
Does Web Hosting Affect SEO? 5 Factors to Consider
1. Uptime and downtime
Search engines, like Google, are all about giving the users what they want.
If your website is always down, search engines flag it as unreliable. And you can bet that unreliable websites don’t show on the SERPs.
Since users find it hard to access your site, your bounce rates also increase. This impacts your site authority and gives you a bad rap among search engines.
This is why uptime is a crucial factor when choosing a web host.
Make sure you’re getting 99 to 100 percent uptime to keep your site up and running all the time. Anything less than that decreases your potential revenue.
2. Page load speed
Nobody has the patience for a slow-loading website — even Google.
If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, people won’t hesitate to look for another option.
A reliable hosting decreases your site’s loading time. But if you notice your site is still running slow, you could be looking into a lapse on your end.
Other than checking your web host, there are different ways to improve your site’s page loading speed, including:
- Optimising your website through caching
- Compressing your files and images
- Minimising dynamic content
Related Article: 8 Key Essentials for Your High-Traffic Website
3. Hosting type
Shared hosting is a quick way to get your website off the ground.
But there are situations where shared hosting isn’t ideal for SEO. The top of that list is spamming.
Shared hosting plans are cheaper. This makes them a spammers’ top choice — putting you at risk of being flagged as spam as well.
Aside from the SEO disadvantage, shared hosting is sometimes a security risk. When hackers get into a single website, the rest of the sites under the shared server are also vulnerable.
Avoid this by getting a dedicated IP address. A dedicated IP is an internet address exclusive to your hosting account.
This provides added security for your website. It also allows you to increase your website speed when traffic surges.
Of course, the other option is to consider upgrading your hosting plan. Two reliable hosting types to consider are VPS and Dedicated server hosting.
- VPS — A Virtual Private Server is a cost-effective way to manage your own private server. This provides more flexibility and scalability compared to shared hosting.
- Dedicated Server — A dedicated hosting gives you a fully-dedicated host server. This means you’re not sharing it with anyone and you get to enjoy 100% of its resources.
If you’re handling a high-traffic site, consider managed hosting.
Having professionals handle your hosting will take the burden off your plate. You get the chance to focus more on improving your SEO and quality of service.
4. Server location
If your website has a local target audience, get a local web host.
Why? Search engines assess the location of your web hosting server. The closer your server is to your audience, the more likely you’ll end up on their SERPs.
This is because every website has a designated IP address tied to its geographical location. If you have a local host, it’s easier to target a local audience and rank on local searches.
In the end, you’re getting relevant website traffic.
Aside from its SEO advantage, the server location also contributes to your page load time. The nearer it is to the user, the quicker it can fetch data compared to a website with a distant server location.
5. Secure site
The best hackers can easily penetrate your site without your knowledge. They may add malicious or irrelevant links to its backend. Next thing you know, Google penalises your site and puts you on a bad record.
Prevent this by choosing a web host that offers web security features against malware, spam, DDoS attacks, and other cyber threats.
Also, make sure to get an SSL certificate (HTTPS) to secure your website.
Aside from encrypting your website, an SSL gives you a better ranking on Google. It adds to your brand trust as people will want to transact with a secure website.
How to Transfer Your Hosting Without Affecting SEO
You’ve put a lot of effort into your SEO, but your web hosting just can’t keep up.
The best solution is to go straight to the source — switch web hosts. Don’t worry. There are several ways you can do to keep your SEO efforts from going down the drain.
When switching web hosts, you want to ensure a seamless transition without affecting the user experience.
Plus, you’ll want search engines to recognise the switch. This means your new pages should get the same ranking as the ones from your previous hosting.
Follow these simple steps for a smooth hosting transfer:
- Move the contents of a directory or subdomain first to test the transition process. Then, redirect the pages to the new site through a 301 redirect. This tells Google that your website is transferred permanently.
- Check whether the redirected pages are showing up on SERPs. Then, start moving the rest of the website.
In some cases, you may want to rebrand or redesign your website. So you transfer your site to a new domain. Make the transition smooth through the following steps:
- Move the site first before redesigning it.
- Check all internal and external links in your site. Make sure the internal links point to the new domain. You can also use a link checker to ensure your site doesn’t have any broken links — which are bad for SEO.
- Hold on to your old domain for at least 180 days. So in case you encounter loopholes in your transition, you’ll be able to fix it in no time.
If you’ve exhausted all SEO efforts to no avail, it’s high time to reconsider if you’ve chosen the right hosting. The good news is that it isn’t too late to find a better one that fits your business the most. Check out Vodien’s hosting plans and decide for yourself.