Search engine optimization (SEO) can be your brand’s ticket to success or a gate to failure in the digital world. How you optimize your website and the strategies you use will determine how much benefits you can reap in this sector. Even with the right techniques, it’s important to note that there are many factors that SEO professionals will always worry about––from the old standbys, like content creation and link building, to the trendy features, like featured snippets and voice search.
If you’ve just started your journey in the online market, there are several things that you’ll need to keep in mind. For one, your domain name should reflect your brand’s objectives and must also be something that your audience finds relatable. The type of content you post and how regularly you do that will also impact your SEO ranking. One significant factor, though, that’s rarely given importance is an SEO-friendly hosting. And that’s what this article is all about; read on to learn more!
What is SEO-friendly hosting?
You’ve probably come across the phrase ‘web hosting,’ but what does it mean? Well, it’s basically an online service that allows you to save and publish your web files to the internet. As such, any internet user can access your website provided they have the required credentials, if any. It’s one of the most important factors and a must-have feature for anyone looking to get their website running.
Features to look for in an SEO-friendly hosting service
However, not all web hosting services can work perfectly for you. That’s why it’s recommended that you look for SEO-friendly hosting. In other words, you should find a web hosting service that guarantees a user-friendly experience, which ultimately leads to an improvement in your SEO ranking. Remember, search engines prioritize those websites that have consistent uptime on top of high-quality content.
With that said, here are some of the factors to consider when searching for an SEO-friendly hosting service:
- Uptime guarantee
Almost everything today can be accomplished online––be it shopping or making inquiries. The beauty of today’s market is the fact that customers have options. If one website isn’t meeting your needs, you can simply move to the next until you find the right provider. But that doesn’t sound like a good thing to someone who’s running an online business, as it means competition will always become stiffer with time. Thus, if you’re an online entrepreneur, one thing you should do to remain competitive is to make sure your website is always accessible, and this is where a reputable web hosting service provider comes in.
Uptime refers to the amount of time that a website is fully operational. Unfortunately, though, even companies with the most sophisticated computer systems cannot provide 100% uptime. So, to ensure that your SEO game remains at par with the best in the market, you’ll have to choose a company with the lowest possible downtime. As a matter of fact, reputable web-hosting providers, like Brontobytes, will give you 99.9% uptime, which translates to as low as 8.8 hours downtime per year, or at most 1.44 minutes a day (and in real life scenarios, it can sometimes go for months without any downtime). (1)
But there are those organizations that claim to offer 100% uptime. How true are their claims? Well, be wary of such service providers because there’s always going to be some downtime. Servers misbehave from time to time, and that’s normal. Someone who claims to offer something that’s impractical has clearly failed your initial transparency test and should be scrapped off your candidate list immediately to avoid future disappointments.
- Available value-addons
It’s important to look for a web-hosting service provider that offers more than just hosting. Everyone likes options when shopping for products and services, and that should be the same thing with website development. Many companies today give you an option for add-ons, which means you can add any extra feature to your current package based on your budget.
So, what are some of the options you should look for in terms of add-ons? Automatic backups must be a priority because they come in handy in case of any breach. With these regular backups, you can restore your data quickly and resume normal operations in case you find yourself in such a situation.
FTP access, SSL, and the option to upgrade your current plan to a dedicated one are other things you should consider. Some companies may offer basic SEO tasks that’ll help improve your online presence even further. You can, however, choose to invest in a dedicated SEO service provider, like Digital Sisco, to grow your brand’s organic traffic and ensure you compete effectively with your market rivals. (2)
- High server speed
Another important feature to consider is the server speed. With many online sources of information available today and thousands of e-commerce websites, one can easily shift from one site to another if they don’t get the experience they desire. Page loading speed is one of those features that can easily affect an internet user’s experience. As such, if you’re looking to build a name in the online world and remain competitive in your SEO ranking, your website’s speed should be among your top priorities.
There are many things that can affect a site’s speed, including heavy CSS, poor coding, and too many plugins or widgets. Another crucial factor is the state of the hosting server you choose. Unfortunately, though, many businesses ignore the initial red flags in their selection process, which they’ll only realize once they’re committed to a given service provider.
If you’re running a start-up business, it might be difficult to afford top-notch services. Nonetheless, it’s always recommended that you invest in dedicated servers rather than shared resources. While at it, make sure you confirm the internet provider used by the web hosting company as it can significantly affect your website’s speed.
When it comes to server speed, another factor worth checking out is customer feedback. What are some of the users saying about this company’s servers? Are the speeds worth investing in? Can the servers handle a website of your kind? Every hosting company will say all the good things about their services but the feedback from customers is what’ll confirm those claims. So, be sure to do your research before committing to anything.
- Server location
Server location is a very crucial factor in the world of SEO but, unfortunately, many business owners overlook it. You can have everything sorted out from uptime to add-ons, but if the server location isn’t favorable, internet users will still face issues accessing your website. Keep in mind that your website data is stored in a physical server, and the closer it is to your potential audience, the faster it’ll be for internet users to access your website.
But how exactly does server location affect your website’s accessibility? It’s all about trustworthiness in the ‘eyes’ of search engine algorithms. Those servers that are located farther from the audience may look suspicious of the search engines, and that could easily impact your SEO ranking.
Thus, it’s a good idea to look for a server that’s close enough to you and your target group. As a start, you should consider a web-hosting service provider that’s within your state or region. The good thing with most companies today is the fact that they have servers distributed across various locations. So, investing in the services of such companies will give you a competitive advantage over your closest rivals.
- Security protocols
As technology continues to advance, cybercriminals also keep improving their game. So, it’s important to prioritize the security of your data when looking for a hosting company. Remember, a website that prioritizes security enjoys positive feedback from its visitors, which further enhances its SEO.
On the flip side, a website that’s continuously being hacked can be a dealbreaker for many internet users. Even the current customers will start refraining from any transactions related to that brand. This will destroy your name and make you less competitive in the market. In the long run, your sales will drop significantly, and your SEO ranking will face a heavy blow. As such, it’s important to find a web-hosting service provider that meets your security needs. (3)
The importance of web hosting for any business website cannot be understated. For one, it provides safe storage of the site’s crucial data––from user sign-in credentials to important blog content. As such, it’s no surprise that every business owner is advised to look for a hosting provider that not only favors their budget, but also meets their overall business needs.
Some of the factors to consider when looking for a web hosting company include the server’s uptime guarantee. A downtime of below eight hours per year is almost perfect for any business. The server speed and location should also be among your top priority as they have a huge impact on your brand’s SEO. The hosting company should also guarantee data security, especially since cybercrimes have become rampant. Finally, be sure to confirm any available form of add-ons that might help enhance your SEO ranking.
- “SEO-Friendly Hosting: 5 Things to Look for in a Hosting Company”, Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/technical-seo/web-hosting/#close
- “The Beginner’s Guide To SEO”, Source: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
- “Seven Factors To Consider When Choosing A Reliable Web Hosting Company”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/02/09/seven-factors-to-consider-when-choosing-a-reliable-web-hosting-company/?sh=70d4d27c4cab