Today businesses compete online with each other. Battles are won and lost based on the ability to capture audience attention. So achieving SEO success is a top priority for every business.
However, SEO ranking depends on multiple factors. And your choice of web host has an influence on those factors. Let’s take a look at some of the crucial issues.
Uptime or Availability
Most web hosts advertise uptime or availability as selling points for their services. Nobody can guarantee perfect uptime. But higher uptime or availability equates to higher quality of service and better user experience.
The uptime/availability numbers are often talked about in terms of nines. For example, “one nine” is 90%, “two nines” is 99% and “five nines” is 99.999%. The definition of uptime or availability can differ from organization to organization. So you should investigate and understand the contract before you sign a deal with your web host.
Search engines are constantly scanning websites. So if the search engine crawlers can’t reach your page because your web host is down, it will have an adverse effect on your SEO ranking. In Q2 of 2017, 43 percent of the top 1K websites experienced zero downtime. So there seems to be a correlation between high availability and high rank.
Page Loading Speed
The performance of your page loads will depend on the power of the servers supporting the efforts. As your web host controls the quality of the servers, you are at their mercy. If you are running your web pages on a slow web host, optimizing images and other SEO techniques will not help you overcome the bottleneck.
Today users are not willing to wait for slow pages. Because page loading plays a vital role in user satisfaction and user experience, search engines like Google and Bing put a heavy premium on page loading speeds. So if your web host is slowing you down, your ranking will suffer.
Electric signals are bound by the laws of physics. Distances affect the time it takes for a signal to travel. So your page loading can slow down when your audience is from a faraway location.
Choosing a web host nearer to your customers can significantly improve performance and speed. Also, for businesses with multiple locations, there are modern cloud hosting services that can serve local users. Using edge computing in the cloud or content delivery networks (CDNs), businesses can get the benefit of setting up servers nearer to the audience without incurring exorbitant costs.
Security breaches are always a concern for businesses due to the effect it has on customer trust. It can also destroy a businesses SEO reputation. Hackers can take control of websites and post malicious content, generate spam pages and put a massive number of backlinks. Search engines penalize all of these behaviors. They lead to poor SEO ratings
When you are using a web host, you are not in control of the full environment. Web hosting services that are lax on security practices can get breached anytime. They become a big risk for your business.
When you see a web address with “https” in the front, you are seeing a website that is using SSL certificate. Without SSL, anyone can read the communication between a site and a user. But SSL encrypts the communication to ensure nobody but the intended parties can read the messages.
Search engines like Google have already told users that SSL is a factor in determining SEO rating. Most web hosts are moving to help their customers implement SSL. If a web host doesn’t have support for SSL, it can be considered a red flag.
High-quality web hosts provide backup tools as part of the standard package. You shouldn’t have to depend on a third-party solution for something as fundamental as backups.
Factors like security threats, hardware failure, and software bugs can result in lost data. If your web hosting service doesn’t provide a backup mechanism, you might have no other recourse but to start from scratch. But starting from scratch means that your SEO ranking will suffer.
Shared Hosting Issues
Businesses like shared hosting as an affordable solution. However, websites running on shared hosts can be easily impacted by other websites on the same servers. There is no way for you to know the performance penalties.
Shared hosting is a hotly debated topic in the SEO community. Even though search engine companies have indicated that they don’t penalize websites for using shared hosts, most website owners believe there might be some effect. Even if the search engines don’t directly penalize, still the performance issues of shared hosting might cause deterioration of SEO performance.
Dedicated Server Concerns
Dedicated servers might be a viable option for websites with heavy traffic. These servers have the potential to provide instant performance boosts. But web hosting services charge premium prices for them. So they can be too expensive.
Uptime or availability only covers the problems directly related to web hosting infrastructure. But your website can run into performance issues or downtimes for other reasons like software bugs or configuration problems. During those times, you will need the help of the web hosting service. If a web hosting service doesn’t have good technical support, you might have unnecessary downtime due to lack of help on simple issues. And long periods of downtime lead to bad SEO.
You can set up your own analytics on your website. And it is a necessary part of SEO good practices. But web hosts can capture certain traffic or performance-related information that you might not be able to see with your personal setup.
A comprehensive analytics package gives you an opportunity to look at the relevant data and make more informed decisions. It helps you create better experiences for your customers, decrease bounce rates, increase stickiness and improve SEO scores.
Good SEO ranking takes a lot of effort and hard work. You can improve your ranking through SEO optimizations of your website. But you have less control over your web host. So it makes sense to kexep a close eye on the performance of your host, collect metrics and change your web hosting service if necessary.