Of all the elements that get measured, tweaked, enhanced and improved to make sure a website’s SEO is as good as it can be, there is one that very rarely gets mentioned, and that is the site’s web hosting. We are not talking about specific companies as it unlikely any one brand of hosting company will influence your site’s ranking. However, the performance of your web hosting service in three crucial areas can affect your site’s ranking positively if it is up to standard or negatively if it is not.
This is of particular interest to you if your business targets customers locally in terms of the country you live in, rather than across the entire internet. For example, let’s say your business is located in Melbourne, and your customer base is anyone who lives in Australia. When someone in Australia searches for one of your keywords, the search engines are more likely to display websites of Australian businesses, but only if they are hosted there.
The search engines can do this by checking the IP address of the site, which tells them where the hosting servers are located. With this knowledge, if your business is country specific it would make sense for you to select a web hosting company that can offer to host your site on servers located in the country of your choice.
On the other hand, if you sell products to anywhere in the world, such as digital downloads, then it would be wise to host on servers located in the country with your biggest markets. Normally this would be the USA, but that may differ depending on the products or services you sell.
The search engine companies are very reluctant to divulge what their algorithms are but it is no secret that the speed a website loads up plays a part in ranking scores. How much it influences it, we don’t know but whatever it is, you should always try to ensure that your website loads as quickly as possible.
If you are experiencing slow loads times, first check that it isn’t an issue within the coding of your website. Once this has been eliminated then you should speak to your web hosting company about being moved to a faster server.
If your website is down for any period of time it is the equivalent of a high street store suddenly closing its doors. The more reliable your web hosting service is the better as the last thing you want is for your site to be offline when the search engine spiders come looking for it.
If your site is recognised as being unreliable it will knock your ranking down in a big way. Even hosts that offer 99% uptime mean that over a 30-day period there is the potential for your site to be offline for over 7 hours. That is a lot of time for your website to be ‘closed’ both in terms of SEO and in lost customers who will simply look elsewhere. The best option is to find a hosting service that guarantees as close to 100% uptime as possible.