Every client asks me about SEO and how they can improve their search-engine ranking. One factor that most people don’t consider is where the website is hosted. Your choice of web host has a dramatic effect on your site’s SEO. Here are the top reasons:

  1. Uptime
    This is the percentage of time your site is actually being displayed. Search engines are constantly crawling; if your site is down, they’ll pass you by and you just lost ranking.
  2. Page load speed
    The common standard is that if a page doesn’t load in two seconds, you’ve lost the viewer. Because page load speed affects viewer satisfaction, search engines reward faster load times with higher rankings. Where your host comes in is the power of their servers; if the servers render the pages slowly, that bottleneck will reduce the effectiveness of all your other SEO work.
  3. Geo-proximity
    All the components that affect page load time are subject to actual physical limitations. To speed things up, choose a web host that’s near your audience. If your audience is in New Zealand, pick a host there.
  4. Security
    If your site gets hacked, it’s a disaster for SEO. Ask your web host about their security processes.
  5. HTTPS/SSL support
    SSL adds another level of security to your site and inspires trust in your viewers. Search engines reward this. Many web hosts provide SSL certificates automatically, or as a free option. If the web host doesn’t provide them, move on.
  6. Technical support
    If you are having issues with your website, addressing them quickly is key to preventing downtime. Larger hosting companies provide toll-free numbers with phone trees, and long wait times. Smaller hosts can offer personalized help and resolve issues quickly. As a bonus, look for a robust online help system so you can solve most of your problems before you start a tech-support ticket.

So it really pays to do your homework before you select a web host. Contact me if you want to know more about how web hosting affects SEO.