Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is imperative for a successful website and requires you to create content that creates interconnecting links, while also using keywords for further optimization. However, that’s not the only thing you can do to help a website climb higher in search engine rankings.
To beat the competition, every tool at your fingertips must be leveraged, and hosting your site with one of the best web hosting services can increase traffic, improve search rankings, and lead to more visitor conversions. into customers. But, you might be wondering: does web hosting affect SEO?
We take a look at how choosing a web hosting provider is key to improving search engine rankings and what to look for.
User experience comes first
One metric that search engine optimizers obsess about is page load speed. It is indeed crucial that your pages load quickly, but the speed at which a page loads in its entirety paints a bad picture of how visitors actually perceive it. Smart designers go a step further with the concept of First Meaningful Paint.
First Meaningful Paint recognizes that not everything on a web page is equally important to a visitor. The main content of a webpage, what they specifically came to see, should take priority over supporting content that is less likely to pique the visitor’s interest.
Google recognizes that page load speed is nuanced like this, and it will boost sites that load the most meaningful content quickly. Although the entire page may take three seconds to load, if designed correctly, important content will load in less than a second. Consider relegating less important content such as loading tracking code after your important content has been displayed to the reader.
Once a visitor has reached your site, retaining them is essential. Google checks whether visitors immediately return to the search engine after visiting your site. This is a strong indicator for the search engine that your website did not give the visitor a solution to their problem or did not offer them value.
Consider then that slow page load speeds are a major reason people keep coming back to the search engine, and you’ll see why fast web hosting is essential in SEO.
Availability is central (and that means the right host is too)
Google reinforces websites that seem to provide excellent customer experiences and drops sites that don’t. A website that is not available at all times creates a bad user experience, so if your site goes offline frequently, you can be sure that it will be penalized in search engine rankings. Make sure to choose a web hosting company that guarantees a high level of uptime.
Google considers several load times when measuring a site’s effectiveness, and these load times are all affected by your choice of web hosting company. For example, DNS (domain name server) lookups occur whenever software needs to translate a domain name to an IP address. If your host processes these DNS lookups slowly, it will take longer for the web browser to find the right server to request content from.
Once the correct server has been found using a DNS lookup, the only thing left to worry about is page load time. If your web hosting company takes more than 100 milliseconds to start loading the first byte in the web browser, Google is likely to penalize your site in search engine rankings for being slow. Ideally, you should aim to respond to a browser’s page load request in less than 50 milliseconds.
Need a new SEO strategy? Here are some ideas
So what are some approaches you can take to improve your website’s loading speeds and user experience?
First, to reduce the amount of work you need to do to administer your site, you should consider managed web hosting. With this type of hosting, the host takes a more active role in ensuring that your web server is secure and running smoothly.
With managed hosting, the provider will automatically back up your site, patch security holes, and update software, so you’re free to focus on creating great content for your visitors.
Measure your website’s performance to identify potential bottlenecks. Many tools are at your disposal to evaluate the performance of your site, such as GTMetrix, Yslow, Lighthouse and Pingdom.
Finally, remember to keep your site secure. A security breach is not only terrible for your brand image, but it will also affect search engine rankings if a hacker maliciously adds links to your website. Google will see these irrelevant links and penalize your site’s ranking.
Again, managed hosting makes this a bit easier, as security vulnerabilities in server software are patched quickly – but you also need to make sure your website code is secure.
The host you choose therefore makes a big difference in the ranking of your site on search engines like Google. Choosing a web host that is fast, secure, and offers a high uptime guarantee will result in higher search engine rankings for searches important to your business.
Learn more about web hosting
To learn more about how web hosting can affect SEO, read our article outlining five web hosting factors that can affect your website’s SEO. When it comes to SEO, consider our basic SEO tips that can improve a website’s Google ranking and six essential tools to boost web SEO. Finally, make sure you’re creating the best possible site for your business by checking out our guide to the best website builders.