Does the hosting server has any influence on SEO? The short answer is YES.
But the better answer would require a little more explanation!
The internet experiences unimaginable amounts of traffic every single second. And naturally that affects websites and their loading times, causes crashes, broken pages, and other issues.
Which is why even the best search engine optimization won’t help you unless you have a good web host provider to support it. You need ironclad servers and a good tech support team to boost your online marketing efforts.
What Does Bad Hosting Do To Your SEO Efforts?
So without further ado, let’s see how hosting affects SEO, and what you can do about it.
1. Hosting Plans And Types Of Web Hosting
To know where you stand, you should take a look at your web hosting plan. Believe it or not, a lot of web hosts have plans that differ in many aspects.
Some are better optimized for content creation with larger memory allocated. Others offer easy setups and maintenance for beginners.
Your best bet is to first figure out whether your current hosting matches your SEO needs because you could be losing traffic.
With types of hosting, there are several:
Good for beginners, but leaves a lot of room for server downtime and poor page loading, since your website space is shared with other users.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A slightly better option than shared hosting gives the illusion of having a dedicated server. However, it can’t handle larger spikes inactivity.
The best option if you want to minimize poor page loading times. Dedicated hosting gives you a server of your own, but is much more expensive.
- Cloud Hosting
Hosting via a network, where your website is located across several servers, to minimize the chance of downtime. It is the best type of hosting as it never let your site down.
- SEO Hosting
Perfect for companies that want to manage multiple websites at the same place with different IPs. Using different IPs better advantage on Google and that’s why people opt-in for SEO Hosting.
2. Server Downtime
And speaking of downtime, one of the worst possible issues you can have with hosting is the downtime. Downtimes make your page unavailable for a certain amount of time. It can range from several minutes, up to an hour.
Regardless, if your visitors run into an error and can’t view your page at all, they’ll be sure to click away.
Downtime happens most often with shared host servers, due to high traffic. However, they can also happen because of low server memory, the web provider doing maintenance work, or other reasons.
3. Loading Times
When users click a link to open the website, they expect it to display instantly. Google knows this, and the algorithm favors those websites that take less than two seconds to load. Fast loading speed is essential.
Because if you have a slow site, all your SEO efforts are pointless. Google kicks your website to the curb before you even get a chance to benefit from it.
4. Server Location
The fourth and last major impact goes to the server location itself. This is less of a hosting error and more that of the website owners themselves.
If your hosting service has a specific country domain, then, of course, your content will rank higher for that country. For example.uk and .au against .com.
This can cost you a lot in search rankings. Because your IP address doesn’t match the server’s IP address, it takes a longer time to read your location.
And if the server’s location is in London, then your U.S. target audience won’t be seeing your website on the first page. Google will push your site down, as it’s not local for the users.
What Are The Solutions?
Luckily for us, there are plenty of solutions.
The ones we offer here will give you an idea of what to look for when choosing a new web host provider. They will also help with any issues you may have encountered already.
1. Inform Yourself
- Find a host that offers an SSL certificate – they let your visitors know your website is safe.
- Try to avoid shared hosting, and get a dedicated server as soon as you have the budget.
- Base your choice of web hosting providers on the type of SEO strategies you use the most.
- Opt for a shorter hosting plan in case you dislike the service. You don’t want to lock yourself in for a year with a web hosting company that doesn’t suit you.
2. Troubleshoot Downtime
When you start experiencing downtime, do some troubleshooting first.
In some cases, it will be a hosting problem, but in others, it’s usually on the owner’s end. There’s either too much content on the webpage, too many plugins, or an error with coding.
A downtime now and then is inevitable, but if it starts happening way too often, look into switching hosts.
3. Improve Loading Time
This can mostly be resolved by doing a few tests. The first one is to use online websites that test loading speed between you and your competitors.
That way, you’ll have an idea of where you stand. A lot of the times, page load speed is affected by the amount of content on the site, the plugins, and the traffic fluctuation.
However, a good host provider will be able to help you find a way to bring your website up to speed.
4. Address The Location
As we’ve mentioned, if your IP address matches your geographical location, then your SEO rankings will be better. Google chooses it over others because it’s relevant for the local audience. However, with a mismatch, you will be closer to the bottom of the page.
The first thing you can do is to switch to a provider with servers in the country you’re targeting. Get a domain that is close to your audience. If you want a local audience – go localhost.
Secondly, if you have a .com domain, then you can use the Google Search Console tool to manually change which country you are targeting. This alone can greatly boost your search rankings.
If we ask whether web hosting can affect your SEO strategy, then the answer is a resounding “yes”.
However, the more important questions are “how it affects me?” and “what can I do about it?”
Because when it comes to online marketing and placing your content at the top of search rankings, pointing fingers will only get you so far.
You need to start investing in your website and learning as much as you can to conquer this SEO business. But once you do, no Google algorithm will be able to take you down.