What does web hosting and search engine optimization (SEO) have in common? A lot more than you think. SEO is a set of best practices that search engines such as Google use to figure out which websites are most relevant to keyword searches. It determines your website’s ranking factor, so if someone Googles “Miami web hosting,” the “best” (ahem, according to Google’s algorithms) websites come up first. There might be a few sponsored sites, which pay to be featured, but organic results will mostly be from local, Miami-based web hosting companies.
According to research, the vast majority of people don’t look past Google’s first page of results, and few people look beyond the first five results. In other words, if your website isn’t featured on Google’s top page, your SEO isn’t up to snuff and you might as well not even bother with a website. However, what’s really interesting is that SEO and web hosting actually have very similar best practices. Here are a few:
- Downtime and uptime
When choosing a web host, you need to make sure they guarantee a certain amount of uptime. Of course, uptime matters a lot because if your audience can’t access your site, they’ll get frustrated and go elsewhere. However, the amount of time a site is up also impacts SEO rankings, and if a site is down an inordinate amount of time compared to other similar sites, you may eventually move down the search engine rankings. Google doesn’t want to send people to a site that’s often down, so keep that in mind.
- Poor reputation
Your online reputation is all you have, but did you know that your web host’s reputation might impact your own SEO ranking? This isn’t a guaranteed SEO factor, but some experts say it plays a role. Google is notoriously secretive when it comes to describing the details of their algorithm, but you don’t want to partner up with a web host who has a bad reputation. Why risk your SEO rankings when you don’t have to?
- Speed of your site
Not only do you need a quality site and web host, you have to remember that speed matters. How quickly your site loads (or not) could be directly implicated by your web host. Remember that site speed is a major part of SEO, and slow sites don’t get as high of rankings. It’s one of the few items Google directly states as a leading SEO factor, so take it seriously.
- Traffic jams
A web host can do a number of things to legally manage the site speed, but it also comes down to how many people are sharing that shared server. If you go with a freemium model and are sharing a server with 50 others, that’s going to make a huge difference in speed compared to sharing a server with 10 others. The quality of the server itself and the management can also impact speed.
The bottom line? Both SEO and servers/hosts are an integral part of your online success. They’re woven together, so good or bad practices with one can trickle down to the other.