Digital Marketing Trends: The rising importance of web hosting
A company’s choice of web hosting has a huge impact on the quality of their website. Besides providing an enjoyable user experience, hosting also contributes to how google views a site and how well it will perform when ranked for SEO.
Some SEO factors that a good hosting site will contribute to are the following. All these things do point in one direction, which is to ensure that the best possible web hosting is obtained to support digital marketing efforts. (Suggested resource: top 10 web hosting companies reviewed by Sitetrail)
If a site doesn’t seem trustworthy then Google will not rank it. The same goes for the site’s visitors. If visitors don’t trust the website, then they probably won’t purchase anything, or stay with the brand over the long-term. An easy way to improve trust is to install an SSL certificate on the site. This will encrypt the connection between your server and your user’s web browser. The site will also display a lock icon next to the URL which will tell both users and Google that the site is legit and secure. Good web hosting will always include a valid SSL certificate as part of their package.
A site’s load speed and overall performance have a correlation to its search engine rankings. If a site takes too long to load, then it will have a high bounce rate, and deliver a poor user experience to visitors. If a site owner has taken the time to optimize their own site, and still find that it’s running incredibly slow, then the problem will often come down to the host.
It’s not uncommon for a website to be sharing server resources with hundreds of other sites, and the more sites there are on a server, and the more resources those sites use up, the slower your website will load.
To protect a site and its rankings from data loss there must be some kind of backup system in place. Sometimes a site can get hacked, receive a virus or the owner could accidentally delete the site. A high-quality host will have a backup system that will help a site quickly recover from any of the above scenarios.
Server Location and Performance
In order for Google to display the most relevant search results, it needs to assess the location of a website when deciding where to place it in their rankings. The IP address that is assigned to a site is based on the location of the server that it’s hosted on.
Hosting a website with a company with servers in the USA should result in higher rankings for the site when people search from within the USA. The flip side to that is that a site will rank lower in the search results when people search for those same keywords in other countries. A company should always make sure they know the location of their target market and the location of their hosting server before they make the final decision of which web host they are going to use.
Downtime refers to the amount of time that a website is inaccessible due to problems with the server it’s hosted on. Search engine spiders will probably try to visit a site several times a day. If they visit a site during periods of downtime then they record that it’s inaccessible and move on to the next site. If this happens repeatedly then the site gets flagged as unreliable and its rankings get downgraded.
As you can see, there are a number of aspects you need to take into account when deciding on the web hosting you will be using. Make sure you consider the above factors before you make your final decision. As Adriaan Brits from the Sitetrail management team says: “We invested in research that will point consumers worldwide in the right direction, so that they no longer come up against biased web hosting reviews that were put together by the marketing teams of hosting companies, but by real customers who experienced various hosting providers – and by industry experts who know which KPI’s to consider”.