When you are creating your website, you’ll likely get caught up in choosing the perfect layout, finding the right pictures, crafting the ideal website content, and more. A lot goes into making your website, but even seemingly unrelated things might be interfering with your SEO. You might not have realized it, but the hosting provider you choose can negatively impact your SEO rankings.
While a good hosting provider won’t be the reason you get a top-ranking spot on Google search engine results, a bad hosting provider can be the reason your reputation with Google and other search engines is ruined. Things like the hosting provider’s location, server type, uptime, and speed will all have a big impact on your rankings.
Here are five ways that your hosting provider might be bringing you down in the SEO rankings.
1. Connection Errors
Connection errors caused by your website host can be a serious problem. If your host has issues connecting your visitors with your site, how can they even see what you are offering? When the hosting provider causes database connection errors, it might have a negative impact on your SEO. If “database connection failure” or “internal server error” are common error messages, then it means that your hosting provider can’t keep up with your traffic levels. It’s a clear sign that it is time to upgrade to a new hosting provider.
2. Low Uptime Guarantee
It doesn’t matter how great your website is if it is always down. While typically only cloud hosting will have a 100% uptime guarantee, that isn’t necessary for most site owners. The uptime guarantee of your hosting provider should be at least 99%, but it is better if it is 99.99%. The closer to 100%, the more often your website is available and live.
3. Slow Speeds
For both your visitors and your Google rankings, faster is better. People visiting are impatient and tend to bounce off your page if it takes longer than 2 seconds to fully load. The search engines are going to see these lower site page loading speeds and the high bounce rate and will rank you lower because of that.
While there are many reasons why your page is taking too long to load, a common reason is your hosting provider. If your website requires a lot of resources, your hosting plan might not be good enough to keep up with your site and you might want to consider upgrading your plan.
This doesn’t mean that shared hosting isn’t right for your site or will automatically mean that you will be lower in the rankings because of it. Evaluate your current needs, how much traffic your site gets, and how much resources it requires before making your choice.
4. Server Locations
Another reason why your website might be slow to load is due to the location of the server. If it is far away from you or your target audience, it might mean there is a delay. For example, if you have a site that is targeting people in California, but the server’s physical location is in Europe, it might mean there will be a delay. You want your hosting provider to have servers close by where you or your visitors are located.
Many of the most reputable hosting providers will have servers in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, and Oceania to help cover most of the world and provide fast speeds. Check to see if your hosting provider has different server locations and if you can select which one you want to direct the traffic through.
5. Lack of Security
Your ultimate goal as a website owner shouldn’t be just to please Google; you also want to be providing a safe, secure, and pleasant experience for your visitors. That means you should take the security of your website seriously, and one of the biggest factors is HTTPS.
HTTPS is not only a ranking signal for Google and other search engines, but it also signifies to your visitors that your site is secure enough to trust with their personal data like names, addresses, and credit card information.
Nearly every top site uses HTTPS, so you will not only risk looking behind the times, but also as an unsecured place to be sharing personal data. For this reason, Google made HTTPS one of its ranking factors back in 2014, because it knows how important it is.
A reputable website host will provide you with a free SSL certificate, which encrypts the personal information exchanged between your site and your visitor. If your website provider doesn’t offer this type of feature, it might be a sign that they don’t take security seriously.
When you were choosing your website hosting provider, you might not have even realized the future implications it would have on your SEO rankings. Choose from these reputable website host providers to ensure that your hosting provider is bringing you down in the search engine rankings.