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As someone who manages an online business, you will have a lot of things on your mind–from reaching new customers to meeting your sales expectations. Then there are the more technical stuff–search engine optimisation, content creation, pay-per-click, social media marketing and so on.
To get all these right, one important factor is often overlooked. This essential factor is your web host.
Your web host determines the performance of your website, how search engines see your website and the credibility of your business. If you choose the wrong hosting provider, your visitors will experience poor page load speed, poor security, page timeouts, and server errors–all of which will increase your bounce rate.
If you are serious about the success of your online business, you need a web host that supports your SEO efforts.
Here are features to look out for when choosing SEO friendly web hosting.
Server uptime guarantee
Server uptime refers to the amount of time your site is available to be accessed by visitors. The higher your website uptime, the more it is available, causing you to gain page rankings.
SEO friendly web hosts offer at least 99.9% uptime guarantee. This translates to downtime of just 8 hours every year.
If you come across a web hosting company that guarantees 100% uptime, they are probably trying to pull wool over your eyes, as this is not possible. The key is to look for a provider that offers the smallest percentage of downtime so it doesn’t affect your search page rankings.
Nearby server location
Did you know the closer your web server is to your target audience, the better your website performance? If your target audience is in New Zealand for instance, hosting your website with a hosting company with servers in New Zealand will make it easier for your visitors to access your site. The farther your web server is from the people who visit your website, the longer it will take for your site to load. Your visitors may also experience other performance issues. Don’t forget that poor user experience is one way to jeopardise your SEO performance.
If for certain reasons you cannot host in a web server closer to your target location, consider cloud hosting.
People check reviews before making a purchase online. This habit is something you can also use when shopping for SEO friendly web hosting. A reliable web host will have lots of positive reviews and commendations from past and current customers, but they will also have negative reviews. Be wary of web hosts that have 100% positive reviews.
Don’t just look for reviews on the company website, check for what people are saying on social media, forums, and third party review websites. This way, you will have an idea of what you are getting into.
Good support system
You may not know the importance of a good support system until your website goes down. Website failure could affect your search page ranking and the credibility of your business. Make sure the web host has a good technical and support team in place because no matter how technically savvy you are, you may have a challenge that you cannot resolve.
A reliable and SEO friendly web host will provide cheap domain names, 24/7 customer and technical support for free. You can determine the effectiveness of their support system by checking to see how easy it is to contact them. The company should provide support via phone, email and live chat
SEO best practices
SEO friendly web hosting is not a set of services your web host provides; rather it is what they put in place to help you achieve optimisation faster. For example, some web hosts restrict site owners from using Google bots in their robot.txt file, as this can cause a surge in bot traffic. While their reasons may be sound from a technical perspective, it can be counterproductive for your SEO as Google bots carry out website indexing.
A search engine friendly web host works in the background to help you achieve your online business goals. To ensure the success of your business in 2019, consider your hosting options more carefully.