Your business website is essentially your modern online business’ storefront. And SEO is the tool needed to get customers there — kind of like the police officer directing traffic at a clogged intersection with no stoplight. The question is, does hosting location affect SEO?
In today’s crowded internet space, it’s not enough to set the perfect stage for consumers to patronize your company by providing an outstanding website design.
SEO is an incredibly important tool to have in your arsenal, too. And to answer your question of “Does hosting location affect SEO,” yes — your choice of hosting location can have a huge impact on it.
We’ve compiled a guide on what you need to know about how your website host can affect your SEO marketing strategy and results.
Let’s get started!
Does Hosting Location Affect SEO?
Again, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
And here’s why.
The domain name for your website is connected to a certain IP address, and this address indicates your chosen FTP hosting server’s location.
For instance, if the server is in Finland, Google will think that your website caters to internet users in Finland. Still, the language you use on the site may have an impact on how Google ranks online search results based on location, too.
Also, Google understands that sites ending with “.com” are focused on the United States, whereas those ending with “co.uk” are focused more on U.K. internet users.
If your goal is to have your website target mostly customers around and in your local geographical area, you ideally want to pick a website hosting service with a server that is near your business area.
Some website hosting companies today provide shared hosting services.
These services allow potentially thousands of domain names to share an IP address, which includes sharing the same storage space and bandwidth as well.
However, if you use a shared service that hosts those annoying spammer websites, too, this can drastically harm your company site’s rankings in search engines.
As a general rule of thumb, search engine bots won’t necessarily look down on your website if just a handful of spammer websites are in your company’s hosting space with you.
But if your legitimate domain is like a diamond in the rough in your shared hosting service because you’re surrounded by spammers, search engines, including Google, may begin to raise their eyebrows.
The moral of the story? Ask the website hosting service you’re interested in using how many spammer sites would call your shared hosting address home, too.
A dedicated server offers the benefit of not only helping you to avoid sharing space with spammers but also improving your site pages’ loading speeds and your site’s performance overall.
In other words, it’ll help your SEO and thus your bottom line long term.
Consideration of Downtime
Looking for a way to ruin your SEO? Choose a website hosting service that loves downtime.
You work hard to run your business and maintain your website, so sure, you deserve some downtime every now and then.
But not your server.
In the server world, downtime is essentially the time during which your site cannot be accessed because of issues with the server on which it is hosted.
When the server is down, potential clients cannot get to your website. And neither can search engine bots.
This may not negatively impact your online search engine ranks right away, but if it becomes a repeated problem, Google bots may start thinking your website is unreliable.
The result? Seriously damaged rankings for your website. Customers might even get the dreaded “Unavailable” message in your website’s meta description area when they see your company in their search results.
Ouch. Nothing like being open for business and ready to make money but having a “Closed” sign on your front door.
Consideration of Page Speed
How quickly your website pages load also affects your website ranking. And that’s why choosing the right website hosting company is so critical.
In fact, back in 2010, Google said speed was one of around a couple of hundred factors that helped with determining website rankings. Speed refers to how quickly a website can respond to a Web request.
Search engines are always crawling your site, and if a slow speed is preventing them from accessing some of our site pages, then you will suffer from lower keyword rankings.
Keep in mind that your website host isn’t necessarily to blame for every incidence involving a slow site. Other factors are worth considering, too. These include the following:
- Your site’s coding
- Images are not optimized
- Fancy flash that is excessive
- External media that is embedded
So, in reality, does hosting location affect SEO? Yes, it certainly still can. The wrong host can cause Web speed problems for you, ultimately harming your SEO goals.
Let’s Get Technical
Every site has technical features designed to make it compatible with certain Web operating systems.
Both Linux and Windows servers are available. Your website coding will determine which server to choose. The coding may include the following:
If you want to figure out if a certain host is right for you, look at its server configuration settings. Also, check out the installed libraries, time limits and server versions.
Be sure that the hosting service provider you select has high-quality technical support. That is your best friend when you depend on your website to bring in the bacon day in and day out.
When it comes to the protocol you use for sending data between the site to which you are connected and your browser, there’s nothing like HTTPS.
HHTPS is simply a secure form of HTTP, which means any communication between the website and your browser — for instance, URLs — is encrypted. That means you can protect such things as a credit card number or a user browsing history.
That is a huge benefit when it comes to improving your SEO.
Why? Because your website will be more secure for your visitors, and you can avoid potentially destructive third-party tampering.
As a result, you can enjoy increased rankings for your website.
How We Can Help
You now know the answer to the question “Does hosting location affect SEO?” But you may still have other SEO-related questions.
We offer a wide range of SEO and other website-related tricks and tips to make your website stand out from the crowd.
Contact us to find out more about how you can make your website work better for you in the new year.