Web Hosting for SEO: Why It Matters

Want to know an easy way to speed up and improve the overall performance of your website?

Invest in good hosting.

Ignorance is no longer an excuse for any company to use cheap web hosts.

Website performance is a key factor that can help you improve rankings, traffic, and conversions.

This guide will cover everything you need to know to understand why web hosting is important for SEO.

What is web hosting

A web hosting provider or web host is a service that provides the technology needed to view a website online.

Think of your web host as your website’s home base. Websites or web pages are stored on special computers called servers and through which your web pages are connected and delivered to your internet browser.

So when a user wants to view your website, all they have to do is enter your website address or domain name into their browser.

When building a website, companies often invest significant time and resources in design, development, digital marketing, and SEO.

But web hosting is an area that is often an afterthought.

If you’re willing to invest in making sure your website looks good and drives traffic to it, why not make sure the actual website is fast, functional, and flexible at the same time?

Using a high-quality web host can maximize your conversion rates, among other beneficial benefits.

How Web Hosting Can Benefit Your Business

If you want to build a website for your business, then you will need a web host. Although web hosting is often placed behind the corporate mindset, it is vital to your online presence.

Reliable web hosting can bring several benefits to your company, such as:

  • Improve website performance.
  • Effective data management.
  • Enhanced security.
  • High uptime.

In short, investing in a reliable web host is a smart move — and it should help your business grow.

Expected Features of a Managed Service Provider

Web hosts don’t just provide web hosting services for businesses. Web hosting companies offer a variety of services that ensure a hassle-free experience for business owners and make sure their only concern is the time and effort spent on the business.

Here are some features you should expect from a good web hosting provider:

  • Email account: The hosting provider will require users to create their own domain name. Domain names and email accounts will be among the features offered.
  • FTP access: FTP allows you to upload files from your local computer to a web server. Your website will be accessible over the Internet, use this feature to transfer files directly from your computer to the server. FTP access is critical for web developers.
  • WordPress supports: Powering nearly half of all websites on the Internet, WordPress is a convenient way to create and manage website content.
  • Enhanced Security: Many hosting providers, such as WPEngine, now offer free SSL certificates in their hosting services.

most popular web host

Popular web hosting companies include:

  • go daddy
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • 1&1 Ionos
  • HostGator
  • blue host
  • Herzner Online
  • digital ocean
  • liquid net
  • WP Engine

Why web hosting is important for SEO

When it comes to SEO, Google strives to provide the best possible results for its users.

This means that a strong and reliable web host will lay the foundation for your SEO efforts.

Google looks at several factors to ensure users have a positive experience after using their search engine. Sites that work faster with an improved user experience can get a ranking boost.

Search engine optimization is a huge concern for almost every business and brand today. Everyone wants their website to be listed on the first page of Google for relevant search queries.

Sites that fail to rank on Google’s page 1 may not be found. As the saying goes “the best place to hide a website is the second page of Google”.

There are three main reasons why web hosting is important to SEO: speed, security, and location.

speed

From a practical standpoint, speed is an extremely important factor for SEO.

A slow and cheap web host will result in a slow website. A domino effect results in poor rankings, low organic traffic, and minimal leads.

What is the solution?

A good web host will have high speeds, which will reduce page load times.

When determining how fast a website should load in 2022, it should always be as fast as possible. Google’s benchmark for ideal times for mobile speed is two seconds or less.

A 2022 study shows that the average mobile site load time is around 4.5 seconds. For 20% of analytics mobile landing pages, visual content took more than 6.6 seconds to load.

Considering speed equals revenue, this is still too slow.

Tools to measure page speed

Need to measure your page speed? Use these helpful tools:

  • Google Page Speed ​​Insights
  • GTMetrix
  • kingdom

Website Target Metrics

The Core Web Vitals report shows how your web pages perform against real-world usage data (also known as “live data”).

With Core Web Vitals, URL performance is displayed by status, metric type, and URL group.

Core Web Vitals are based on three metrics:

  • LCP (Maximum Content Paint): This shows how long it takes to render the largest visible content element in the viewpoint from the moment the user requests the URL. The largest element of content is usually an image or video, or a large block of text. This metric is important because it informs the user that the URL is loading.
  • FID (First Input Delay): This shows the time from when a user interacts with a website by clicking a link to when the browser responds to the action. This metric is important because it’s when the page becomes interactive.
  • CLS (cumulative layout shift): This measures the sum of all individual layout shifts for each unexpected layout shift. This happens throughout the life cycle of the page. The measurement can range from zero (which means no offset at all) to any positive number. The remaining numbers indicate the degree of layout change. This metric is important because it creates a poor user experience if the user experiences layout changes while interacting with the website.

Safety

If your website does not have a strong security system, it can suffer from harmful issues like hackers, spam pages, and fake backlinks.

All of these things can hurt your Google rankings — and can lead to manual action.

Your website is also at risk of being infected with malware, which can lead to your website being blacklisted by search engines or showing security warnings in search results.

If you don’t use a web host with a strong security system, it can negatively impact your SEO efforts.

One feature your web hosting provider may offer is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This is a security certificate and standard technology for keeping internet connections secure.

Another benefit of strong security comes from reliable technical support and customer service. As a business, you want to make sure that the web host you use has top-notch technical support and customer service.

If something is too slow or a website crashes, you can fix it quickly and efficiently. A strong technical and customer support team will alleviate any worries or panic you may have if your website goes down.

Place

Location is an important factor in website SEO. Search engines consider location-based signals when searching for the best results.

Some issues to consider:

  • Where is the user?
  • Where is the business?
  • Where is this website located?

All of these are practical reasons for where your website will be hosted. It plays a role in determining how far and how fast data must travel.

For example, if your business is located in the United States, you want your website to be in a US data center. If your company is in the UK, then you want your site to be in a UK data center.

If your business operates globally, you will need a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that provides central locations around the world, so hosting is fast no matter where your users are located.

Using cheap web hosts may result in not being placed in a local data center. This can negatively impact your website, including how it performs to your users and your organic search rankings.

Which web hosting service should you use?

All hosting platforms have their pros – but frankly, some really stink.

So how should you choose a reliable service?

You can look for the following factors:

  • The length of the web hosting experience
  • Reputation with other clients/company
  • Looking for a web host that offers security measures such as SSL

Why WP Engine is (almost always) my recommendation

We have worked (and still do) with clients on various hosting platforms.

But when it comes to which is the best, I almost always recommend WP Engine.

From my experience with WP Engine:

  • Their customer service is responsive, helpful and always available.
  • Their safety and speed are second to none.
  • They make daily backups in case the site goes down.

The cost of WP Engine is very reasonable. The starter package (great for most sites) is only $23 per month.

The speed and performance of this hosting platform is excellent, and it really helps your efforts when it comes to optimizing your website for mobile speed and core web vitality.

Additionally, WP Engine provides a free Provides its members with SSL certificates, further enhancing the security of the site and meeting Google’s known standards.

Using WP Engine allows me to focus on my SEO efforts rather than server and performance issues that might be associated with weaker hosting services.

Educate your clients/stakeholders on the value of good hosting

Your clients or stakeholders have already invested a lot in creating a successful website (content, SEO, etc.).

Choosing the wrong web host can destroy all other investments.

Choosing the right web host can almost instantly boost your speed, core web vitality, and status.

If your website is poorly hosted on the web, it can negatively impact your SEO.

Your website can suffer downtime, which is as bad as some people’s user experience.

If web hosting is slow, users are more likely to leave your page and switch to another option.

Load time equals reputation. Any site that takes longer than a few seconds to load will lose users (which means less conversions and less revenue).

Think of it this way: if you bought a new Bentley (new website), you wouldn’t want it to have the engine of Kia Soul (slow web host/server). (I drive a Kia Soul, so of course not digging!)


The views expressed in this article are those of the guest authors and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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About the author

Taylor Kurtz

Taylor Kurtz was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Taylor then moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management and an MBA. Taylor specializes in SEO and owns/operates Crush the Rankings, an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in high-quality SEO and website development. Taylor is also a professor of business at the local community college in Fort Collins, Colorado, and speaks across the country discussing SEO at various digital marketing summits.

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