In this day and age, SEO is a huge factor when it comes to the success of your website. SEO (search engine optimization) (opens in new tab) is the process of optimizing your website to receive organic traffic from search engine result pages. In order to provide end users with the best results, search engines scan different websites to understand what the site is about. The ultimate goal of these scans is to deliver the most relevant results to those who are searching for specific words or phrases.
While many website owners get caught up in creating strong content to boost their website’s SEO, there are some factors that can be attributed to your hosting company.
So what are these hosting issues that can make or break your SEO strategy? Keep reading to find out.
1. Slow Website Speed
The website speed is a ranking factor made official by Google; meaning that the speed of your site is ultimately going to affect where your site lands on the search engine results page Unfortunately, many of us only work on improving the website design without focusing on choosing a fast hosting service. Then there are others who neglect all efforts all together and use redundant scripts, huge images, and third-party elements that load slowly.
That being said, it is crucial to design your website without using too many scripts, such as animations, web fonts, third-party widgets and the like. Beside this, you should also choose a fast hosting service to minimise website loading times. It would be a wise idea to prefer VPS hosting in comparison to shared hosting [https://www.rosehosting.com/blog/why-is-vps-hosting-better-than-shared-hosting/].
Check your website speed using Google Search Console (opens in new tab) and Pingdom Tool’s website speed test (opens in new tab) to receive a better idea of where your website stands in terms of speed.
2. Website Downtimes
Is there anything worse than a site that loads at a snail's pace? Yes there is. It’s a site that doesn’t load at all. Website downtimes are almost always related to some issues with the web host. This gives a bad impression to your audience, and it also severely affects your search engine rankings.
If the downtime continues for a few days, Google removes the website from its index. Even if the site comes back online before that, it gets flagged as unreliable and gets a ranking well below its previously-secured position.
When shopping around for a hosting provider, it is wise to take into consideration the companies guaranteed uptime. This will give you a greater sense of reliability knowing that you can expect your website to be up and running most of the time.
3. Database Connection Failures
‘Internal Server Error’ is yet another type of error message that can be displayed to your visitors. It can carry a number of meanings; however, as far as WordPress sites are considered, it just means that the database cannot be accessed. In some cases, the error message is more self-explanatory and displays a message ‘Database Connection Failed’.
This results when a database is being accessed by too many users at the same time. For instance, it may be that a video or an article has gone viral on social media and more people are now interested to read or watch it on your website.
A tool is available for WordPress that can be used to cache popular postings on your site so that a connection to the database is no longer necessary. This tool is called WP Super Cache (opens in new tab). However, this is a temporary fix – eventually, you will have to upgrade your hosting to a more reliable and durable form of hosting such as a VPS (opens in new tab) or dedicated server (opens in new tab).
4. Using Shared Hosting Services with Spammers
This is relatively rare, yet a possible factor that can have a negative impact on your website’s online presence. When utilisng shared hosting services, you share the web space with various other websites. The other individuals can pose harm to your website. Therefore, it is advised that you avoid shared hosting services with spammy websites.
You can check who resides with you on a particular server by entering your URL in the Reverse IP Domain Check (opens in new tab).
5. Incorrect TLD
It is a habit for people to assume that every website address has a .com TLD (top-level domain). This is why you should be extremely cautious when naming your domain. You will find that most of the short, memorable .com domains have already been taken.
A couple of years back, there was a significant push to make .co (Colombian top-level domain) as an alternative to .com domains. Unfortunately, this effort has been unreasonable. This is because many people still assume (as mentioned before) that your domain is yourcompany.com and not yourcompany.co!
For instance, when Overstock.com rebranded itself as O.co, it led to a 61 per cent drop in its traffic. However, don’t let this example scare you, consumers will always find businesses that provide them with what they need, when they need it.
6. Mobile friendly
It isn’t really hard to imagine that a majority of the online traffic originates from mobile devices. This is reason enough to make sure your website is optimised for these small screen devices as well, both in terms of appearance and performance. Furthermore, even Google Search takes the mobile-friendly nature of the website into account while ranking it along with the other results. So make sure you spend time tuning your website for mobile devices as well.
7. Redirect old content
Anytime you upgrade your site, don’t forget to setup redirects for the old URLs. We recommend you configure 301 “Moved Permanently” redirects in your web server. Not configuring redirects will mean the search engines wouldn’t know where to send your visitors and you’ll end up losing incoming connections.
8. Structured data
Structured data is an essential mechanism that’ll help you reach the first page of the search results. There are different types of structured data for different types of content (opens in new tab) that you can use on your site.
When it comes to SEO, many of the most important things your website will be scanned for by search engines are things that are not directly in your control. However, you, the website owner do have control of the hosting provider that you choose. Choosing the right hosting provider ensures that you spend less time worrying about the ranking of your site, and more time running your business and creating quality content.
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