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5 Things to Look for When Choosing SEO Hosting

5 Things to Look for When Choosing SEO Hosting

One factor that often gets overlooked when planning an SEO strategy is web hosting – even though it plays a huge part in determining the organic visitor experience to your website. Page timeouts, server errors, etc., often force the visitors back to searching for other options, affecting your rankings. Choosing an SEO-friendly web host could go a long way in propping your website up. Here are the five factors you need to pay attention to.

1. Server Location

Your server location will likely have a huge part in how quickly the visitor will access the website. The best option is to go with the data center as close to potential visitors as possible. This will affect both the access speed – the further the data center, the more time it’ll take your website to load – AND endear you to search engines as they tend to be suspicious of hosts that are located in different countries from the majority of the visitors (which, in turn, could affect the SEO).

2. Good Reviews

Yes, we all know good reviews can easily be faked today. But it’s still the best starting point when deciding on any service – and web hosting isn’t all that different. While some fake reputation boosts may be involved, you can still gather valuable information if you take a few minutes to scroll through reviews. After you’ve done some preliminary research and have a list of web hosts, which of them pop up the most often on Top Web Hosts lists? How do the reviewers describe their practices? Which aspects of their performance are most often described as problematic? Even a well-reviewed host may be inappropriate for your specific needs. That’s why you need to learn about their practices.

3. Competency of the Support Team

The hosting support team is your main backup if something happens to the website. And a good host is more likely than not to offer 24/7 support for free. If something happens and your website goes down, it’s paramount to get it back up ASAP, regardless of the time of the day. That’ll require speaking to a specific person from the support team more often than not. Before deciding on the host, check how their support operates. A reliable web host will make their support practices widely available so all potential clients can easily check them out.

4. Option Variety

Good hosting companies tend to offer value-adds that can be helpful with your website’s SEO performance in the long run. Here are some you should pay particular attention to:

  • Automatic backups: Think back to the last time you lost a file you were working on. It was terrible, right? Imagine losing a whole website when you poured months upon months into setting it up. Having a site backup is an absolute must to preserve your work. If your host has an option for an automatic backup – either free or for an added cost – it’s a point in their favor.
  • Multiple hosting plans: As your website grows, your hosting needs will change. One day you may even need a dedicated server! Keeping up with the transitions your website will need for smooth performance will be much easier if you don’t need to switch your host every time.
  • SSL: Your host must support SSL; no two thoughts about it. If your website isn’t secure, you need to switch ASAP. Besides, it’s a known fact that rankings are influenced by HTTPS.

5. High Uptime Guarantee

And last, but most certainly, not least – you need to consider your potential host’s high uptime guarantee. In fact, many SEO specialists would argue that this is the factor that should make or break your decision, as an uptime guarantee plays a vital part in determining how SEO-friendly the host is. What is uptime? It’s the percentage of time your website is accessible online. The lower the uptime, the higher the chance that the visitors won’t be able to access your website and will go back to search for other options. This could seriously affect your rankings.

Choosing the ideal uptime guarantee can be hard since any hosts claiming 100% are likely to be lying. Still, anything less than 99,9% means risking having your website down for more than a few minutes per day, i.e., high chances of losing potential visitors.

You should make your peace that there will always be some downtime. However, concentrate on keeping it as realistically short as possible so that it doesn’t critically affect SEO performance.

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