Site Speed and SEO
Slow website? We’ve all done it – Googled what we wanted and clicked on the page we thought was going to give us the information we’re looking for only to find it loads at a snail’s pace. What do you do? Click off and move to the next Google search result. Remember, if you’re doing it, you’re audience is too.
Back in 2010, Google announced that site speed would be a determining factor in search engine results pages (SERPs). Slow page load speed makes for a poor user experience and Google sees this as a factor for their search algorithm. Even if your site page contains the most pertinent info to what someone might be looking for, if it’s not performing well (and Google knows it), your search rankings will go down.
Choosing a Web Hosting Provider
Speed and security are factors you should consider when choosing your hosting service. Just like a highway, a host that allows too many sites on one server could be slowing you down by adding traffic and causing slow load times on your site. Spending the extra money to ensure your site loads quickly can increase your lead or eCommerce flow.
Do you research and check out downtimes for different providers. Search engines will be crawling your site at any given time; you’ll want the lowest probability of them finding your site inaccessible. If they do, your site could be flagged as unreliable, dropping your search results.
Examine load times on different hosts to ensure you pick a provider that is dependable. Ensure your site is optimized and that your site itself is not to blame for slow load times. Run speed tests often to check the load time of your site. If you are noticing slow speed times, chances are Google is too and your rankings may be negatively affected.
A lot of hosting companies can offer deep discounts for a trial period. Read the fine print. See what you are agreeing to and for how long. You may see an increase in your monthly fee after a trial period ends or your plan may be downgraded after the trial period (keeping the price the same). Signing up with a month-to-month plan allows you to shop around and drop a host that is giving your site too many issues.
Web Hosting Support
Don’t fall for a cheaper and less secure server. Ask a hosting service how they treat and prevent threats. What are their backup practices? If another site on their server is infected with malware, will if affect your site? Asking these questions before you commit to a server could make all the difference in your site’s performance.
Take a look at their support options. Ideally, you’ll want support available to you 24/7/365. As soon as you notice an issue, you’ll need support to clear it up. Never assume your hosting provider will know about an issue, always report it and get help as soon as any issue comes to light.
Also, beware of “site builders” solutions. Many large hosting providers offer these as a subscription service. Although these can be a quick fix to build a website on the cheap, many times you have no access to your files via a cPanel, FTP, or File Manager. What you build and what you want to possibly move to another site in the future is inaccessible to you.
Working with Your Hosting Server for Successful SEO
Choosing the right hosting provider and running routine check-ups on your site is the best way to ensure your overall success. Finding a provider that works your issues quickly and efficiently will keep your site reliable in the eyes of Google and maintain or even increase your rankings.