One of the most reliable ways to build a brand online is to optimize your website for search engines and drive organic traffic to it. So much goes into ensuring that a website gains organic traffic. From keyword research and content creation to on-page optimization, link building, and much more, SEO professionals have many ranking signals to monitor. They also need to watch new developments. An SEO needs to be aware of the latest news on voice search, mobile-first indexing, featured snippets, and other trends to see how they will affect the industry as a whole.
The choice of a web hosting provider is something that many digital marketers overlook but is quite significant. Your web host can affect your site’s uptime and page speed, which are crucial factors in your organic performance. Visitors appreciate consistency. If you want to prevent users from leaving your website, you need to minimize page timeouts and server errors. Finding a reliable web host is the first step. Here are things you should consider when choosing a web hosting company for your business website.
Does the Company Guarantee High Uptime?
High uptime is the most critical factor if you’re deciding on a web host. Server uptime measures the rate at which your site is accessible—a higher percentage means fewer chances of visitors arriving at a stalled, shut down, or otherwise inaccessible website. More reliable hosts guarantee high uptimes. Before getting a web hosting service, check their guaranteed uptime. If you can get one with at least a 99.9 percent guarantee (or higher), you will only get less than two minutes of downtime per day, which means approximately nine hours per year.
Do not be too quick to get a host that promises 100 percent uptime, though—there is always bound to be downtime. Look for companies that try to deliver as much uptime as possible without selling you false promises.
Are Their Servers near Your City or Area?
Besides uptime, you might also want to consider server location. If you are on a traditional hosting plan—whether you have a VPS, shared, or dedicated server—it means your website is on a physical server in a data center. Meanwhile, if you subscribe to cloud hosting, your data lives on a network of physical and digital servers.
The servers’ location matters since the farther away you are from the server, the longer it will take for a site to load. Having a remote server location also looks suspicious to search engines. If your base of operations is in one country, but your server is halfway across the globe, search engines might consider your site unsafe.
Are There Value-Added Features or Options?
Besides web hosting, the company you choose should provide additional features like SSL, automatic backups, and multiple hosting plans. These add-ons make building a website more manageable, and if your web host offers these, it shows that they want to provide you with the best service possible.
Automatic backups ensure that you can quickly restore your data if needed, while SSL support gives your website the encryption it needs to make and receive secure payments and information transfers.
If you are starting, multiple hosting plans might not be essential to you. However, as your site grows, your needs will change. Your traffic might grow to the point of you needing to switch to a dedicated server. If your web host already provides this, the transition will be easier and more affordable than switching to a different provider that offers dedicated hosting.
Do They Have Good Reviews?
If your possible web hosts are all checking off the right boxes, you can read online reviews to see if they are truthful in their marketing claims. Online reviews are always a good place to check for proof of a business’ capabilities to provide service.
Note that web hosts tend to have a more significant number of low-star reviews due to the type of service they provide. It makes sense because people are more likely to have strong opinions about a service that directly impacts their website’s performance. If your site goes down, even for a few minutes, you will tend to complain about it on all platforms available. However, there is still plenty of ways for you to gather information from reviews.
Watch out for hosts that repeatedly appear in lists of the top web hosting providers and check if the reviews corroborate what the lists say. Also, check if there are recurring issues and whether or not the company seems to be doing anything about these.
Do They Have Good Customer Service?
Another thing you can get from reading reviews about a web hosting service is the quality of the company’s customer support. Pay attention to how current subscribers talk about the way the web host handles issues. If your site ever goes down, you want to be sure that your service provider can resolve all issues swiftly. You’d want to be able to speak to a support person—a good web hosting service will have someone available 24/7. Research the operating hours of your potential host’s customer service center and look at the options for getting in touch. Do they provide live chat, a phone number, or an email address?
Also, check out their social profiles. Web hosts who care about helping their clients will make customer support available on their social media platforms. They might even have a separate Twitter account for customer service.
One of the hallmarks of good web hosting is that it is invisible. If your web hosting provider does its job, it will keep your website online and secure, ensure that your site has regular backups, and be on hand to assist you with any issues. A good web host, ultimately, helps your SEO.
Ranked helps you optimize your website and build a robust online presence. We are an SEO platform and service providing data-driven content strategies for enterprises and agencies. Get in touch with the team to learn more or start your free trial today!