The Google search engine is a huge driver of website traffic. Getting good spots in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for different search terms can yield free super targeted traffic to your website for a long time.
Getting your SEO right can be a daunting process but with the right tools and following simple tips you could get the basics done pretty easily. What web host and which plan you choose can have an impact on your SEO performance. Please read on for details. At the bottom of the page are links to sites with free tips and also to free and paid SEO tools.
SEO & Web Hosting
When it comes to what web hosting means for your SEO the answers are multiple. Web hosting related features like SSD storage, SSL certificate, CDN, HTTP/2, Nginx web server, data center location can be beneficial to your SEO efforts.
Security – SSL Certificate
Having a https:// website instead of a http:// increases the security of your website and is a known ranking factor that Google uses. To get https:// for your site you need to to have a SSL Certificate, some web hosting plans have this included while some have it as an optional extra. You can also get this from other providers than your hosting company. You will in some cases need a Dedicated IP, again this is something which many plans include and some have available as an optional extra. All plans from Hostwinds (from shared to dedicated) with cPanel currently include the free Auto SSL for all your domains, this will automatically make your sites available with the https:// in front of the domain. Another free option is the Let’s Encrypt SSL. If you are unsure about whether or not your desired web host and plan will enable you to use https:// you should not hesitate to ask their support!
Website Loading Speed – SSD Storage
Another important factor for ranking good in the search engines is website loading speed. Check out our 10 tips for fast loading sites. You want your site to load as fast as possible. Having your site stored on an SSD instead of a traditional HDD (Hard Disk) can increase your loading times by as much as 200%. Having SSD storage is especially important for database heavy sites like forums and WordPress. Some plans include SSD storage as a standard, some have it as an optional extra, and some still do not offer it at all.
Website Loading Speed – Server Location
Having your site located as near as your target audience as possible will also increase the loading times of your website. Not only is that good for SEO but also for visitors experiences. Most of the sites in the world are hosted in the USA (see our infographic) and there is a lot of good choices when it comes to choosing a host with a server in the USA. We have listed and reviewed lots of USA web hosts – Note that sites hosted in the USA may also load decently fast from around the world also.
If you want to host your sites outside of the United States, please note that we have listed and reviewed lots of web hosting plans that you can use to host your sites on EU servers, Asian servers or at several other locations around the world too.
The location of your server is just one of the factors for how fast your web pages are served. Check out the free tool from GTMetrix that will test your site and give you an extensive report for how to make your site load faster. Pingdom is another such test and it lets you select from where you want to test the site, which is great if you have a local audience in a specific country, then you can select a test location close to them. Another test that does not only test for speed but also for mobile friendliness is the Test Your Mobile Speed from Google.
SEO Blogs, Podcasts and Webinars
There is so much exceptionally great SEO info out there. It is even totally FREE. Here are links to some of my favorite resources.
- SEM Rush – A premium tool that will check your specified rankings daily + tons of other features