In 2016, global search engine optimisation (SEO) spend was EUR 537 billion. Though not as big spenders as the U.S., Irish companies still contributed millions to that figure.
In fact, direct digital ad expenditure in Ireland was EUR 300 million in 2017. What’s more, a third of Irish businesses say they plan to put more money on marketing this year!
All that proves how online marketing, SEO in particular, has become the new face of marketing. But with all that emphasis on SEO, many tend to forget about search engine friendly web hosting.
That’s right. Your web host can affect local business search engines result page (SERP) ranks.
How exactly can your host impact your SEO efforts though? We’ll let you in on the whole story, so make sure you keep reading!
Let’s talk a bit about local searches first and its undeniable value to online marketing.
First off, localised SEO is of huge importance to Google. Keep in mind that this search engine claims 96.46% of the search engine market in Ireland.
Anyway, of the 200 ranking factors Google considers, some have local intent. The search engine giant even says local SEO is vital for marketing, so businesses should keep it in mind.
Then, there’s also the fact that a third of mobile searches are for local businesses. That’s a lot, considering that mobile searches now account for 52.2% of global web traffic!
The takeaway? Going local increases your chances for higher rankings in search engines.
Your goal is to appear, at the very least, in the first page of search engine result pages. Why?
For the simple reason that three-fourths of searchers don’t check page two of SERPs. In other words, if your website or pages appear after the first page, you lose 75% of potential customers.
There are four direct ways that your choice in a web hosting provider can affect your SEO efforts. These include:
All these factors play major roles in how you’ll appear in local business search results. Take a look below to find out how and why.
It takes as little as three seconds for someone to leave your website. That can happen if your pages show nothing except for a white page within that period of time.
Keep in mind that high abandonment rates signal poor search experience. Search engines, especially Google, don’t like inconveniencing their users. As such, missing this three-second mark can lead to a drop in your page ranks.
There are plenty of things that can cause super slow page loading times. Large image and video files as well as messed up codes are only some of them. But all these are small concerns next to a poorly-functioning web host service.
If your site is on cheap, shared hosting, you’re bound to experience these serious page issues. That’s why you’d want to consider VPS (virtual private server) hosting.
VPS hosting gives you a portion of a dedicated server. Think of it as a dedicated server that sits within a shared hosting environment. You get part of the server, but it’s cheaper because you don’t pay for the entire server.
You may think that a cheap, shared hosting package is all your small business website needs. Well, if your website has very little content (which is unlikely), then that may be okay. But if you have loads of images and videos on it, such as a gallery, shared hosting won’t make the cut.
Again, image and video files – and their sizes – all affect page loading times. For your page to load in as little time as possible, you’d need a good amount of bandwidth. The same goes true for websites that feature a responsive design.
Too little bandwidth, and your site will experience a lot of downtimes. In general though, poor web host reliability is the main culprit to such problems. Either way, websites prone to downtimes don’t look good in the eyes of search engines.
That’s because web crawlers can find out right away if your site is reachable or not. If your site often appears offline to them, search algorithms will deem it unreliable. That’ll then cause your site to drop in rank.
Besides, every time your site is down is time your visitors use to look for similar businesses. That means they’re more likely to choose your competition!
The above-mentioned “unreliability” can also take the form of poor security in websites. Think about it. If you were a leading search engine, would you direct visitors to a dangerous site?
That’s why you’d want to work with a web host offering the latest in website security. These security measures keep your site safe from malware, spam, and other threats. Furthermore, the best website security technology keeps future infections at bay.
You’re likely wondering why location is important since the Internet is all around us. The thing is, your host’s data centre location can also impact your SEO efforts.
For starters, because search engines often prioritise websites based on region. This allows them to filter search results based on location.
Say, for example, someone searches for the “top Dublin restaurants”. Search engines then crawl the web for websites hosted in Dublin or “nearby” data centres.
If they find a restaurant with a website meeting this factor, they may likely give it a higher rank. They may even appear higher on Google My Business listings! Bonus points if that site is also listed on a local business directory.
This said, it’s a good idea to stick with a web host as close to your business’ physical location as possible. The closer the data centre of your host to you is, the better chances you have of getting good ranks.
Keep in mind that Ireland is home to more than 250,000 small and medium enterprises. They may not be all your competitors, but many of them still are.
So, pay much closer attention to how local business search engines rank you. With the help of a reliable web hosting service, you’re one step closer to that goal.
Don’t wait for the competition to get ahead of you! Get in touch with us ASAP and we’ll help you figure out which web host package is best for your site.