How does your web host affect your SEO rankings?

When trying to maximise the effectiveness of your company’s website, there are a number of factors to consider. Each of these involve skills and knowledge that take time to build.

Two of the most important factors when building your website are choosing the right web host for you and optimising your content so it ranks highly in the search engine results pages (Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO).

Getting the right web host is important for so many reasons. Each business has their own needs and finding the web host for you can make life so much easier while you’re running a business. Each have different packages, with different offers and additional extras to suit your needs and help your website run as efficiently as possible.

Meanwhile, SEO is important for your business, too. It allows more potential customers to find you when they do a simple web search for the services you provide. It’s essentially free marketing, which is great for any business looking to grow while keeping costs down.

So web hosting and SEO are two of the most important factors, but is there a relationship between the two?

Well, yes.

Both can work in tandem to make your website as effective as possible. Getting the right web host can have a positive impact on your SEO ranking, therefore bringing more eyes and potential customers to your website.

It’s all about something called Time to First Byte. This is the time, in milliseconds, between your visitor hitting enter on ‘http://yourwebsitename.com’ and the first byte of your webpage loading on their browser.

Once the user types in that URL, their computer sends a request to receive the content on your website. Your server – i.e. your web host – receives that request, processes it and sends your website back to the user for them to see.

You can measure yours by using a website called WebPageTest, which you can find by clicking here. Alternatively, Google Chrome DevTools is another recommended way to find out your Time to First Byte.

Across the tech review industry, 500 ms or less is widely recommended as the Time to First Byte you should be looking to achieve. 100 ms or less should be on network latency, with no more than 400 ms on network processing. You can find more information on this breakdown across the web, with various helpful websites and tutorials on hand to explain.

The lower the Time to First Byte figure is, the better. Partly because you don’t want your customers to be waiting forever to load your website – they’ll quickly get frustrated and go elsewhere.

But another key reason is because of SEO. Studies of thousands of websites have proven that, while exact proof is unclear, there is definitely a correlation between sites’ Time to First Byte and their page ranking on search engines.

Finding the best web host is the most effective way of reducing your Time to First Byte. Good, reputable services have better web servers, meaning they can process users’ URL requests and send back your website faster than their competitors.

While it’s worth remembering that Time to First Byte is determined by an accumulation of factors – including your web host, your code, database optimisation, caching systems and others – sometimes changing to a good, reputable web host can have the most performance gains for such little work.

For any business, whether you have a low budget or are just looking to keep costs to a minimum, finding the best web host for you can work wonders in the long run.

A good web host is also helpful for keeping your website online, maintaining it as much as possible and seeking high-quality customer support on any issues you may come across.

We recommend GreenGeeks, our favourite web host of 2020 so far.

To review and compare sites that offer the fattest Time to First Byte, click here.

If you’re looking for information on building a great website, but are yet to get started, we recommend using WordPress.

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