As a small business owner, it is vital that you leverage internet tools for reaching your intended audience. While the discussion about search engine optimization, or SEO, is one aspect of internet marketing you will use to accomplish this goal, if you don’t have the right website host, it could all be for nothing.
You see, many people think that the first step in SEO involves selecting keywords. Those who are a bit savvier believe it begins with good website design. The website host that you select will have an impact on your search engine rankings, user experience and more. This is why you need to shop around before you decide which one will meet your needs.
There are different types of servers used today and you need a cursory understanding of how they each work to choose the best one for your company to use. The least expensive option is shared hosting, while a dedicated web host will cost significantly more but provide much greater control. For most small businesses, this is not necessary.
With a virtual private server, you have some control over the choices regarding security for your data. You will have a similar IP address to the other sites utilizing the hardware. With shared hosting, you have even less control though you will save a bit more cash.
While all of this might sound confusing, or even meaningless, it is important in your selection of a hosting company. When you are ready to start comparing the various ones in use today, you need to understand the terms used on their websites and how they will impact your company.
According to SmallBusinessWebHostingReviews.com, when using a VPN, the speed of your site can be impacted by the others. Think of them as neighbours; if they have excessive traffic, it can reduce access for your own visitors. Understanding that possibility will help you to find a website host where that is less likely to occur.
Know Your Neighbours
Your neighbours might also have a negative impact on your SEO if they are spammers. While there has been much debate about how much VPS neighbours can influence the way websites are ranked, it is certainly a situation where it is better to be safe than sorry. Do your best to avoid website hosting from a company with a reputation for hosting spammers.
You can use a reverse IP lookup to find out who is on the same server as you, though that is an “after-the-fact” situation. However, if you are already using a website, it might provide valuable insight as to issues you are having with page rankings. If these sites use a lot of bandwidth with their site or have spammy reputations, you might want to consider changing. However, if you are working with a qualified and reputable SEO agency, they can likely advise you about your hosting.
The physical location of the servers is one area where you don’t want to cut corners. While you might be able to get overseas hosting for a fraction of what you will pay for domestic, the results will be lessened. Just as you don’t want to go to another country for your server, you should choose one in the same state and as close to your physical location as reasonably makes sense.
Take Your Time & Do Some Research
Do some research regarding the reputation of the company, including their downtime statistics. If they are down more than one percent of the time, you don’t want them for a host. When websites are down, it has a tremendously negative impact on SEO that can be difficult to rebuild. If the search engines visit your site while it is down, your site can drop in rankings, or even worse, because deindexed. While all servers will have the occasional crash, more than that is simply unacceptable as a business website host.
As for reviews, you want to scour the web for reviews of each website host still contending for your business at this point. Remarks left by folks on social media are more likely to contain actual reviews. You want to find things where people say “website hosting XYZ terrible service” or similarly worded remarks. Use these negative words in your search to boost results quality.
Once you have eliminated those with a consistently bad press, you should have a reasonable list of possible web hosts for your business. Compare the prices and offerings of each to determine which is right for you. Find out how much bandwidth you have with each, potential pricing changes and always read the small print. Look for guarantees and exclusions to avoid surprises down the line.
This way, you will have the best start to your SEO and luring potential customers to your new business website!