SEO and Web Hosting Location: What’s the Connection?
When you think of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), you usually think of keywords, backlinking, and writing compelling content to rank on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). But another factor that affects SEO is the server location. The server location is the data centre’s physical location where your website is hosted.
So, how do these two come together?
Well, for starters, SEO rankings depend on many factors, including website speed, which is impacted by a website’s server location.
Let’s explore this in more details.
How does server location affect your website speed?
Did you know that 53% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? This leads to increased bounce rates which can hurt your search engine rankings. That’s why it’s imperative that your server location must be closer to your target audience to ensure website speed.
For example, you are currently located in Canada, but your target audience is in the USA, then you should ask your hosting provider if it’s possible to assign your website a server in the USA. Because when a user tries to access a website, there is a data transfer that takes place between the hosting server and the webpage itself. And if your server is located far away from your target audience’s location, there is a guaranteed delay in data transfer resulting in latency.
Now, as a user yourself, why would you wait for more than a couple of seconds for a site to load when there are other sites that load faster? The same goes for other users that visit your website. Hence, it is critical to choose your server’s physical location perceptively to maintain the speed of your website.
Reducing the distance of your website’s server location will decrease load time and increase page speed, dispelling the chances of a visitor leaving your website.
How does server location affect your website’s SEO?
As previously mentioned, a closer server location reduces load time and increases the chances of a user staying longer on the page. This will result in higher dwell time (the amount of time a user spends on your website at a stretch) and reduced bounce rate (how quickly a user leaves your website).
Search engines like Google consider a variety of location-based signals such as the location of the user, location of the business, and hosting server of the site. The business and hosting location closest to the user would get more preference as this will impact the website speed tremendously.
There’s another factor that is impacted by slow load time—crawling. It is a process by which Google finds new or updated website pages and adds them to rankings when people search for information. If you update your website content frequently, Google crawls it often.
But if your website loads slowly, it won’t get crawled on time because search engines have limited resources and time. Plus, they also have a crawl budget for every website (i.e., the amount of time they can and will spend on your website in each session). When this happens, it will not get ranked for people to find.
In simpler terms, website server location affects the load time of the page, which impacts the time a user spends on your website (dwell time and bounce rate). And both are crucial factors for SEO.
How to find where a website is hosted
Now that the impact of server location has been covered, it is only natural to want to host a website locally. However, it is not easy to get the domain you wish to have, considering the number of domain names being registered rapidly now and then across the internet.
Say you find a domain that you like, but it is already registered. How do you find where the website is located, the name of the registrant, and other related information? The WHOIS lookup, a domain checker tool can help you. This is a widely used tool that can help you identify who owns a domain and how to get in contact with them.
Many businesses choose a foreign website server location to save costs or to ensure better infrastructure. However, both cannot overcome the benefits of a fast-loading website. Hence, it is suggested to host a website locally.
However, if you are targeting users worldwide, then choosing a specific server location is not a must. Instead, you can turn to a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for quicker page loading.
CDN is a group of servers distributed across the world to store and deliver assets such as videos and images to your website visitors faster. The main goal of CDN is to offload the bandwidth strain on your original hosting server to somewhere else. This is often the server that is closest to the website user who is trying to load your site in the first place. While some content is loaded from the nearest CDN server, the rest gets loaded from your hosting server, and as a result, it speeds up your website’s page delivery.
Gain traction on search engine results pages today!
As a business owner, your main goal is to generate sales from your ecommerce website. And the only way to do this is to ensure that your website is searchable and visible online by users.
Adopting effective SEO practices is what helps you rank high on SERPs. Coupled with a good server location that positively impacts your website speed, you’ll find yourself on the first page of SERPs. But even with this helpful article, it’s completely understandable to still have a hard time making your page SEO-friendly.
If you want to take the weight off your shoulders yet want to stay on point with your website’s SEO and see your business grow online, you can outsource SEO services to experts. BigRock offers best-in-class managed SEO services to help rank your website on top across search engines.
Start your SEO journey now by contacting our representatives.