July 11, 2024

Web Hosting Location Affects SEO

How Important is Server Location for SEO?

Your hosting provider and where they are located can affect your search engine ranking. However, it’s not the main factor.

That being said, if you run a website, you naturally want to attract traffic and every little bit matters. You’ve probably tried many things to boost your site’s search engine rankings, and you’ve probably realized many different things affect your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) standing. But have you thought about the hosting you’re using?

It’s a factor you’ll want to pay attention to.

If you want to bring more traffic to your site, compete effectively against others in your industry, and generally run an effective website, it’s important to understand how your web hosting provider and its server location affect SEO.

How to Find Out Your Website Hosting Location

It’s a good idea to ask your hosting provider where their servers are located and where your site will be hosted before you sign up. 

There are many hosting companies all over the world and they have their servers located in many different countries. One thing to remember is that just because a company is based in a certain country, it doesn’t mean they have their servers in that country. For instance, a Canadian company may use servers located in the US or a variety of other areas. So, always ask. 

Another tip is to check where your site is hosted yourself. You can do this at Hosting Checker. At this site, you can type in a URL and it will give you hosting details, including the hosting company, IP, datacenter, location, and nameservers.

Does Server Location Affect SEO?

Yes, your website’s server location can affect your search engine ranking. 

However, it’s important to understand why it matters. 

One of the main reasons why is that the farther your server is from your location, the slower it will likely load. Google and other search engines want to deliver the best experience for users. This means sites that load quickly. 

Your website’s loading performance (how quickly the site loads) is listed as one of the Core Web Vitals by Google and these vitals affect your search ranking.

This means that choosing a slow host or a host located far away from your business and your target market can hurt your web traffic.

We’ve found that clients who have their websites hosted by companies close to where the business and the users are located tend to get a boost in their search rankings. For instance, if your company is based in Canada and your target market is Canadians, then it makes sense for your site to be hosted at a Canadian data centre. 

This point is supported by independent research. For instance, Search Engine Land found that “location is an important factor in the SEO of your website.” 

So, just how important is server location for SEO? It certainly matters, but it’s only one factor.

That said, every detail matters. You don’t want to willingly give up a potential edge to your competition. 

Is it OK for a Local Business in Toronto to have a Website with a Server Location in the US?

Hosting your website on a server in the US if you operate a local business in Toronto has potential drawbacks. For instance, your site might perform slightly slower for Canadian visitors than it would if the site was hosted in Canada. This matters when it comes to SEO and also user experience. In general, you should try to choose the closest server location to where the majority of your target market is located. 

Also, remember that your domain extension matters. For instance, if your business has a .fr domain or a .ca domain, Google considers these sites to be geotargeted at users in France or Canada respectively. This means your site will perform better in those countries, but likely not as well outside of them. 

What do you do if you’re a global company that operates around the world? Try to choose a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which provides hubs in various countries. This will provide better site speeds regardless of the visitor’s location. 

The business world is incredibly competitive today, and every small thing that can improve your search ranking is something you should care about. Therefore, it’s important to choose a host that can give you this edge. In most cases, that means finding a local server to host your site.

Does Changing Hosting Affect SEO?

It depends on where you’re already hosted and where you’re planning on moving. 

It’s understandable that, if you’re asking “How important is server location for SEO?,” one of the next questions is “How does changing my web hosting affect my SEO rankings?” After all, once you’re armed with the knowledge that your host location matters, you might be anxious to change. Don’t jump in right away. You should understand the full situation first.

If you’re already using a fast server that is hosting your site close to your target audience, switching to a slower option that’s farther away can hurt you. 

Conversely, switching to a faster host (or switching from shared hosting to dedicated hosting) will improve your website’s speed, and that will positively affect your search rankings.

In short, if the new host is going to hurt the performance of your website, changing hosting will negatively affect your SEO. 

You’ll want to clarify all these details before you switch. Changing to a new host isn’t something that you should attempt with little thought or without a plan in mind. Do your research, read about the hosting provider, and be sure to check out reviews. Every little factor matters when it comes to SEO.

Does Shared Hosting Affect SEO?

Shared hosting can negatively affect SEO and could hurt your website ranking. 

Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll have many other websites hosted on the same server as your site. This means bandwidth and disk space are limited and these shared resources can slow loading times and reduce your site performance. 

Your goal should always be to choose a hosting provider that will ensure your site loads quickly and consistently for your desired audience.

Does Using Managed WordPress Hosting Affect SEO?

In itself, managed WordPress doesn’t cause a problem with SEO. Since managed hosting services are often optimized for WordPress, these can sometimes be beneficial. 

Managed hosting providers typically ensure that WordPress is updated, that your site remains secure, and that the site stays up and running. All of these factors can improve your search ranking.

WordPress has several useful features and functionalities, it is incredibly customizable, and it’s very user-friendly. For these reasons, a lot of businesses prefer sites built with WordPress compared to those using other content management systems or website tools.

However, as mentioned, the details matter. 

Even when you’re using WordPress for website development, it’s important to think about hosting. A potential issue is that many managed WordPress hosting services use shared hosting. Shared hosting tends to be slower than dedicated hosting, and that can hurt your website and your search ranking. Make sure to find out these details before you host your WordPress site.

Choosing a Web Host for SEO

While picking the right server and host for your site is important, remember that no one web host is perfect for every company and every business. When selecting a host, you’ll want to think about the type of business you run, the amount of traffic you receive, the speed of the hosting service, where your target audience is located, and much more.

SEO implications of picking a hosting provider should not be ignored. This is especially true for your site’s local search rankings, which are incredibly important for many businesses. 

Web hosting can affect SEO ranking, but it’s not the primary factor. Choosing a web host should just be one part of your overall SEO strategy

The SEO consultants at Eggs Media can help you. We’ll work to understand your business goals, your company, and your audience. We’ll then create a comprehensive strategy to improve not only your search ranking, but also the quality of the traffic coming to your site, and assist you every step of the way. 

This includes helping you find the right web host. For more information, or to discuss this topic with our expert team, please contact us today.