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When looking to start a website, it’s important to choose a reliable host. In part one of this series, we covered three ways your choice of web host affects your site, including speed, security and backup, and uptime. We’ve come up with three more factors to add to the list. Check them out.

Search Engine Rankings

If you’re familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), then you know there are many, many factors at play when it comes to where you’ll rank for any given keyword. Your choice of web host directly impacts many of these areas. Choose poorly, and it can be difficult to get your site to rank. Choose wisely, and you’ll have better luck ranking higher and attracting more visitors to your site.

Here are just a few ways your web host impacts your search engine rankings:

•    Speed. In part one of this series, we discussed how the servers your site files are hosted on play a role in site speed. This also impacts SEO because site speed is part of the ranking algorithms for sites like Google. It can also indirectly impact SEO because faster speeds satisfy web visitors, and if you can satisfy, it means more people will link back to you, boosting your rankings.
•    Uptime. Uptime, which we also mentioned in part one of this series, also impacts SEO. If your site is frequently down, not only can users not access it, but neither can search engines. In some cases, search engines will penalize sites that are frequently down.
•    Server location. Your host’s server location can impact your site rankings depending on which audience you’re trying to target. For example, if you want to target web users in Pakistan and rank high on Google.com.pk, then you’ll have better luck if your site is hosted on a Pakistani server. 

If you care at all about SEO (and you should!), then be sure to read web hosting reviews to ensure you’re choosing a host that won’t lead you toward penalties from search engines.

Conversion Rates

You want visitors on your site to opt in to your offer and to buy from you, right? Then pay attention to your web host. Choosing a cheap host because of the price may save you money up-front, but it’s going to cost you a lot more in the long run by missing out on potential conversions.

You’ll notice that we’ve mentioned speed several times already in this series. That’s how important it is, and it plays a role in conversion rates as well. Users abandon slow-loading sites. In fact, for every one second delay in page speed, conversions drop by 7 percent. That means that your site has to be quick so you don’t lose potential buyers. Try to get it below one second loading time.

Uptime is also important for obvious reasons. If users can’t access your site, they can’t buy from you, and just a few minutes of downtime here and there can add up quickly.
Another way your host can indirectly affect your conversion rates is through your own reputation. For example, say your site was hacked due to security issues with your host. Word gets out, and your reputation begins to tarnish. Fewer people will trust your site’s security, and therefore they will be hesitant to buy from you.

Ability to Scale

When setting up your site through a host or through website builders, you may start out small knowing not many people will visit it at first. However, as your site grows and more traffic flows in, you’re going to need more resources to accommodate the requests to your server.

Because of this, it’s best to choose a host that gives you the option to accommodate your growing site. For example, you might start with a shared hosting package and then upgrade to a dedicated hosting package later on. A good host will help you make a smooth transition.

Now that you understand why your host is so important to your site’s success, you can move forward in researching and choosing a good web host. Already signed up for hosting? The good news is that you can always switch to a new host. Which web host are you thinking about using?
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