Website owners are being forced to adapt (or abandon) traditional SEO strategies as two trends collide with one another to redefine how small businesses generate leads online: Website Speed and Content Marketing.
On the one hand, Google now considers the page load time of a web page as one of its most critical search rank variables.
On the other hand, it is being forced to redefine its famous algorithm to reward sites that publish deep, valuable content rather than previous strategies that relied upon excessive ‘backlinking’ or rapid, vapid content production simply to boost rankings.
This latter ‘dark-side’ approach features prevalently in ‘content farms’, or websites that attempt to use content as a way to game Google rankings rather than to solve customer issues or provide insights into products and services.
When the search giant released Google Instant as a way to instantly display search results for a user, it was explicitly issuing a clarion call to all website owners to make pages lighter and faster or risk lower rankings.
Google Instant saved up to 3 seconds, on average for a typical web search, which dramatically improved the online experience for impatient users during busy shopping periods over the holiday season.
Google instant essentially helped rewrite the rulebooks on the famous two second rule; a guideline for how long a typical customer would wait for a page to load. Now, a blink of an eye can considered an eternity in the fastest autobahn in the world, the World Wide Web.
Considering this, it’s no surprise that choosing a web hosting company to house your website or ecommerce application can be regarded as on of the most important decisions a business leader will make as they pursue more traffic, leads and ecommerce conversions for their brand or product. The speeds offered by web hosts not only affect customer satisfaction, but search rank as well.
Further, as more content is loaded onto the web platform, the issue of speed becomes even more paramount, leading many budget-orientated owners to choose one cost-effective form of hosting that prepares them adequately for good SEO: Shared Hosting.
However, it can be extremely challenging to find a suitable hosting provider in such a crowded marketplace. Failure to get this decision right could mean shaky uptimes, something Google will penalize over the long-term. Furthermore, these hosting providers are under enormous pressure to meet technological standards and infrastructural requirements, items that business owners are largely ignorant to.
In a recent report, The Ethernet Alliance suggested that with each historical doubling of bandwidth consumption, web hosting clients could use 400% more bandwidth in three years, than they do currently. Smartphone and tablet adoption, along with rapid rise of video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, are helping to fuel a bandwidth-hungry user base that have no tolerance for slow sites, or worse, sites that go down. And, consider Google your customer too, since if your site does not meet a 99.9% uptime guarantee, you could drop down the search ranking totem pole, which will immediately affect your bottom line.
Thus, leading web hosting companies are being forced to invest heavily in new data centre and cloud networks to meet these speed and bandwidth demands, and more specifically Google’s algorithmic requirements. UK2 is no exception, having completely overhauled its data centre infrastructure in 2012.
But shared hosting plans are going beyond speed and uptime guarantees, offering additional SEO incentives to small business owners, including powerful new Attracta SEO tools available from the cPanel, one of the most advanced hosting dashboards in the industry today. These allow you to create sitemaps, generate meta tags and pursue other SEO avenues.
Further, WordPress blogging software is becoming synonymous with great SEO, generating crawl-friendly content for search engines and offering an extensive range of additional plugins, including All-in-One-SEO Pack, to give your website a critical edge in gaining higher rankings.
Some customers may question the viability of using a shared hosting platform to drive website content, considering this form of hosting typically allows hundreds of websites to share resources on a single server. However, Google has no issue with this approach, as long as the provider meets industry requirements for a 99.9% uptime. UK2 offers a guarantee for this, making its shared hosting plans a good option for cost-conscious business owners who don’t want to be penalised by Google’s increasingly tough algorithms.
Author Bio: Jason Stevens from jason-stevens.com / Freelance web developer, tech writer and follower of cloud computing trends. Follow him on Twitter: @_jason_stevens_.
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