When it comes to hosting companies you have to be very careful that they are aware of the implications of SEO.
Not all of them are schooled in the complexities of such arrangements, so it pays to do your research before you commit to one for your business.
Which Companies Are Good At SEO and Hosting
We have a little experience with both generic and specialised hosting companies and want to help you to understand which is the best for you.
So, before we delve into the more generic, of which there are many, let’s take a look at some of the more specific ones you might encounter.
Non-Profit Blackbaud Hosting
A company we have had the pleasure of working with in Seattle, is Concourse Hosting. They offer specialised hosting in all Blackbaud products as well as Raiser’s Edge and Tableau.
When we spoke to them regarding some of the requirements of one of our non-profit clients they were very specific in what they could provide.
As we all know, backup is crucial for any hosting company, so that goes without saying. But speed is definitely on the radar of Google these days, and they have a specific page dedicated to it as you might know.
The guys at concourse are using state of the art SSDs so you can be sure that anything you host with them is lightening fast – which is great for SEO.
Traffic Planet are one of the best when it comes to providing start of the art SSD hosting, which as we mentioned above is great for SEO, and also, for your customers (who have no patient when it comes to the internet these days!).
They provide one of the fastest hosting environments for all WordPress related websites, which you may have heard are now hosting close to 27% of all websites today.
So, if you are looking for a great hosting company for your wordpress installation, they might be worth looking at.
Another option that is worth considering in this area, although a little expensive for most, is WPEngine. Check them out for sure if you want really tight security and extreme support. Just be aware that they are not only expensive, but also restrict a lot of the things you can do with your plugins. Not something that everyone would want or tolerate.
Other Generic Hosting Companies
We have covered these guys before in a previous post, but they are worth mentioning again as one of the best in the low-end market – Siteground are our go to hosting company for cheap hosting in almost any flavour.
The great thing about a company like them is that you can start off cheap, but still insanely well supported, and then move up if and when you site grows and needs it. We use them for most of our clients that don’t have the money to spend on high-end support.
Other Factors in SEO Hosting
Here are some other factors that we think are important in any hosting that you might want to consider:
reliable and daily backups for up to 30 days consecutively
unlimited traffic and bandwidth
limits on how much others can consume in a shared environment (or at least scaling)
support (is it just chat, or email, or is there phone)
support availability 24/7 or just weekdays
tech know-how in the type of CMS or other system you are hosting.
Of course there might be a lot more that you specifically need, but these are just the ones that came to mind for us.
So, when it comes to finding the right host, considering SEO or not, we always look at quality over price as in the end you will pay with downtime or problems, even if you are saving a little more.
Before you take on your next hosting project or change, have a serious think about who you are going to go with and more importantly, why!
This is not something that many people think about, but it is very powerful, especially when you know how hard it is to rank on the first page of Google today.
Videos on Your Website
A well produced video is also a great plus for your website. Google likes to see media (images and video) on your site, so if you have a top quality video that increases engagement and reduces bounce rate, then they will notice that as well.
Of course, it is also great for your customers. As they will come back to your site again and again to consume your top quality content.
So having video on your website is perfect for all of those reasons too.
But what is also interesting, is that sometimes Google will rank a video from your website on their search results too. Not even having to be on Youtube. Obviously, this requires that you get their attention and have a powerful website, but it is possible.
Ideas for Videos
Now you are probably wondering what kinds of videos you can produce that are useful to have on your website in the first place.
Well here are a few ideas that we have used in the past for our customers, and perhaps they can inspire you as well:
Insider videos (what is happening in your company)
Product videos (explain what it does, or why it’s great)
Informative/educational videos (supporting the theme of your products)
Documentary Style (similar to insider videos, but more formal perhaps)
Here is also a great video on ideas for videos (it is for a clothing company, but the ideas are applicable for anyone)
Any type of video works, but it should be useful to your customers and keep them watching. Else there is not much point producing it in the first place.
Give it a Go
No matter what you decide to do with video, give it a go. And try to make it applicable to your audience and of reasonable quality (hence us using a video production company).
If you have any ideas that you want to share on video and SEO, be sure to leave a comment below.
There is a lot of choice when it comes to choosing a web hosting company for your website.
Whether you are just starting out and creating a website for the first time, or moving your existing website to a new host, the problem is the same.
So many choices, and they all start to seem the same after a while.
That is why in this post I want to show you some of the things you need to watch out for and also I will give you a recommendation regarding hosting just to help you sort through all the chaff.
Web Hosting Recommendation
One of the first things you need to understand when heading out and choosing a web hosting company is which hosting company to choose.
So to start off with, I am going to recommend a hosting company that many of my customers use and that is SiteGround Web Hosting. If you want to read a review, check out this detailed review of Siteground. This author covers a lot of details. What is included and what is not. And what things they have which really make them stand out.
But now, having given you my recommendation, I want to move on with the meat and potatoes of this post – the features.
Web Hosting Features
Consideration of web hosting comes down to a number of things, but mostly it is features.
The problem is that most of them offer the same features such as:
shared hosting (which means you have your website on the same server as others – sharing resources)
So many of these things are the same on almost all hosting company, and they way that they compete is to offer cheap prices. But watch out for this, because often the prices are super cheap for the first year, and then go up a lot the next. Although you could move your site every year and not have a problem with such conditions. I recommend you find a reasonably priced hosting company from the start.
There are some additional features which companies like Siteground offer which although also on shared hosting, can really make the difference to a small business and website owner like you and I.
What are these features, well, let\s take a look.
One of the biggest, which can help WordPress and Joomla websites as far as I know, is caching. This basically makes a simple copy of your pages so that it is a lot faster when your visitors see your pages. No other hosting company offers this kind of thing. And given speed is a huge thing for websites, this is really a helpful feature.
Another thing that many do not offer, or at least in a helpful way is backups. Siteground offers daily backups and keeps 30 days worth for you. So if you get hacked or mess up your website in any way, they can help you to restore the site to a copy where everything was good.
Of course some hosting companies also have lots of downtime. I experienced this with cheaper hosting in the past. But so far, my customers have been happy with Siteground.
Choosing a web hosting company is hard, but if you take a look and compare the features you will probably end up with a great hosting company like Siteground in the end. If you have any questions about my experience, be sure to leave a comment.
Your website is the key to your online sales efforts. And as such, like your store in the real world, your website needs to be maintained and improved on a regular basis.
There are a number of elements you should be checking and watching out for to make your website the best it can be.
The layout of your website is the key to it’s usability for your visitors and potential customers.
You need to ensure that they can always find what they are looking for and easily. That means your menu/navigation needs to make sense and help them get where they are going. So group your common content into one menu or page. Make sure things are grouped in categories that make sense for your readers too.
You also don’t want too much clutter on your website. Try to keep the following key points in mind when checking your website out:
Images in your blog posts
lots of white space
large fonts where possible
little or no advertising
as few widgets on the side bar as necessary.
blog posts well spaced out with headings and bullet points
All of these things are important as they help your readers to find what they are looking for in your content and on your site in general.
Page Load Speed
Something that I briefly touched upon in my last post, page load speed is super important for your visitors and for Google.
You should be aiming for a load speed around 2 seconds. But a little above that is acceptable. You can use a few of the following tools to check your page load speed and see what you can do to improve it where possible:
Any of these are helpful, but give a few of them a try as they tell you different things about your site and show you how you can improve. Google’s is the toughest, but don’t let that stop you from trying it out.
Colors, Fonts and Images
The last area I want to mention in today’s post is the overall look and feel of your website.
To keep up to date with modern websites, I recommend you pay attention to current design trends. I know it is hard. But it is worth it.
For example you should consider using some of the free fonts available from Google Fonts or other online font resources. Many WordPress themes even come with these font choices available for no effort whatsoever.
You should also have a definite color scheme in mind for your brand and apply that to your website, logo, and images on your website. There is nothing more important than a unified branding when it comes to recognizing your brand across the internet and beyond.
Also try to use as professional pictures as possible, even stock photography and use tools like Pixlr and Canva to create the graphics you need for your site.
In the end both your users, Google and customers will thank you for your efforts in this regard.
Keeping your website in top form is a very important part of owning a website. And if you take the above tips into account when you are doing this, it will really help.
If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you in the comments below.
So you should be taking care of the fundamentals whenever you publish a piece of content:
All of these things are very important as a foundation to the SEO of any given page on your website. So don’t forget to do these before you publish any page to maximize your potential!
Content is Still King
The old statement that content is king, still holds. Google still wants to see you publishing great content and regularly. In fact, the more content you have on your site, the more chance you have of ranking your pages for the keywords that you are targeting.
How often should you publish? Well, there is no answer to this question but another question. It depends on how much time you have. How often your audience is used to receiving new content, or even if they are expecting it at all. Don’t publish something just to publish. Putting poorly though out rubbish onto the internet is not a good policy for anyone.
I would suggest at least once a week, to publish a post on a topic that is related to your main product or service. Or even a related post that leads people to know you as an authority in your niche.
Although it is less important than it was, links are still the number one way that Google knows that your site is important. So in that case, link building is still very important for SEO and ranking your website in the top ten of Google. The place that everyone wants to be for sure.
So how do you go about link building in 2014.
Well the number one way to get links it to produce amazing content that people want to link to. Things like definitive guides to a topic, or summaries or in depth material that you have collated. Then go out and find people to share it with, with the hope of getting links from them. Only 1 in 10 might actually link, but it is worth the effort, right?
Getting other types of links is still worthwhile, like social media profiles and a few top directories. It can also pay to go out and comment on blogs in your niche, at least a little bit. A good link profile has all of these kinds of links in one form or another.
Many of the basics of SEO are still the same, only now there is a focus on good links and great content. So make sure you have posting awesome stuff for your readers on a regular basis and all will be golden with Google.