It is a somewhat lesser known fact that which company you choose to host your website does in fact have an impact on its search engine rankings. Besides the other clear benefits provided by better quality servers – such as reduced page loading time – there is indisputable evidence that geographical location is a ranking factor for Google. If you own or are considering setting up a UK-based site and are curious about targeted SEO, then this article is for you. Here are the reasons why we only use UK hosting servers for all the sites we build; and why doing so makes your investment in us all the more profitable.
Firstly it is important to understand why Google places such a focus on location as a basis for ranking sites higher in search results. Search engines are trying to become more efficient by providing users with information that is as relevant as possible to their situation or needs. In simple terms, if someone searches for a keyword or term while in Britain, Google UK will promote UK-based site results to higher up on the display page. This provides an advantage to website owners as well – by targeting a certain country, their content is more likely to come into contact with users who are actually interested in it. In turn this leads to potential increases in volume of traffic and dwell time, further promoting the site’s search engine rankings. It is a virtuous cycle.
This is especially beneficial if by chance you happen to run a UK e-commerce site; by becoming more visible to the local market, shipping costs will probably be drastically reduced. For anyone hoping to conduct trade online with a British client base, indicators that the website itself is British (such as location tags, currency in GBP and a local domain name) promote trust and create a stronger brand image. Customers are more likely to feel comfortable inputting their necessary personal and bank details.
Secondly, using a server that is located close to where the target audience are allows for faster loading of the website to users. It is well known that if a site takes more than 2 seconds to begin to load, the viewer will most likely move on to the next search result. Hence this is another small but key aspect that you should take into consideration when choosing a web host. Often it is worth paying a bit extra to avoid a shared server or one that is located in a distant country.
The process behind Google locating websites involves tracing IP addresses, alongside several other indicators. IP addresses are assigned to websites based on the location of their hosting servers. While holding a UK-based geographical location is clearly an advantage to British businesses and sites, it does not prevent them from promoting their results in other countries.
Finally, now that you are hopefully convinced of the necessity for UK-based web hosts, you may be wondering how to go about sourcing one. If a website already has a .co.uk top level domain, it will probably select the right target nation automatically. However if yours has a global domain, such as .org or .com, then the geo-targeting process can be done manually through Google Search Console Tool. However this latter process can be time-consuming or challenging, especially to an inexperienced web developer. It is always advisable to do thorough research and invest in a company that you are confident will understand your needs and deliver a high quality website package. We are always on hand to help on 01494 536 778.