SEO: Online visibility even without ads and social media
There are many ways to become visible online. Many of them cost the advertiser money on a regular basis.
One method, which is based neither on ad placement nor on permanent posting on social media platforms, is search engine optimization. You optimize your website so that, while your target audience is searching for topics or products on Google, you are displayed as "high up" as possible - and: The higher your rank (ranking) on Google, the more people click on your page.
How does SEO work?
Google always wants to provide its users with the best search results - clearly! - because the better the results are, the more people use the search engine! This in turn means more advertising income for Google.
In order to deliver the best search results for users' requests, Google analyzes both the websites or stores and the search and usage behavior of the searchers.
There are a total of over 200 factors that influence how the search engine ranks your web presence in the search results. So it is not only important to place certain search terms in important places on the page. Among the points that influence your ranking also and partly much more include:
- the structure of your website, for example the menu navigation
- the quality of your texts and content
- the usefulness of the website content for the target group
- content formats that fit the topic and the search request (image, text, video, etc.)
- the display of your website or store on mobile devices
- the size of your files
- useful and working links
- links from other websites
- the user-friendliness of your website or store
- and much more
In short: focusing on the needs of searchers and website users
Of course, implementing all this means a lot of work for you and everyone who is responsible for the online presence. But it is worth it! With the quality of the page, the visibility on Google and therefore the number of visitors can also increase continuously.
But SEO is even more than that! Many technical factors also contribute to your site's ability to rank well!
You can have the most beautiful, user-friendly, relevant website in the world - if it's not available quickly and permanently, Google will notice this and move you to the back of the list. This could mean for some time that all the valuable work on the website or store was useless - at least for your Google ranking!
Why the availability of your website is so important
Google's so-called crawler (a program) comes to your website at regular intervals to "check" what has been done here. Among other things, it determines the extent to which new or existing content is available and evaluates it in order to rank it accordingly in the results.
If the crawler now comes along and no longer finds a previously top-maintained page (perhaps several times), it can no longer recommend it as a good page to Google users. It disappears from the top ranks and another page (your competition!) takes its place - this is frustrating and above all unnecessary.
From the user's point of view, this approach is also perfectly understandable. If a potential customer wants to visit your website, but can't reach it or only to a limited extent, he'll think twice about buying from you. Are you and your service just as "unreliable" as your website? In this case, the customer will most likely choose another provider. You have lost your chance. And maybe it's not even up to you:
The availability of your site is influenced to a large extent by the hosting - that is, by various characteristics of the server on which your site resides and the data center where it is located.
A crucial factor for your SEO success and therefore website visibility is the permanent availability of your website and its content - because you never know when Google will come around!
Why the performance (speed) of your website is so important
Good website performance is important so that even at times when many visitors come to a website or use the platform, it works properly. This includes on the one hand the loading time of your page, but also how fast your page reacts to user actions.
Your web presence should be up within 3 seconds - even better: within one second. Studies show that there is a correlation between the loading time of a website and the conversion rate (proportion of visitors who perform a desired action). Again, the higher the quality of your website, the more successful it can be.
Why is the load time relevant from an SEO point of view?
Since 2021, the so-called "Core Web Vitals" are regarded as ranking factors by Google. These are three metrics that indicate how quickly a page is built, responds to the user and is visually stable.
How to measure website performance
There are several tools for measuring loading times. One would be "Page Speed Insights" - directly from Google. Also webpagetest.org or GT-Metrix are popular tools. Here you can view the most important metrics to then make targeted improvements to your page.
Page performance can also be significantly influenced by hosting.
How your hosting and server affect SEO
How do you ensure the availability and performance of your website? - By paying close attention to the features that affect them when choosing your hoster or server. You can find out what these are now.
Why cheap is not always favorable for SEO and your website success
Many website creators choose shared hosting (What is shared hosting?) for cost reasons. This can be quite reasonable. However, with shared hosting it can happen that one server customer claims a lot of traffic for himself and the websites of other customers (maybe yours?) do not perform well at this time.
However, if you want to achieve good visibility with your site or store, we definitely recommend a hosting plan that ensures the necessary and important resources at all times. This is especially useful if you want your online platform to be well and quickly available even at peak access times.
From our product portfolio, we would definitely recommend a VPS server for such a situation.
Performance of the (server) hardware for better SEO
Not only the available resources themselves, but also the hardware used in the servers or data centers plays a role in your website performance. Make sure that high-quality and high-performance hardware is used here! The bandwidth of the data connection should also be of interest to you! Check whether the servers have a fast connection to the network. Compare the specifications of the providers here.
How the server location influences your SEO success
In itself, the server location has no influence on the Google ranking. However, the page load time (the server response time) is influenced by the server location. This in turn can have an influence on user behavior - because if you have to wait too long for a page to load, you will prefer to visit another page. And the Google algorithm notices this as well.
If you operate a site that is aimed at users in Germany, it therefore makes absolute sense to use a server that is located in Germany. In addition, the server location Germany brings some other advantages with it!
If you run a site that needs to work well and load quickly in multiple countries, it may even make sense to host it in multiple locations.
Guaranteed availability for server & hosting
No matter which provider you want to choose for your online presence - find out in advance about the guaranteed availability! You can usually find this in the Service Level Agreements (SLA) provided by the provider. Using the percentage information (e.g. 99.9% annual average), you can calculate how many hours a year the website may not be available - or will be available. It is important that you then consider for the respective purpose of the site to what extent this time is satisfactory for you.
The hosting criteria, which is crucial in case of emergency
If there are ever problems with your own website or store, nothing is more important than fast and competent support - because it's often not hours but minutes that count here! Inform yourself in advance about the support quality of the providers you have on your shortlist!
Hosting security for more SEO success
Another factor that influences the availability of the servers and therefore also of your website or store is the security of the data centers in which the server is located. In addition to a stable and fail-safe infrastructure, this also includes protection against fire and other environmental influences as well as access security and camera surveillance of the locations.
You can tell that appropriate security measures have been adequately taken by the TÜV certification of the data center, among other things. So always pay attention to how and where the servers on which your online presence is located are housed.
Matching and own domains
Some providers offer free domains and hosting. However, this is not a good idea from an SEO point of view and for your website success, as you often only have the option to create a subdomain with the provider here.
So instead of yourpreferredname.com you could just use yourpreferredname.provider.com.
Besides, such a domain is less memorable for your website users than your own.
In general, it makes sense that your domain makes the specific topic of your page or your brand name recognizable. A relevant keyword in the URL is also recommended - not because the page then automatically ranks better for the search term, but because the user immediately recognizes that the page matches his search query - and this indirectly influences the value of the page (from Google's point of view).
Your site should always have an SSL certificate! - Google knows this too and prefers SSL secured pages. Especially if you are just starting out and initially building a small site, you may want to resort to a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate. Not all hosting providers offer these options in all hosting plans. Therefore, you should consider this point when choosing a provider.
If your site gets bigger or you even run a store, it may make sense to buy a special SSL certificate. You can find out more in this SSL guide.
Website builder – yes or no?
Homepage construction kits form an easy solution for people who hardly know anything about web design and website creation. However, what you should always check before using such a solution are the necessary settings options:
- Can you define the H1, H2, H3, etc. headings?
- Do you have enough formatting options for the text?
- Are you sufficiently flexible in creating the menu?
- Can you create "breadcrumbs" for user orientation?
- Can you set alt texts for images?
- Can you create speaking URLs? - i.e. „www.page/subpage“ instead of „www.page/fnkekvkek123“
- Do you have sufficient possibilities for an appealing and user-friendly design?
- Is there a possibility to adapt the website for mobile devices?
This hosting setting option is also important for your SEO
One more very specific tip at the end: Make sure that and how you also have access to the .htaccess file with the chosen hosting. This way you can, for example, make redirections of URLs. If in doubt, simply ask the hoster beforehand.
If you have considered and checked all these points - and chosen your hosting accordingly, you have a perfect hosting foundation for further SEO measures to subsequently reach and satisfy many users with your website. We wish you much success in this!