Many companies and organizations rely on the internet to generate new business. Websites were originally designed to replace paper catalogs, but have since evolved to provide many services for consumers. The core role of a business website today is to help consumers interact with products and services. To this end, a website can serve many roles to a successful enterprise, including as an online storefront, a help desk, a source of investor information, a hub for web-based services, and more.
As the cost of web hosting has decreased over the past decade, many web hosting service providers now offer the same uniform level of service, and it’s possible to get high-bandwidth, low-cost hosting from countless different companies. While commodity-based hosting may be appropriate for smaller businesses, it’s essential to choose a website host that provides Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. As its name suggests, SEO helps ensure a high ranking in a search engine results page. When an internet user searches for a product or service, he or she will see a list of ranked websites. Websites that have a strong reputation will be highly visible, while poorly ranked websites will be buried at the bottom of the list. Thus, a high ranking in a search engine provides free advertising for a business, and can help drive more customers to a website.
A web hosting service should always provide SEO tools for its users. The following list shows several SEO factors it’s essential to look for in a web hosting service:
Search Engine Submission
In order to learn about websites on the internet, search engines use programs called “crawlers” (so named because they “crawl” through entire websites), which study not only their content and design, but also where they link to and where they receive links from. It can take weeks for a search engine to do a complete crawl of the public internet, and the process is always ongoing because the internet is always changing. Therefore, a new business must sometimes submit their website to search engines to be crawled as soon as possible. If a website isn’t submitted, it can take several weeks before it will be found by the crawlers, and this can result in a loss of potential customers.
A web hosting service should provide free tools to help with search engine submissions. Some web hosts will submit all websites on their service automatically, without manual intervention. When looking for a host, it’s important to find one that submits a website to at least 20 different search engines.
A website’s ranking is based on how well a search engine “trusts” a website. For example, some scam-oriented websites can be dangerous for internet users; they can install malware silently, and may expose a visitor to viruses or spyware. These sites would receive and “untrustworthy” designation from search engine crawlers and be buried in the results accordingly. Similarly, a reputable business that has been conducting safe transactions online for over 10 years will be regarded as “trustworthy” by the crawlers. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to find a selective host; many free and lower-end service providers are abused by scammers, which means their domains may not be trusted by search engines. This can degrade the reputation of all websites hosting by a single service provider, including – potentially – yours!
So, always make sure that a web host is reliable and well-regarded by search engines. Also ensure that they don’t allow pornographic or obscene material; while many people hold personal opinions on the morality of these types of sites (one way or the other), they can sometimes lower a host’s ranking in a search engine and should therefore not be associated with.
Website Performance Metrics
Performance metrics can be a valuable tool when researching the traffic on a website. Performance metrics can provide specialized information on who is visiting a website, as well as the origin of this traffic. This information can be used to optimize sales in many ways.
When an internet user visits a website, he or she provides a web server with an IP, or Internet Protocol address. This address is unique to all computers; it provides routing information for transferring data from a server to a user’s computer. An IP address can help a website owner determine the geographical origin of traffic. This can be valuable when providing products or services to a specific region. If a website is receiving lots of traffic from a certain area, products or services can be customized to cater to those visitors. This can help a company increase business.
Whenever a user visits a website, his or her web browser provides additional information to the host server. This includes the browser type and operating system of the user. This information can be a great way to understand the types of visitors a website is receiving; for instance, visitors using an Apple based computer may be from a higher socioeconomic status, while visitors using an outdated browser and operating system may be from a lower socioeconomic status. This can be a great tool when selling products online, as a website can be designed to offer either luxury or bargain-oriented goods, based on traffic analysis.
A high quality web hosting service should provide website performance metrics to its user. It should offer deep-traffic analysis, allowing website developers to understand the types of traffic visiting a website. A web hosting service should provide real-time analysis of traffic, allowing users to see how changes in a website impact the type of traffic it receives each and every day.
Social Media Submission and Widgits
Millions of people across the world use social media; in fact, a recent report revealed that 1 out of 14 people on Earth currently have a social media account. Many businesses and companies can benefit from social media, if managed correctly. To begin with, social media can provide word-of-mouth advertisement for a business. If, for example, a social media user with lots of followers reports a positive experience with a product or service, it’s possible that the user’s followers will make the same decision. There are several ways a web hosting service can provide tools for this kind of social media submission.
One of the most popular tools for websites is a social media widget. This device allows a website visitor to submit a link he or she finds to major social media services such Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit. When a user clicks on the social media widget, he or she is automatically provided with a template for creating a social media submission. After providing his or her log-in information, a post is made to the social media service.
A good web hosting service should provide tools for implementing social media. This can range from an HTML snippet to an automated submission service.
While it’s possible to buy basic web hosting from any service provider, it’s important to look for a web hosting service that provides more. By leveraging SEO tools, it’s possible to increase a website’s traffic with ease.