When choosing a hosting provider for your website it often comes down to making sure it can handle your site’s traffic and fit in your budget, but something else to consider is geographic location. Whether you’re running a regional content site or an international eCommerce business, getting hosting that is near your site’s target users/audience can help boost your site’s speed and improve SEO results. In this article, we will go over some things to look for when choosing a hosting location and how it can affect your site’s performance.
Finding a Data Center Near Your Users
When looking for a hosting provider consider how many and where their data centers are located. Having a host with multiple data centers can give you better safety and reliability for your site, as well as making sure they have locations that can serve your regional, national and/or international audience. If you are only serving a section of a country you want to make sure your server is located as close to that region as possible. If you are looking more at a national audience you will want to choose a central location in order to not favor one section of the country over another. In the situation that you are trying to reach an international audience, you might be looking at a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to allow the hosting of your one site in multiple locations. You should also consider any legal and/or environmental risks associated with the location you are looking to host.
Improving Your Sites Local Search Performance
When your site is closer to your users you can expect an improvement in site latency – the time it takes for a request to the server to produce a response to the user. You can see an example of this by using the http://www.gcping.com/ site, which shows the latency between your computer and the different Google Cloud hosting servers. This can have a positive effect on a lot of search engineering ranking factors.
Search engines will also use your site’s server IP to determine it’s location and use this as a ranking factor. This is usually limited to countries, favoring site hosting in the same country as the users are searching. It should only affect sites trying to reach an international audience, but should still be considered.
Make sure you have a good reliable host that can serve your markets. Just like a brick and mortar business, you want to be in the same location as your audience. Once this is set it can help improve your search rankings and give you that edge you have been looking for.