Server Location and its Influence on SEO
Have you ever wondered why some websites load faster and some take an infinite amount of time? Well, the answer is simple, it all depends on the web hosting provider, the size of the images uploaded on the website, other media files if any, and the server location. The next few questions that come to mind are: What is server location? How does it affect the website performance? How can it ensure productivity?
Before we delve further into the topic, let us take a quick look at what is server location and does server location affect SEO.
What is server location?
Server location is the location of the data centre where your website is hosted. This location can be anywhere in the world irrespective of where you are based.
For example, I reside in India and my web hosting provider, CloudRocket, too has an office in UK. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the server my website is hosted on is in UK itself. It could either be UK/US or any other location where my provider (CloudRocket in this case) has servers.
The answer to the question you had on server location and if it impacts website performance then the answer is a well resounding, yes! After all, it is an important factor in determining the loading speed of your website.
Coming back to the earlier example, if I run an e-commerce website and my customer base is primarily the Indian market, then hosting my website on the US or UK server increases the geographic distance between the location of my customers and the server, thus increasing the time required to fetch the data when a user requests it. On the contrary, if I were to host my website in UK, then the loading time would reduce which, in turn, would increase the speed of my website.
Here are some facts and figures to help explain the importance of page load time:
- According to a study by Kissmetrics, 40% of the users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Given the reduced attention span of consumers, this is an alarming number.
- The previous study even concludes, 51% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that has crashed, frozen, or received an error.
- Research conducted by Firefox showed that a 2.2-second improvement in Page Speed led to a 15.4% increase in download conversions.
- Moreover, Google itself takes into consideration the website loading speed when ranking a website.
Taking a cue from all these facts and figures, two things are certain if you don’t choose an optimal server location. One, you will have a high chance of having dissatisfied customers and second, your website ranking will be impacted.
So the answer to the pressing question does server location affect SEO, is yes, it does! But how do you overcome it?
Choosing the right server location
To avoid your website from being negatively impacted by the server location you can either
- Choose a server location closer to your customer base
- Choose a web hosting provider that offers CDN
Choose a server location closer to your customer base
As explained above, if your customer base is in a particular location then it is better you choose your server location in the same place or as close to that location as possible as this would provide minimum latency.
However, what happens if the web hosting provider you choose doesn’t have a data centre where your customer base is? Is your website going to be impacted? Yes and No.
It is your choice of hosting provider, the services they provide and the type of hosting you choose that determines the quality of your page load time. That takes us to our second point.
Choose a web hosting provider that offers CDN
Choosing a web hosting provider that offers CDN (Content Delivery Network).
A Content Delivery Network is a network of servers located in strategic geographical locations that store cached content. One of the most important features of CDN is that ensures your website loading time remains the same irrespective of your users’ location to that of the server, reducing the world wide wait.
We at CloudRocket offer both, we have servers located in the US, UK, Australia, Finland and Bulgaria, as well as, hosting options that have CDN. All of our web hosting packages viz. VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Hosting etc. are available on both UKa and US servers. Moreover, all our Shared Hosting packages come equipped with Cloudflare CDN services.
Yes, the server location matters, however, other factors like quality of the data centre, the technical aspects of the chosen web hosting, the plugins you add to your website, etc. also make a difference when it comes to the website loading speed which eventually impacts your SEO.
We hope you found this article useful and it helped in answering your questions on server location and does server location matter. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact our support team or drop in a comment below!