The rigid technicalities behind a website are a far cry from the creativity and flair traditionally associated with marketing. However, as we roll with the times, the importance of technical aptitude in marketing has grown and the lines have blurred. It’s therefore helpful to understand the basic mechanics behind a website and choose a UK web hosting provider that will support and enhance your marketing strategy. We’ve compiled a list of considerations that will help maximise your marketing through web hosting:
With any form of marketing medium, you don’t have long to impress your audience, the same is true when it comes to influencing your website marketing visitors. According to Nielson, the average page visit lasts about one minute. Couple this with a slow loading page, and your potential customers are miles away down the internet highway, not returning any time soon.
It’s also worth remembering that Google uses site speeds as a factor in its page ranking system, so speed, therefore, needs to be at the top of your list. However, not all hosting services provide the same features and benefits. A good quality hosting service should be supporting your website with a fast loading speed and provide the following:
- Caching technology which speeds things up by improving data retrieval performance.
- SSD (Solid State Drives) storage which can speed things up by three or four times that of mechanical drives.
- Access to a CDN (a Content Delivery Network) which provides quick content loading for high volume website traffic.
Depending on the nature of your website business or e-commerce platform, the geographical location of your server can make a big difference to the speed of your site, and hence the impact of your marketing. Although it is not exclusively relied on for SEO results, the proximity of your audience to your server is key, and when possible, you should host your site as close as you can to where your users are located.
Typically, search engines display pages that are closer to where a given searcher is based. To determine this location, the IP address of your site is used, and is established via the location of the server you are using. You will therefore need to ensure your hosting provider has servers in the country where you wish to rank well.
The dreaded 404
If ever there was a bigger precursor for pressing the back button, it has to be the sight of the notorious 404 error message. Often it is the case that a brilliant marketing strategy hasn’t given the returns it should’ve because customers and visitors have been unable to load a page, or information is missing. Mistakes do happen, particularly if you are uploading content on a regular basis, so it’s good to have an ‘insurance policy’ in the form of error reporting with your hosting provider. Alerts to errors can be invaluable in executing a successful marketing campaign, don’t underestimate the value and impact they can have on your promotions.
Dropping the downtime
Perhaps the most obvious link between marketing and web hosting is the issue of downtime on your website. If there is a problem with your server, your site could be unavailable for long stretches of time, leaving important marketing messages and offers unread. One or two episodes of downtime are somewhat understandable, but if it’s becoming a frequent event then your rankings can be adversely affected. You are of course, aiming to get as close to 100% as possible when looking for uptime from your web hosting provider so make sure you do your homework.