For several years, Google has used the overall user experience of a website as a ranking factor. This includes website infrastructure elements such as page load speed, mobile responsiveness, secure hosting and user-friendliness. These issues can often be difficult to correct and highly technical in nature, posing many problems for SEO. Nonetheless, these changes are necessary in order to remain competitive in the digital world.
Secure (SSL) Hosting
We strongly encourage you to actively move to secure SSL hosting. As of October 2017, Google has begun to bias SSL website over non-SSL websites. Furthermore, popular browsers including Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari have escalated their warnings to individuals when they visit a website that is not securely hosted.
HOW: Contact your web host company to implement SSL hosting. However, if the host is unable or unwilling to comply, there are a few options to consider:
1) Move Web Hosting: We can only support hosting for WordPress websites or static sites like HMTL and PHP.
2) Website Redesign: If the website cannot be easily moved, and if it is an inferior website, we recommend Ransome Associates redesign the website. Updating the design and moving to SSL could lead to a significant increase in search engine rankings and sales conversions.
3) Warning: Search-based rankings will be more difficult to capture in the future. There can still be great SEO success, but not as great as if the website was securely hosted.
Page Load Speed
The speed at which a website loads is a small ranking factor with Google for most websites, but it becomes a major factor for very slow websites. Some solutions for speeding up the load time include caching pages, reducing image and file size, and code minification.
However, not all website platforms have the resources available to complete these actions. Additionally, a slow website can also be caused by a slow web host. A test can be run to determine website speed at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/, which was developed by Google itself.
If a website is benchmarking slow (poor/red rating with Google), we recommend that you request the webmaster to make an effort to speed up the website. If a webmaster is unable or unwilling to help, let Ransome Associates know and we will see if we can cure the problems. Sometimes this is difficult when we do not host.