Advertising online can be a treacherous road for many small to medium sized businesses. Some businesses opt to hire a specialist and run their advertising campaigns in house. Others, likely looking for a more cost effective solution, may opt for a digital advertising agency to assist in managing their campaigns and make sure they’re running smoothly. These experts will optimize campaigns, include new keywords and ensure nonperforming keywords are removed. However, these optimizations can only go so far.
Google determines your “quality score” and ranks your ad in a bidding process. This process either leads you to pay more or less than your competitors based on a few key factors.
|1. Expected clickthrough rate||The likelihood that your ad will be clicked|
|2. Ad relevance||How closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search|
|3. Landing page experience||How relevant, transparent and easy-to-navigate your page is for users|
These factors will either lower or raise your quality score, respectively increasing or decreasing your overall cost of advertising.
Landing Page Experience And Hosting
We’ll be targeting the third quality score factor in this particular blog about how hosting can affect your overall advertising cost. One of the major factors that affects your “landing page experience” is the speed of your site. There are “WordPress optimized” hosting providers, shared hosting providers, and hosting providers that offer free or very cheap hosting to name a few. With the hundreds of different options and providers that offer hosting for your website, it can be very confusing to decide where to host your website.
Shared hosting is the type of hosting you purchase from bulk resellers like GoDaddy, Namecheap, or BlueHost. These providers offer the next types of packages as well, but this is their bread and butter. This “shared” type hosting offers you a small portion of a very powerful server’s storage, computational power, and bandwidth. I’ve actually experienced hosting resellers like GoDaddy host tens of thousands of web applications and websites on shared hosting. With a content management system like WordPress, you’ll notice that editing your website and using the administrative panel can be incredibly slow. This is because the server is often times busy processing other tasks.
This is easily one of the slowest hosting for your website, and can have an incredibly adverse effect on your advertising costs directly. A slow website provides a very poor landing page experience, and shared hosting is often the primary culprit.
WordPress / Application Specific Hosting
WordPress specific hosting is available from the same providers listed above. They apply application specific optimizations, like browser and page caching, but offer no increase in actual server speed or infrastructure. This one is just a shared hosting environment masquerading as a faster hosting service. You’ll pay a premium for these optimizations, but will see very little increase in overall site speed.
Where you’ll see this effect compounded is in eCommerce sites like WooCommerce enabled WordPress. These sites are highly dynamic, calling to the database quite often, making it hard for caching to catch up to frequently changing sites visited by many users.
Virtual Private Server Hosting
A virtual private server (VPS) offers a small section of a server and it’s resources at a far more reliable rate. They’re still shared to a point, but offer you a more stable speed and bandwidth. Hosting providers are very careful to not overload these services, and offer some management of these hosting environments. They’re by no means hands off, as they allow you to customize the server to a degree. Without a proper server administrator, you’ll not likely be able to use this type of hosting to its fullest extent. VPS hosting is often managed by the hosts with 24/7 support, but you’re at the whim of their ticket queue, sometimes leaving you a week before your ticket is serviced.
Overall, if you have the right management, you’re not too far off from a speedy site that can be properly optimized and delivered reliably to site visitors. However, there are still options that are far superior to this type of service.
Cloud hosting is absolutely one of the best services you can use to manage your digital assets. The reason it’s considered cloud hosting is that you may have one service hosting your files, another hosting your database, another hosting static files geo-cached to deliver your assets to distant clients at the fastest possible speeds. All of these services can now be scaled outward (multiplied) and upward (made larger) to help your business scale to growing and shrinking client needs. Are you delivering an advertisement during prime time football, or running a contest that will see an boost in traffic over a short period? You’ll want your website to be able to reliably deliver this content, or suffer higher advertising costs. Cloud hosting is the only real option for being able to scale your services properly.
Now, you may be thinking, that all sounds very expensive and complicated. And it definitely comes at a greater cost (though not much greater). When you factor in the savings that you’ll see in your advertising campaigns, running a website in the cloud may offer you significant savings in advertising. To plug our own abilities, we were able to decrease the cost of a particular advertising campaign by 50%, while only increasing hosting costs by a small margin. The overall savings of that campaign was almost $2000, while seeing an overall increase of advertisement interaction and conversion rates (how many people bought, signed up, contacted, or did some other measurable action). This site speed increase not only lowered the cost of advertising for our client, but coincidentally made the site faster to navigate, increasing the overall conversion rate through the website.
Hosting can have an incredibly adverse effect on your ability to deliver digital ads to your clients. Whether your slow hosting is increasing the costs of advertising, or your slow website is preventing people from completing actions, hosting plays a major role in your overall advertising campaigns. If website isn’t facilitating actions, or prevents them from completing them quickly, Google and other digital advertisers will take notice, and prefer your competitors who are able to do this. After all, successful advertisers spend more money!
If you’re looking to optimize your website or advertising campaigns, feel free to contact us, and we’ll give you a free assessment!