I want to talk about the SEO advantages of using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a network of servers distributed across multiple locations that store and deliver content faster and more reliably. By using a CDN, you can ensure your visitors experience faster page loading times, no matter where they are located in the World. We have been able to increase clients’ FCP (First Contentful Paint) scores dramatically with the use of a CDN. This can lead to improved user engagement, higher search rankings and increased revenue potential.
How does a CDN work?
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of servers that are located in multiple locations around the World. The primary purpose of a CDN is to deliver content to users faster and more efficiently by serving the content from a location that is geographically closer to the user. This can be beneficial for users located far away from your hosting origin server, as the content will be delivered to them more quickly from a local server.
For example, we see many clients who have hosting plans on overseas servers – this can be an issue if you are located in Australia and you are advertising to Australians. Why? Because if someone in Sydney visits your website, and your website is hosted in California, then all of the data has to be routed from the US to AU, which takes time. It may only be seconds or fractions of seconds, but every millisecond is important for SEO.
How does a CDN improve SEO?
A CDN can improve SEO in a number of ways. By implementing a CDN you not only solve hosting location issues, but you can solve a lot of other problems at once too:
Improved page loading times
One of the factors that Google uses to rank websites is page loading times. By using a CDN, you can significantly reduce the time it takes for your website’s pages to load, which can lead to better search rankings. You can test your website loading times by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
A CDN can also help to protect your website from attacks such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. CDNs like Cloudflare come with Bot Protection and the ability to set Firewall Rules. This can be especially important for Australian websites, as the country is known for being a target for such attacks.
If your website is hosted on a single server and that server goes down, your website will be unavailable to users. By using a CDN, you can ensure that your website is still available to users even if one of the servers in the network goes down.
Improved user experience
Which is the best CDN?
There are many CDN providers to choose from. Each have their pros and cons depending on which platform you are working with. Some most popular CDN services include:
Cloudflare is a well-known CDN provider that offers a range of features, including DNS management, DDoS protection, image optimization, as well as content caching. Cloudflare has a large network of servers Worldwide which utilise Argo Smart Routing to ensure fast delivery of your website’s content.
StackPath offers streaming video, DDoS protection, EdgeSSL and content caching. Their CDN is well suited for media and gaming applications that require reliable streaming.
AWS CloudFront is a CDN service offered by Amazon Web Services that can be easily integrated with WordPress. It offers a range of features, including content caching, and the ability to deliver content from their edge locations. Cloudfront speeds up content delivery by utilising the AWS backbone network to deliver to edge locations all across the World.
KeyCDN is another popular CDN provider. They also provide content caching, realtime image optimisation, and the ability to deliver content from a location that is physically closer to the user, similar to the other CDNs.
Do I need to use a CDN with Shopify?
It is generally not necessary to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) with Shopify, as Shopify already uses a CDN to deliver your store’s content to users quickly and efficiently. Shopify uses Cloudflare’s global network of servers to deliver your store’s content from the location that is physically closest to the user, which can help to ensure fast loading times and a good user experience.
There may be some cases where using a CDN in addition to Shopify’s built-in CDN could be beneficial. For example, if you have a particularly large or complex store with a lot of static content (such as images, videos, and other media), using a CDN could help to further improve SEO and the performance of your store.
How much do CDNs cost?
You can expect to pay around $30 per month for an entry level CDN like Cloudflare. The price increases depending on the amount of data and speed you require. Enterprise grade CDNs can cost anywhere between $300-$40,000 per month. For most small businesses and mid-sized Australian companies, the entry level plans are more than adequate. If you’re running a WordPress website, you can expect to pay around $50 per month for Cloudflare business with Argo routing (Argo Smart Routing detects real-time network issues and routes traffic across the most efficient network path. This mainly benefits users farthest from your origin server.).
CDNs have revolutionised the way web content is delivered. By caching static assets on servers distributed around the world, CDNs drastically reduce page load times and improve overall website performance and SEO. But a CDN is more than just a delivery service – it’s an essential part of any successful online presence and digital marketing strategy.
Using a CDN can provide numerous benefits to your website, such as improved reliability and increased security. When using a CDN, traffic is steered away from origin servers that are more likely to suffer downtime due to high demand or hardware failure. This ensures users experience fewer errors when accessing content from your site. Additionally, many CDN providers offer features like DDoS protection and AES encryption for enhanced security of data in transit over the network.
A major benefit of using a CDN is improved scalability. With the distributed cache strategy of a CDN, your content can be served to many users simultaneously from multiple server locations around the world. This allows you to easily scale up or down depending on your needs, without having to upgrade or move hardware.
The bottom line is that if you’re serious about providing an optimal user experience for your website visitors and improving the performance of your site, a CDN should be an essential part of your web presence. Not only will it help with scalability and reliability, but also improve security and reduce page load times – giving you a competitive edge in today’s digital landscape.
If you would like more information, or would like help implementing this on your website, feel free to contact us.