How Switching Your Site to HTTPS Can Boost Your Rankings
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) allows you to secure sensitive information on your site. For a long time, the only sites that had HTTPS were ones that were carrying a lot of personal information – banks, online stores, etc. However, more and more webmasters are making the switch over to HTTPS thanks to the bump HTTPS sites are getting in Google’s rankings recently! Read on to learn how securing your site can not only improve your site’s security, but also help your SEO strategy.
Why Make the Switch?
Because Google said so, silly! Google announced back in 2014 that they were going to start using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Google doesn’t always give us this type of info in such plain language, so take it and run! Google is putting a premium on security, and switching your site to HTTPS not only protects any information you’re gathering from users, but helps protect your site from attackers.
Apart from the extra layer of security and the bump in rankings, HTTPS sites also preserves referrer data. When traffic passes from an HTTPS site through to an HTTP site, the referrer data is stripped and is reported in Analytics as direct traffic. If traffic is moving from an HTTPS site to another HTTPS site, this referrer data remains intact! YAY.
How to Make the Switch
Moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS shouldn’t have a large effect on your website traffic if executed properly. Google has given us this handy document that outlines best practices for implementing HTTPS on your site. A few important things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you implement 301’s from the old HTTP to the new HTTPS.
- Ensure you’re not blocking Google from crawling your HTTPS pages with the robots.txt file.
- Make sure you add the new HTTPS property into Search Console, as it treats HTTP and HTTPS differently.
- Be sure to carefully track your move in Analytics to monitor any changes!
Switching your site over to HTTPS is important for many reasons. Along with the SEO benefits discussed above, HTTPS is simply a more secure delivery method for your website. Considering the push that Google is making towards a safer, more secure internet, it’s a great idea to switch your site over to HTTPS to keep up with the ever changing world that is Google & SEO.
Have you seen a recent HTTPS switch affect your SEO? Let us know if the comments section below!