If you are using Google Webmaster (and if you don’t may be you should) you may have received a notification from Google letting you know that starting in October 2017, Chrome will start labeling sites as non-secure if you are not using https. What does it mean? Does it affect you? were gonna go in the details here to understand how it can potentially affect you and your business.
What is HTTPS?
But first thing first, what is HTTPS? Most sites display the usual http. The s simply stands for security or secure. A https site includes a SSL(Secure Socket Layer) certificate that protects users through authentication and encryption. Basically it means your info are secure when you use a website using a SSL certificate. You may have seen those when you purchase on Amazon for example…or really on prety much every site you can buy ever the internet. So why if you do not sell anything should you have a SSL certificate??
HTTPS and SEO
You can imagine why Google would prefer trusted and certified websites…because you probably do too. Naturally, Google will give a better ranking if you are secure. And it’s been confirmed by Google as well…for what it’s worth. With better ranking you get better traffic. With your site being secure, users feel more confident to purchase or simply use your website. Another great aspect is that https sites load faster than http sites. Faster means better user experience and better ranking as well. The last reason is what I talked about in the beginning, if you don’t have https, Chrome at least will label your site as insecure. Who knows what the other browsers are gonna do in the future.
If you do not have an ecommerce website, you may have a form, so don’t ignore https simply because you think there’s no reason for it. Having a site that shows who you are and give your users a secure experience is always better.
To summarize the reasons why you should move to https sooner than later:
- Non secure websites impact sales
- Google will give you a slight ranking boost if you do have https
- Https loads faster than http
- Besides SEO benefits, https has a clear positive impact for users.
How to make the switch
Here’s what you need to do to move to https:
- Purchase a SSL certificate. Check with your host, they should be able to help you or redirect you accordingly to the best options.
- Install it or ask for help if you don’t know how to do it.
- Crawl your website and update all your links to use https.
- Force https with redirects.
- Make sure to crawl all your links to make sure that everything is working.
- Update your sitemap to use https.
- Update your robots.txt file to include your new sitemap
- Update the default URL in Google Analytics.
- Update any paid advertising, email, social media…to use https.
Make sure you write down when you do the switch to see if there’s an impact on your traffic for example. Share with me if you had an issue after you switch and/or if it impacted your site positively or negatively. There’s no reason too. The process has become easier.