SEO is an ocean. It’s not just a skill but a complete science involving hundreds of ranking factors. Every Google update brings something fresh. The ultimate goal of the world’s biggest search engine is to optimize the user experience.
Google aims to rank only the most useful and trusted content on the first page. After all, Google is no less than a library today. Around 229 million searches are conducted on Google per hour. People are even Googling their medical symptoms.
Thus, the credibility of every page and website on Google matters. And alongside that, Google wants to keep the user data safe. Sites with significant daily traffic are also vulnerable to spam and hack attacks.
To encounter this issue, Google is encouraging sites to move to HTTPS. Before we get into the details, let’s first understand both terms.
HTTP vs HTTPS, What’s the Difference?
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is an application protocol used to ensure safe communication of data on the worldwide web. HTTP was invented with HTML to create the first interactive, text-based web browser.
The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is small, the latter uses SSL to encrypt normal HTTP requests and responses. Thus, the HTTPS protocol is considered much securer than HTTP.
Why Does Google Want Websites to Move to HTTPS?
Google wants 100% security of user data, which can only be achieved by making websites secure. This can only be achieved by using HTTPS.
HTTP is only supposed to convey the information to the end-user, while there’s no guarantee of safety. Also, it doesn’t store any previous sessions.
On the other hand, HTTPS enables authorization to ensure safe transactions. It deters unauthorized sources from accessing data that you don’t want to share with anyone.
Since October 2017, websites that have been using HTML over HTTP to gather user information have a warning sign in the URL bar. This warning will result in a high bounce rate because users won’t feel safe.
This is a huge factor for e-commerce stores and company websites where conversion matters. But why would people convert on your site if the site is not even safe?
What Are the SEO Advantages of Using HTTPS?
Besides avoiding Google’s security warning, there are three SEO advantages for using HTTPS.
User Trust & Security
Imagine yourself selling clothes or jewelry online. A user lands on your website with the intent to buy your products. And suddenly, his eye falls on the warning sign. Would he purchase from your site?
Forget about sales, he will never even visit your site. Again, nobody wants to feed his bank card information to an insecure site. Migrating to HTTPS means avoiding this warning and winning the trust of your visitors.
Moving to HTTPS doesn’t mean you will get a sharp boost in rankings overnight. But of course, whenever two pages are competing for the same spot, Google will prefer a non-secure page over a secure one.
Besides that, the reduced bounce rate will serve as a ranking single for Google.
Accurate SEO Reports
One of the advantages of having an SSL certificate is you can gain useful insights into your website’s performance. Website analytics of such sites show from where you’re getting all the traffic.
With information regarding traffic sources and the kind of traffic you are getting, you can create an effective on-page optimization strategy for your blogs.
Migrating to HTTPS without Losing Any Traffic
One of the primary concerns of people, when they think of moving to HTTPS, is they will lose all the traffic. Migrating doesn’t only mean asking your hosting provider to change your URL. If something goes wrong you might end up losing all your traffic.
If you have hired a digital marketing agency for the promotion of your business, you can ask them to get this done. Also, you can pay a freelancer for this job.
Whatever sounds convenient to you, do it. But don’t do it yourself if you have no prior experience.
Here’s how it’s done:
The first step is to install an SSL certificate. If you have a WordPress site, then you can use SSL certificates available as add-ons. These are usually premium. If you want free options, you can go for Cloudflare, ZeroSSL, and a few more.
Your old visitors are likely to land on the old HTTP URL, but that URL is no longer in use. What you can do to retain that traffic is redirect people to the new one. Redirection is something you shouldn’t meddle with, let the developer carry out this process.
Update New URL in the Search Console
You don’t want to lose all the helpful information Google shares with you about your information. And for that, you will have to update your site’s URL in the Google Search Console
Retain All the Backlinks
Remember how long it took you to create those backlinks? Surely, you don’t want to do it from scratch again. Go and check if the backlink is redirecting to your site or not. Create backlinks from digital marketing write for us Google query.
If not, ask a developer, he can create those backlinks again on the new URL. There’s a WordPress redirection tool that can be used for this purpose.