HTTPS is a confirmed ranking signal.
We’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal […] we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web..
- If you don’t have SSL, you need it
- If you do have SSL, you need to ensure it’s set up right
Today we are going to look at each of these.
There is no excuse for not setting this up. It’s absolutely free and WILL help you.
If You Already Have HTTPS…
If you set up your website in the last 3x years you’re probably already using HTTPs.
You need to make sure it’s set up correctly because quite often it’s not. To check this we are going to run 2x tests.
Test #1: SSL Server
Head to this site and enter your domain name.
Your site should show A+ across the board, like this:
If not you need to contact your hosting provider directly with a screenshot of your results.
Test #2: Redirect Test
Head to this tool and enter your domain.
Depending on how your site is set up, this should display the 4 boxes: 1x with no redirect and 3x with 1x redirect:
You might see slightly different results but as long as you have 1 box with no redirect and 3 boxes with 1x redirect you are good to go.
If you don’t see that, contact your hosting provider directly and ask them to fix this. It should be part of your service!
If both of these are okay you can jump ahead to the “Final Thoughts” section below.
If You Don’t Have HTTPS…
If you don’t have HTTPS set up, it’s time to migrate.
If you use a browser like Chrome or Firefox you’ll find that if you try and access a site without an SSL certificate you’ll often be greeted with a warning message:
So if you want to improve the rankings and conversion of your site…
You NEED to have HTTPS.
Here are the pros and cons to help you make up your own mind-
Advantages of HTTPS
- Priority over HTTP links in search engines
- High rankings in search engines
- Increased security for your site users
- Higher levels of trust (from users and search engines)
- Avoid errors like the “your connection is not private” pop up in browsers
- It’s free and easy to set up
Disadvantages of HTTPS
- Your site speed may take a minor hit due to the extra layer of code
- Moving your site is a complex process
Migrating over to HTTPS is a complex and inconvenient problem.
But you’re going to need this at some point and there’s no time like the present.
How To Migrate To HTTPS
Many hosts offer a free services via LetsEncrypt that give you a free SSL certificate such as-
If your host doesn’t offer this, then you will need to contact their support to discuss how to get an SSL certificate. Depending on cost you might want to migrate to a faster host that includes free SSL.
Whichever way you choose…
I highly recommend you follow the steps in this guide to ensure everything is done correctly.
- Updating URLs across your site
- Updating Google Analytics and Search Console
I also recommend you use Social Warfare plugin to help you keep your social share numbers:
Once you’ve done this go back to the top of this module and run-
Just scroll up to the “If You Already Have HTTPS…” section to see what the correct results should look like.
HTTPS is a must-have for modern-day sites.
You will need it at some point, SO SET IT UP RIGHT NOW.
If you’ve done this already AND you pass the 2 tests…
You are now ahead of 99% of SEOs because you’ve laid the foundations for solid real-world SEO.
Chill out, relax, and take the night off. Because tomorrow we’re starting on content!