Over the past few years, Google announced they will begin to mark websites that gather sensitive visitor information, without HTTPS as non-secure. This means a standard HTTP connection on all websites that capture password, credit card details, etc is no longer viewed as ‘secure’ and you must migrate to get the coveted ‘green padlock’ to be viewed as ‘trusted’ by visitors.

HTTP vs HTTPS

Both of the above are languages that pass information between a web server and it’s visitor clients. A standard HTTP connection allows unauthorised parties to observe the data between your website and the computing device of the visitor. This is very tedious unless there is sensitive information being entered; such as financial information or passwords.

A HTTPS connection is a secure connection that adds another layer of security over the information being passed between by using an SSL/TSL protocol. This security layer encrypts data, ensures it can only be communicated with the intended website whilst protecting the integrity of the data.

How can I secure my website with HTTPS?

The first thing you must do is obtain an SSL certificate from a registered Certificate Autority (CA). This certificate then enables your website to communicate with users using encrypted data that is protected from corruption. The other benefit is this certificate provides a seal of approval that your website is secure.

Once you have your SSL certificate, you must then complete the following:

  • Make sure you approve the certificate
  • Change and update all internal/external links
  • Ensure all your URLs are updated across all of your top citations (Social, Google Ads, Search Console)
  • Create 301 redirect on links

HTTPS to benefit SEO + conversions

By migrating to HTTPS, will I get more traffic? I often get asked. Ultimately, this is one of many best practices that any trustworthy business would implement as part of their digital efforts. However, it is important to know that almost half of all Google’s page one organic search results are HTTPS websites. This is a ranking factor granted, but it is also well known that HTTPS positively contributes to other key performance indicators such as page load speed.

HTTPS Conclusion

It’s imperative that you protect your visitors and your website with an SSL certificate and migrate to HTTPS as soon as possible. HTTPS is leading the way for secure sites, and search engines are trusting them much more. By not migrating you are jeopardising your websites positioning and trust of it’s visitors. As Google and other providers aim to improve the privacy and security of sensitive information online, it’s important you keep up to date for what is, all in all a minor investment.