According to SEO experts, five billion searches are performed every day. These are five billion potential leads for your business. Of course, you don’t want them all, but if you didn’t want a piece of the action you wouldn’t have invested in a website. So how do you get visitors considering it is unlikely you have a monopoly?
We will share some tips that are sure to give you a head start if applied.
The security connection in SEO
SEO, that is Search Engine Optimization, has been around for as long as the Internet. But just like the Internet, there are constant, often incremental, changes. However, 2017 has produced one major change. From this year, Google will be penalizing sites that don’t pay attention to security. Sites that don’t use SSL are marked insecure on Chrome, a feature they are planning on rolling out for other browsers. Other than the fact that users will not want to visit insecure websites, Google is ranking such sites lowly. In addition, having a secure web proxy is one of the metrics that Google will look at to rate your website.
Furthermore, we all know that customer’s trust is the number priority for any business seeking to retain and grow its market share. It is the responsibility of every business owner to protect customer data. For eCommerce sites that process credit card information, this cannot be overemphasized. More so, you also don’t want a hacker defacing your site or even worse, taking it over. And have you heard of ransomware? All of these add up to one thing: you need HTTPS, and not just for SEO.
SSL and HTTPS
SSL is geek speak for secure sockets layer, which is added on top of HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) for security. HTTP is the de facto protocol for data transmission on the Internet. When SSL layer is added onto HTTP it becomes HTTPS. Using HTTPS, data transmitted between your browser and the server is encrypted so that the information is secure.
How SSL affects your site ranking
As earlier alluded, Google indicates HTTP connections as insecure on chrome. But currently, this is limited to sites that collect passwords or credit cards. However, according to this post on Google’s blog, the plan is to mark all non HTTP sites as insecure in the future.
In response, a substantial number of websites have transitioned to HTTPS. The same blog post by Google claims that most of the top 100 sites have changed their default page serving to HTTPS. The culmination of the plan, the blog post reveals, will be a red triangle marking HTTP sites as insecure. Additionally, it has been revealed that if two sites have the same ranking, Google uses HTTPS as a tiebreaker.
How to implement SSL on your website
HTTP to HTTPS Migration Guide
Now that we have established the importance of implementing SSL on your website, how exactly do you do it?
1. Get an SSL certificate. The cost ranges from 0 to $1,499 when you buy one from Symantec. There is no difference in the functionality though.
2. Ensure that your website host offers HTTP/2 and CDN. You can actually implement HTTPS without these two but you will have performance issues, which could potentially affect your site’s ranking.
3. Ensure that you have plugins if need be to support share counts on your pages from social media. This is because once you transition to HTTPS, the social media API you were using will interpret the pages as new pages.
Starting 2017, Google has been sending a strong message that they consider a secure web a better web for all. They are doing this by boosting site ranking for websites with HTTPS implementations and penalizing sites that are using HTTP to collect sensitive customer information such as credit card information and passwords.
Other than SEO, SSL implementation helps keep a website secure from hacking. However, webmasters need to understand that ensuring security, just like SEO, is an ongoing task.