Understanding the world of the internet and how to make your website stand out can be a bit tricky. As someone who specializes in the technical side of SEO,
I want to shed light on a simple yet often overlooked aspect that can significantly impact your website – the use of HTTPS.
What is HTTPS?
Let’s start with the basics. HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure version of HTTP. In simpler terms, it’s the technology that ensures a secure connection between your website and its visitors.
Having HTTPS means that the data exchanged between the user’s browser and your site is encrypted, adding an extra layer of security.
SEO Basics - Why it matters?
Before we dive into HTTPS and its benefits, let’s briefly talk about why SEO is important. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about making your website more visible on search engines like Google.
The higher your website ranks in search results, the more likely users will find and click on it. This is where the journey to understand the SEO benefits of HTTPS begins.
HTTPS and SEO Connection
Now, let’s talk about how HTTPS ties into SEO. Google, the search giant, prefers secure websites because they want to provide users with a safe online experience. Having HTTPS can positively influence your website’s ranking in search results.
Improved Website Ranking
Think of it this way – when your website is secure, Google is more likely to trust it and, as a result, rank it higher. This not only increases the visibility of your site but also helps you reach a broader audience.
Enhanced User Trust
Consider your own online habits. When you visit a website and see that little padlock icon in the address bar, it instills confidence, right? That padlock signifies a secure connection, and Google takes note of such trust signals.
Users are more likely to engage with your site if they trust it, contributing to improved SEO.
Data Security Matters
Beyond SEO, HTTPS plays a crucial role in protecting user data. As a website owner, you have a responsibility to safeguard the information users share with you. Google recognizes this and encourages websites to provide a secure browsing environment.
Crawlability and Indexation
From a technical SEO standpoint, HTTPS positively impacts the crawlability and indexation of your website.
Googlebot, the search engine’s web crawling bot, can more efficiently crawl and index HTTPS pages. This means your content is more likely to be discovered and included in search results.
Page Loading Speed
Site speed is another critical factor in SEO. Google emphasizes the importance of delivering a fast and seamless user experience. HTTPS contributes to faster page loading, enhancing your website’s performance and, consequently, its SEO.
Implementation of HTTPS
Now that you understand the SEO benefits, let’s talk about how to implement HTTPS on your website:
- Obtain an SSL Certificate:
- Purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA).
- Install the certificate on your server.
- Update Internal and External Links:
- Ensure all internal links within your website use the HTTPS protocol.
- Update external links to HTTPS wherever possible.
Common Challenges and Solutions
Google has now added an HTTPS report in Search Console, revealing the count of indexed HTTP and HTTPS URLs. This report emphasizes the importance of using HTTPS for enhanced user security.
Website owners should address any HTTP URLs listed, prioritize fixing issues affecting the most pages, and rectify common errors like invalid SSL certificates or improper redirects for optimal SEO performance.
HTTPS Crawling Issue Errors
If your site is predominantly HTTP, you might encounter a few “HTTPS crawling issue” errors along with numerous “Other issues” errors. This suggests that Google may have given up trying to crawl corresponding HTTPS pages after encountering 404 responses for the initial attempts.
You might also be interested to read on How To Fix Discovered – Currently Not Indexed
How to Fix HTTPS Crawling issues
To address issues listed in the report:
- Prioritize Other Issues:
- Address issues unrelated to HTTPS first, as fixing them might resolve HTTPS-related problems as well.
- Focus on URLs with Issues:
- Click into specific issues to see a list of affected pages. Start by fixing issues that affect the most pages.
- Identify HTTPS URL for Each Error:
- For each error in the table, determine the crawled HTTPS URL by using the URL Inspection tool.
- Follow Error Descriptions:
- Follow the advice provided in the error descriptions to rectify the issues.
- Fix HTTPS Errors:
- Correct any HTTPS errors promptly. A site with numerous HTTPS issues may lead Google to stop crawling your HTTPS pages.
Note: Some errors may be transient and correct themselves over time without any changes on your part. These errors may occur when Google has crawled the HTTP page before the HTTPS page was posted. You can find more help in the Google Help Center regarding the HTTPS Report
The SEO benefits of using HTTPS are significant. It’s not just about following a trend; it’s about creating a secure and trustworthy online space for your visitors.
By making the switch to HTTPS, you not only improve your website’s ranking in search results but also contribute to a safer and more reliable internet.
If you need assistance, feel free to contact Search Engine Hub to help you with any http/https issues on your website. Their expertise can ensure a smooth transition and enhance the overall performance of your site, positively impacting both user experience and search engine rankings.
Frequently Asked Questions
HTTPS is crucial for SEO as it provides a secure connection, aligning with Google’s preference for safe websites, leading to improved search rankings.
The padlock icon in the address bar signifies a secure connection, building user confidence and trust, positively impacting engagement and SEO.
Obtain an SSL certificate, install it on your server, and update internal and external links to use the HTTPS protocol.
Yes, HTTPS contributes to faster page loading, aligning with Google’s emphasis on delivering a seamless and speedy user experience.
While it’s possible, having HTTPS significantly improves your chances of higher rankings, as it aligns with Google’s commitment to a secure web.