For many small businesses, this may sound like a small thing. However, the importance of switching to HTTPS should not be underestimated.
Google announced that HTTPS would become a ranking factor way back in 2014, as they really started on their drive to improve the privacy and security of internet users. In essence, this uses an SSL certificate to encrypt the user’s data, thereby offering much greater protection and making sure they can browse safely.
So, it’s surprising to see so many small business owners hesitating and scratching their heads, deciding whether it’s all worth the effort. But switching to HTTPS not only makes things safer for the user, it also opens you up to some fantastic SEO benefits.
Keep Your Users Secure
Like we just said, HTTPS is all about keeping your users’ information secure, and Google are very quick to point out when your website isn’t doing that. The words “Not Secure” will stand out prominently right next to the URL, telling the user that your website shouldn’t necessarily be trusted. Of course, this isn’t a good thing.
HTTPS is your way of developing a certain level of trust with users and making them feel more secure. When that happens, they’ll feel comfortable in exploring your site a little further, which in turn could lead to an increase in conversions.
When users are happy to browse and stay on your website for longer than usual, this will certainly benefit your SEO campaign.
Improved Referral Data
In short, switching to HTTPS could help you create a better SEO strategy.
The referral section of Google Analytics will obviously give you key information as to where your direct traffic is coming from, which is often a big indication as to whether your link building strategy is actually working. However, when you don’t have HTTPS, sometimes this data will simply show as being ‘direct’, making it impossible for you to know exactly where the traffic is coming from.
Essentially, this is because other websites have switched to HTTPS, and therefore won’t send the referral data across to a non-secure HTTP site. To counter this problem and give yourself greater visibility of GA, you need to change over to HTTPS as soon as you can.
Boost Your Rankings
Google’s use of HTTPS as a ranking factor has been slow and steady. However, almost exactly four years since the initial announcement, this is now a pretty big deal for your keyword rankings.
The fact is that Google want to make sure users are safe and secure, and so place an emphasis on websites that are proven to be reliable and popular. This means that your SEO rankings could be severely hampered by the lack of HTTPS, since the search engines will give precedent to competitors that have made the switch.
By implementing HTTPS and finding the best SEO Manchester has to offer, you’ll soon be sitting on the first page of Google and watching the traffic roll in.