https:// Secure your site before Google punishes you!

Secure your site before Google punishes you!

Is your web address secure? If it doesn’t start with https:// you MUST read this and act now to rectify it.

Effective 1 October this year Google is saying that its time to switch to https. Failure to do so will mean people will not be contacting you via your website.

Https:// in laymans terms, is an extra level of security provided to the confidential information a customer is sharing with you. You may have noticed it your banking website. More and more websites have applied this level of security and you can easily tell if they have because in front of their url is https://and a padlock.  Chrome 62 will now be warning users that sites without https are unsafe to use .. in particular when providing your information via a form or inputting content, feedback etc. However, the problem can be easily and quickly rectified if you find that your website is non compliant. A smart webmaster can also utilise the recrawl function when sites are converted to https:// which means that SEO strategies can be updated without having to wait as long as normal for Google to crawl.

We can assist you with this changeover and ensure your SEO is complete prior to this happening.

It will only be a matter of time before other browsers follow suit so don’t put this off any longer (yes there is a grace period but it is slowly running out). If you do nothing else to your website make this your number one priority. I can assist with the whole process and take the stress out of it for you, meaning your website will be up to date and your SEO efforts have moved across without missing a beat. Get in touch directly jane@felicityjaned1.wpengine.com and we can discuss your requirements

TL:DR Recently, Google announced that starting October 1, 2017, all forms on HTTP based websites will be marked as insecure in Chrome 62. However, this announcement doesn’t come by surprise as the warning was sent out a few months ago. Perhaps this is the opportune moment to switch to HTTPS. In fact, Webmasters can capitalise on this switch to implement various SEO improvements.

There are numerous advantages coupled with making the switch to HTTPS, especially as HTTPS may be included as one of Google’s ranking signals.. However, there is a unique SEO opportunity which many people often overlook. This chance, if executed correctly can significantly boost your website’s SEO rankings.  Before discussing this exceptional opportunity, let’s have a look at the importance of SSL certificate.

The Purpose of SSL Certificate for Your Website:
Hackers are increasing by the day, and their willingness to compromise websites is insatiable. Consequently, cyber security has become a significant challenge to online businesses especially to those commercial sites which involve an exchange of crucial financial information. A breach into such websites can lead to massive liability costs and also agitate a customer’s confidence in the business. The need for all e-commerce sites to utilize SSL protection cannot be overemphasized.

SSL Encrypts Delicate Information
The information exchanged on the internet has to be transferred through multiple computers before it can reach its destination. A secure socket layer protection encrypts this information so that only the intended recipient can understand it. Otherwise, credit card numbers,passwords, usernames and other sensitive data can be intercepted in transit without SSL encryption.

SSL Provides Authentication
A real SSL certificate guarantees you that the information you are sending is going to the right server and not a fraudster looking to steal your identity. This will protect your customers from disclosing personal information to anyone separate from your website.

SSL Provides Trust
Web browsers offer visual cues such as a green bar or a lock icon to let visitors know they are in a secure connection. When customers encounter these cues in your website, they are more inclined to buy from you.  HTTPS also defend against phishing attacks. Phishing emails are sent by criminals trying to impersonate your site since they are unable to get a proper SSL certificate.

The Unique Opportunity
A switch to HTTPS encourages Googlebot to recrawl your URLs. While Googlebot has an established mechanism to determine and prioritize which URL to recrawl, a switch to HTTPs prompts it to increase the crawl rate in a bid to crawl the highest possible
number of URLs in a short span of time.

Crawl Budget
Most websites have their crawl rate which is based on several factors like internal linking, external linking, page speed, and
popularity. Therefore, for larger websites, it takes a while before Googlebot receives new SEO signals. However, optimizations are still possible regardless of Googlebot’s prioritization mechanisms.

A One-time Opportunity
Ideally, an SEO would prefer to have Googlebot recrawl their entire site after instigating SEO improvements. HTTPS poses a unique opportunity for large websites not yet on HTTPs to have their sites recrawled.  Therefore, make it a point to apply significant SEO adjustments before making the switch to HTTPS.

You can follow these steps:
1. Perform an SEO audit immediately
2. Implement the SEO audit recommendations
3. Test your setup for HTTPS and HTTP/2

After completing these measures, only then can you move to HTTPS. Then, Googlebot will recrawl majority of your URLs consequently improving your SEO signals.

Worried About the ‘Not Secure’ Warning past October?

Worry not, it is possible that your site may still be marked ‘not secure’ even after taking these measures. This is true especially for large websites which take a longer time to audit and implement the changes.  This should not raise concern as there are plenty of renowned websites still displaying these warnings.

Your sole focus should revolve around completing these recommended steps as soon as possible and watch your site reape numerous benefits from the switch to HTTPS.

If you get stuck we can help you .. simply send us an email info@felicityjaned1.wpengine.com

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Jane Cluff

Senior digital strategist

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