By now you may have heard about Google’s desire to move all websites to HTTPS… but just in case you haven’t here is a little summary of the situation as I see it.
So what does HTTPS mean for businesses?
Well most websites are HTTP currently, but Google has said that HTTPS is now a ranking signal within their search result and that it will become more important over time. The S stands for Secure and means that your website is secure and encrypted. You may have seen the S appear as you go to the checkout of your favourite ecommerce websites such as Amazon or M&S.
However Google wants all websites to move to a secure HTTPS, not just at the checkout on websites, but across all pages of your website.
Who does it affect?
All website owners that want to rank well in the search results really need to take action. If you’re spending time and money on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), you need to take action. Some have already and although they are not necessarily seeing improved rankings at the moment, the concern is that not going HTTPS could be detrimental to your rankings in the future.
The only exceptions would be if you get all of your traffic from pay per click advertising; Google Adwords, Bing, Yahoo and say Facebook Advertising. You could ignore the encouragement from Google… but even then you may prefer to make the move.
When should you do it?
Google hasn’t said exactly when this ranking signal will become more important, but no doubt it is better to take action sooner rather than later and certainly within the next few months or so. And if you’re an ecommerce business with sales for Christmas, I’d say do it ASAP.
How big an impact will it have?
Unfortunately that’s a big unknown, but we do know that Google will be treating HTTPS as a ranking signal and that it could become a more important signal as time goes by.
What should you do?
Contact your web developer/hosting company and ask for details of the cost to move to HTTPS.
Moving from HTTP to HTTPS of course isn’t that straight forward. You need to consider things like 301 re-directs and updating of links into your website that are under your control such as those on your social media platforms.
If you’re running Adwords, you’ll need to look at changing your adverts and you’ll need to update your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Of course, if you need help with these elements; the little but important details, I’m here to help. 😉
You can check out an article by Econsultancy too called: Google confirms HTTPS as a new ranking signal: What are the implications? In fact take a look at the Econsultancy website and you’ll see they’ve done it already and I’m hoping to go HTTPS in the next couple of weeks.
By Jackie Key
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With over 25 years’ experience in marketing Jackie Key, Managing Director at Key Principles, which was set up in 2005, helps small, medium and large businesses grow through marketing and online marketing.