Ever since Google announced that they’re now starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal, secure and encrypted connections have become about much more than just security.
The possibility of prioritizing encrypted websites in search rankings is definitely a serious reason to consider setting up a secure connection for your website. Even if passing to HTTPS isn’t a piece of cake, the benefits might be worth it.
Here are 3 good reasons why it’s a good idea to use HTTPS encryption for your website.
Privacy and Security
Many believe that HTPPS is a must only for websites that use sensitive passwords. Well, they’re wrong. Any kind of website can benefit from HTTPS/SSL encryption – even if it’s a typical content website.
What sort of security measures does HTTPS provide? It prevents other people to tamper with your website, effectively blocking man-in-the-middle attacks. It also verifies that the website is interacting with the right server. Finally, by encrypting all the communication – which includes URLs – HTTPS protects elements like credit card details or browsing history.
If it works for your business, switching to HTTPS will only bring you good – adding a sense of trust and security to your venture.
More Referrer Data
If traffic passes from a secure HTTPS site into a non-encrypted HTTP site, you can be sure that all the referrer data will be lost in the process. This traffic will hold no value because you won’t be able to say where it actually came from.
Once you switch to HTTPS, all the referrer data will be preserved – even if the original website uses HTTP. Since we see an increasing number of websites passing to HTTPS, this is becoming a pressing issue that can have a huge impact on your SEO.
HTTPS Ranking Boost
This is a problematic issue. On the one hand, Google announced HTTPS to become a new ranking signal – then again with over 200 other signals to compete with, it’s fair to assume that the influence of HTTPS won’t be that significant.
Moreover, it would be hard to make sure even if it did bring tangible effects – ranking signals are usually hard to isolate. Still, considering other benefits brought by HTTPS, a switch is not a bad idea.
Main Challenges of Switching to HTTPS
Passing to HTTPS is valuable, but the process itself carries quite a few risks. When switching to HTTPS, you might experience a sudden fall in ranking. Always check whether you point your canonical tags in the right URL and if you haven’t blocked important URLs in robots.txt by mistake.
Another thing to look out for is the speed of your website. Since HTTPS requires extra communication between servers, it’s very easy to lose control over the load time of your website. Fortunately, there are practices and technologies that can help you with that issue.
When switching to HTTPS, prepare for some additional costs. SSL certificates cost from $100-200, which can be quite a sum if we’re talking about a small website. Remember that it’s possible for individuals to pass to HTTPS for free – have a look at this insightful article.
If you’re considering a switch to HTTPS, bear in mind that websites usually restrict HTTPS usage to specific areas, such as checkout or registration pages. Assess your requirements and preferences carefully, have a look at the costs and effort involved in the switch and you’ll instantly see whether your website could benefit from passing to HTTPS.