When asked recently by a client if getting an SSL and moving to a HTTPS connection would improve their website’s SEO rankings, I was reminded that most people didn’t realise that in fact it would. So this has prompted me to write this blog about the benefits of HTTPS connections on websites, and in particular, the Google universe.
Firstly lets start with the basics, what is HTTPS?
Simply put, HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), the standard connection protocol for websites. With HTTPS enabled, the connection between the web browser and the web server is encrypted, ensuring no data can be compromised en-route. Essentially no one can steal information being transmitted between browser and server.
How is it implemented?
The secure connection is setup via a verified and trusted SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate. The SSL Certificate is a document used to ensure ownership of the public encryption key used in the secure connection between browser and server. This encryption key is all that can be used to open and close secure connections. Until recently SSL Certificates were a yearly fee that could vary from $100-$1000, but now they’ve become significantly cheaper, even free in some situations.
The benefits of HTTPS
Anyone running an eCommerce website would already know about this secure connection as it is required for Credit Card transactions. HTTPS connections are used to ensure absolute security during the transference of card numbers to banks or credit card processing portals. But now its becoming best practice, not only to secure all website data transfer, but to ensure public trust and more importantly, Google trust.
In August 2014 Google announced it would start prioritising websites that ran securely by using HTTPS as as a ranking signal. This was added to established ranking signals in order to make the web more secure by giving webmasters additional encouragement to transition to secure transmissions for all pages on all websites. In 2017 the transition to HTTPS is well underway, however certainly not main stream yet. What this shift from Google highlights is the great benefit to implementing security throughout any website – a rankings boost with immediate effect.
Of course switching to HTTPS is not a magic SEO bullet. Your website still needs great and relevant content added frequently, to be mobile friendly, and to run fast, but it may make the difference between you and your competitor in Googles eyes.
Okay you convinced me – how do I get it working?
Easy! Most hosting providers have SSL Certificate packages that can be purchased in yearly subscriptions. and they have come down significantly in price over the past few years, some as low as $30/year. By purchasing one through your existing provider can also mean installation comes at no additional cost, making it a simple process.
However at Zephyrmedia we make it even easier – SSL Certificates are included in our hosting packages for no additional cost. That’s right FREE! We’re doing our bit to ensure a secure internet for all. Find out more about our value added hosting packages today and make the switch to a fast, secure website server today. Or contact us for more information.