Here is a quick recap of what HTTP protocol is and why sites should use it?
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS is being used for communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) with an ‘S’ at the end that stands for ‘Secure.’ Adopting HTTPS, you provide your users with three key layers of protection:
- Authentication – provides a guarantee one is communicating with the exact website that was intended.
- Encryption – provides privacy by encrypting the exchanged data. This means sensitive information like credit card details won’t be stolen.
- Data integrity – prevents data from being un-noticeably modified or corrupted during the transfer.
Why Migrate to HTTPS?
Apart from security as the key priority, there are several more things to consider:
- Private and secure online experience is what users expect while visiting your site, and user trust is a truly valuable asset for a business.
- Ranking boost may be a good incentive, as Google hints on strengthening HTTPS signal in the future.
So you have done all the research and agree that you need to move to using HTTPS on your website. You have a SSL provider and your development team who are helping you to set it up on your site.
There are a many considerations to make while moving to HTTPS; (we are discussing the all important SEO considerations here).
- How are you going to get the Search Engines to realise that your site is now using HTTPS and not HTTP?
- How will your customers be directed to the correct version of site?
- What do you have to do to maintain and carry forward the SEO legacy of your HTTP site to the new HTTPS site?
- How will you compare pre and post full SSL parameters?
Here are some very important recommendations:
1. Make sure that you have list a of HTTP pages that are live on your site. This will help you when you are doing your post SSL migration checks and for comparison purposes.
2. Have your development team ready with correct 301 redirects for directing all the HTTP traffic to HTTPS version of the website. 301 redirects are a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. If you don’t implement 301 redirects you could seriously hurt your SEO rankings and your site could completely drop out of SERPs overnight.
3. All the hard coded HTTP links should be updated to use the HTTPS links. This avoids the “This site is not secure” message and helps get a green padlock in the URL box of the browser.
4. Update your robots.txt file. Update any hard-coded links or blocking rules you might have in your robots.txt that might still be pointing to HTTP directories or files.
5. Google Search Console. Set up a new property in your Google Search Console (Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools).
Create a new sitemap using the HTTPS URLs. Test it through Google Search Console and then submit it. This will tell Google that it should crawl the site ensuring faster indexation of the HTTPS pages.
6. Monitor the site and pages over the following few days.
7. Update the Google Analytics profile to use the HTTPS URL.
8. Here are a some additional miscellaneous updates you will also want to make after migrating from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Update your canonical tags to point to the HTTPS version.
- Update third-party PPC URLs (AdWords, Bing Ads, FB Ads).
- Update Email Marketing Software URLs.
- Update Social Media links to your site (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn).
- Update all external links and back-links as much as possible.
Below is Google’s post on moving from HTTP to HTTPS:
teclan are always happy to help you with your queries. Please call us on 01463 898043 and we will be happy to assist.