If you consult with just about any SEO company, when addressing website enhancement, the first suggestion is to switch to a secure site by obtaining an SSL certificate. The only change in appearance might be the “S” after the HTTP in the URL. But why is this important to the SEO game in 2020? Before we get to that, let us learn the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the part of the code that enables communication between different servers and browsers. This communication is the transfer of website data that appears on our browsers.
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. In the few seconds that the data flows from servers to browsers or vice versa, the information can be hacked, manipulated, or stolen. It can be prevented with the help of an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a code that encrypts the communication between browsers and servers, making the data transfer secure. It uses algorithms to scramble the data in the interim period. Thus any website that is involved in the transfer of personal data like bank transactions, personal details like phone numbers and addresses, etc. must have an SSL certificate. If not it is highly unadvisable to process any data through unsecure sites.
So now we understand why HTTPS is important to the website’s safety. But why are the Best SEO services recommending it? In an analysis by MozCast, the final quarter of 2020 began with HTTPS websites occupying 98% of Google’s organic Page one rankings. The numbers have steadily grown from April of 2017 from 50% to the current figures. Organic search engine rankings are strongly tied to having a strong SEO plan and that is indirectly connected to HTTPS URLs.
About 43% of Cyber-attacks tend to target Small businesses as they are less likely to have secure websites. SSL certificates provide three layers of protection,
- Encryption during data transfer
- Data integrity for keeping data intact, and
- Authentication process for users
This three-level security blanket prevents cyber-attacks that can manipulate or steal data. This protects the website and its users. Since the original data is preserved, your original SEO strategies are also preserved.
Boosts Google Rankings
Google’s algorithms are programmed to look out for secure sites that they can safely recommend to users. In 2014, Google announced that sites with an SSL -2048 – bit key certificate will get a preference in their rankings.
When changing to HTTPS, you might experience a temporary drop in rankings, but that is the processing time for Google to verify your site’s security. Before making the change, get an entire week’s Google analytics. Categorise your keyword rankings by their landing pages, to easily identify which part of the website is responsible for the drops, post changing to HTTPS.
Accelerated Mobile Page Optimisation
The Best SEO services companies recommend Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), and they can be enabled only with an SSL certificate. AMPs are HTML copies of the website that manipulates the data to make them load faster. They significantly improve bounce rate, loading time, and SEO. Thus HTTPS becomes a prerequisite to improve your website’s performance.
Improved conversions through reputation
SEO companies insist on SSL certificates for all sites, especially E-Commerce websites. HTTPS stands as a symbol of safety that ensures their data is protected by the site. Google itself will warn visitors about your site, resulting in a poor experience.
Users are more likely to click on an HTTPS URL than on an unsecure site as they can immediately access them. This results in good Click-Through Rates. Secure sites are also great for conversions as users trust their information with the site. Both of these factors are key to good SEO rankings.
The whole world is moving to HTTPS and if you haven’t yet, 2020 is as good a time as ever. From being a minor ranking factor it has now become a major attraction for organic traffic and conversions. The SEO game is only as good as the most user-friendly and secure experience that you can provide. Check out how you can seamlessly move from HTTP to HTTPS with Open Designs, the best SEO Company in Chennai.