A few people have asked me over the past few months: Do I need HTTPS for my website?
Up until recently, I wasn’t 100% convinced of the benefits. Working in Search Engine Optimisation, I have learned to be cautious when Google announces the “next big thing” affecting SEO.
Which is why I didn’t leap to make the switch to HTTPS (instead of http://) on any of my websites, or urge any of my clients to upgrade.
Case in point – about three or four years ago it was all about “Google Authorship”. And now? It’s nowhere to be seen!
However I am now convinced that HTTPS is essential – and I have switched two of my three sites to HTTPS, with this one soon to follow.
What is HTTPS?
The “S” in HTTPS stands for “secure”, and it is part of the push to make the internet a safer place for browsers.
Initially it was thought that it would only apply to e-commerce websites. However it has become clear that this upgrade is important for ALL websites, even if it is just a blog which doesn’t sell anything.
Why Do I Need HTTPS for my Website?
Here are three reasons why you need HTTPS on your website (if you haven’t already made the switch):
1 – Google has indicated that sites that have made the switch to HTTPS will be given preferential treatment in search engine results.
2 – If that isn’t enough to motivate you to upgrade your website – perhaps this will convince you. Have you come across this screen when trying to access a website recently? It’s becoming increasingly common, and is off-putting to any potential visitors, to say the least:
3 – I’ve previously shared how secure sites are getting better results in mobile searches – and most searches (60% and rising) are now being made on mobile devices.
If you are serious about getting people to visit your website, then the time has come – you need HTTPS on your website. There are however, a couple of things to be aware of:
- Make sure that every page on your website is redirected, or you will lose your rankings and web traffic.
- And, some website owners (including myself) have reported a temporary drop in traffic for a month or so immediately afterwards – however, I think you’ll agree that the benefits far outweigh the cost or loss of traffic.
Are you ready to make the leap to HTTPS?