Secure websites are more important than ever in today’s online world, with an ever-increasing number of hackers and bots roaming the net causing disruption. There are some highly effective security tools available that are now standard practice for many businesses and having them in place will help boost your SEO. Below we explain the difference between HTTPS and HTTP, why one is more important than the other and what you can do to help your website.
What is HTTPS and HTTP and why does this help keep my website secure?
You will find either one of these at the start of every URL at the top of a webpage. HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol and was created at the start of the internet in the early ‘90s. Its main focus is on how the information on the page is accessed and presented, rather than how it travels from one place to another, which makes it far less secure.
HTTPS means the same thing, but the added ‘S’ means ‘secure’ and ensures it is powered by Transport Layer Security (TLS) which means the data is encrypted on its way from the web server to arriving at the user’s browser. This means data is much harder for third parties to intercept and is now the preferred option for creating a more secure online environment.
Why is HTTPS important for SEO and secure websites?
Using HTTPS helps your SEO as it keeps the site secure and ensures customers enjoy a safer experience on your site. This is especially important for any payments that may be made via checkout sections, keeping card details, addresses and other related information protected.
You’ll find that most search results that appear on the first page of Google are HTTPS verified. Google has previously confirmed they favour websites that use HTTPS over those that do not, as they do not like to encourage users to click on potentially un-secure sites, which is probably the best reason for secure websites.
The lightening/thunder symbol seen on search engine page results refers to a page being AMP optimised. This helps reduce load time and bounce rate, while also being mobile friendly, all of which helps boost SEO. In order to be AMP optimised you must first have a TSL and HTTPS certificate.
How can I improve my SEO with HTTPS?
By moving to HTTPS you enjoy the benefits mentioned in the section above. To set up HTTPS you need follow these steps:
Use a dedicated IP address
A dedicated IP address means all traffic is going to that individual IP address and nowhere else. This is something your web host is able to organise for you.
Buy a TSL certificate
While this is technically something you can do yourself, this is also a task your web host will be able to set up for you to verify your website. It can then be installed and activated.
Update the website
Once the TSL certificate is in place the website should update itself so it is now HTTPS activated and far more secure as a result.
Find out more about Secure Websites
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You can also take a look through our Useful Tools section that includes a range of online resources to help you start out, understand and improve your online business yourself.