What do you think about the new HTTPS tilt? Well, Google is showing its preference for websites with a general slathering of SSL encryption. Google marks any website without the S (Secure) certificate unsafe, and you will see a warning before you voluntarily enter the site. HTTP is simply not enough to make the cut.
Do not be fooled! HTTPS is not a privilege or an SEO bonus for your website. Although it is compulsory for your site to rank on the Google search results, it will not give you any competitive edge over other sites with an SSL certificate. The logic here is quite simple, by January 2017, almost half the active websites are secure.
If your site is still on the “dark side,” you are enjoying only a fraction of the potential traffic. You need to broaden your horizon and welcome the secure traffic who are just waiting for an SSL certificate. However, making the shift without expert guidance can be tricky. Whether you are already in the process of making the change or you are just thinking about it, you should avoid these five common mistakes of HTTPS implementation that are hurting your SEO –
- Content is not homogenous
Does your page have too many HTTP connections? This is a common element when a page has multiple content formats including scripts, links, images, and frames. If their HTTPs are not secure, then they will pose a collection of non-homogenous issues on your website. Addressing this problem manually is difficult and laborious.
- Lack of defined redirects from URLs to HTTP version
Use suitable pages for shifting your website from HTTP to HTTPS. Improper redirects will eat into your SEO. A recent study from the Next Level Metro Agency shows that over 8% of all websites do not conform to the current HTTPS versions.
- Domain issues
Make sure you register your HTTPS certificates in the right domain. Around 6% of HTTPS sites are currently facing this problem. If your SSL certificate does not correspond to the name of the domain, your website will violate the certificate specifications.
- Internal link management
Your SSL certificate should offer complete protection to your visitor. Having internal links on your pages, which link to HTTP pages, defeats the purpose of an SSL certification. Solving this problem is time-consuming and laborious like the first issue. However, you should take all the effort required when you shift to a HTTPs website.
- Server problems
- No HSTS support
The lack of an HSTS support will not permit proper communication via HTTPs connections. This will pose a big problem when you implement HTTP.
- Lack of a server name
SNI will act as a TLS extension. With this, you can host more than a single layer. You can also host more than one certificate on one IP address. The lack of a defined name will not allow you to implement SNI.
SNI can solve multiple problems for you and your website. If you have an SSL certificate without a defined server name, your users will be notified about the lack of a secure server connection. This will affect your SEO. Firstly, Google will not recognize your website as secure. Secondly, your potential users might feel threatened and leave. You will have a low CTR, low conversion rate and your ROI will be disastrous.
How to avoid making mistakes while moving to HTTPS?
To make sure, you have your HTTPS in the right place; you can use audit tools. The Next Level Metro Agency has its own website HTTPS audit tool that will give you a detailed report of your website protection, internal links, outbound links and more.
Website architecture is essential as well in case of shifting to HTTPS. An excellent audit tool and your SEO team should be able to tell you about the status of your website content, the information hierarchy and find all insecure elements on your site. Any good audit report should have the severity levels marked out for all site (HTTPS) errors. This will help you and your website team to prioritize the issues.
You should also remember to check the expiry date of your SSL certificate. An SSL certificate distinguishes an HTTP site from a secured one. However, many SEOs do not realize that an expired SSL certificate is as good as not having any. Therefore, even though you many already have a HTTPS website, make sure to check the expiry of your SSL certificates.