It was back in March 2014 when Google’s CEO Matt Cuts gave a hint about the importance of https while considering ranking in search engine. And later somewhere around August 2014, Google announces that it will give the preference in search ranking to those sites which uses SSL certificates. With this Google also announced certain guidelines as what they want to see in these SSL secured sites.
It’s true that SSL secured sites gets weightage in SERP but it is not that much. SSL certificate provides around 1% weightage in search engine ranking. With this update it becomes a trend to move sites to https from http. But you should take care while doing so as it may cause some issue with SEO like URL issue and all. In this guide I am going to tell you about the SEO tips that should be taken care of while migrating http to https.
On this HTTPS ranking signal leading SSL Certificates provider in the market ClickSSL giving some SSL migration tips to website, blog & Ecommerce business owners. Apart from basic SEO tips the team said that one should first research about SSL Certificates and then only they can proceed to install it on their website.
SEO Tips to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS
Migrating your site from http to https is like migrating all your URLs to the new URLs. All the links that were opening with http earlier will now start with https. So you should take proper care while doing so else the site may give 404 errors or the SEO will also get vanished.
So once you have installed the SSL to your site, there are multiple check points that you should consider. Few of those are below. You can also say it would be like SEO audit of your site.
#2 Check All External Links: All the other sites from where you were getting links should point to your new address. For this you can run a link report of your website and find from where and what links you are getting. Then you can work on all those to get those replaced with your new https URL.
#3 Set Up 301 Redirects:Once you have ensured all the internal and external links are now pointing to your new address now it’s time to setup 301 redirect that will send everything from port 80 to port 443. 80 is used for http and 443 for https.
#4 Set up HTTPS Use Webmaster tool: As Google consider both HTTP and HTTPS sites separately so you should add your new URL with HTTPS in the webmaster tool. This will also help you in detecting any issue while migrating the site.
#5 HTTP Strict Transport Security: Make sure your browser support HSTS. This will ensure browser only request only HTTPS even if someone request http.
If you will follow all these steps you can successfully migrate your site from http to https.
Negative short term effects
There can be some negative effect also once you have migrated your site from http to https even if you have done everything properly. Since migration involves complex process so it will take time for Google to crawl your new changes. It can take few days to reflect and during that time you might find sudden drop in traffic. The fast way to overcome on this is to submit the XML to the search engines.
It’s good to migrate the site from http to https but you should do with all the care discussed above.
If you have done this earlier, do share your experience with us. If you have any question, feel free to ask.