Your e-commerce shop, Google, SEO, HTTPS & SSL

Your e-commerce shop, Google, SEO, HTTPS & SSL

A bit of a boring title, but it does what it says on the tin

In Googles efforts to improve search results for it’s users it constantly tweaks and changes it’s algorithms to ensure it delivers the best and most accurate websites.

For SEO marketers it means constant learning and keeping up with change to pass on the correct information to their clients. For store owners this means ensuring you have budget set aside to tackle change and implement new strategies and improve your website to make sure you stay relevant and at the top of the search results.

So with this in mind I bring you the latest announcement from camp Google regarding your e-commerce store, which is the impact of using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology. Simply put these are protocols that help secure the transfer of information online. In Googles eyes sites that use this tech have a higher level of trust with their users and have gone the extra mile to create a secure platform, so it is rewarding these sites with extra brownie points when it comes to rank.

Implementing these changes is relevantly straight-ford, depending on how your website is constructed. We mostly develop on WordPress, so for us using a super flexible platform like this it is pretty simple, which also helps keeps costs down for clients wanting to implement change. I would recommend any store selling goods or services online should be using these security features anyway, it’s good practise.

Here is how to get started…

Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

1. First, you will need to get an SSL certificate. Most major hosts have SSL certificates available. While you might not want the cheapest one out there, you can get a good certificate for around £50-£100.

2. Then, you have three options to change the links on your WordPress site to the new, secured website.

  • Change your WordPress settings link
  • Create an .htaccess redirect
  • Use WordPress Plugins

WordPress Settings Link

The quickest way to change your WordPress site links is from the WordPress General Settings section. Go to the WordPress admin, then go to settings > general. Here you will see the default URL for your website. Change both the WordPress and Site address by adding an ‘S’ to the end of HTTP. It should then show https://your-domain.com or https://www.your-domain.com

.httaccess redirect

If you have a little more coding knowledge you can use the redirect code below or use your trusty web agency or developer to do it. Below is the code from StackOverflow.com. Remember that you need access to your .htaccess files, either through your cPanel or via FTP access. Again ask your website agency or host if you are unsure.

#redirect all https traffic to http, unless it is pointed at /checkout

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/checkout/?.*$

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://mydomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

WordPress Plugins

If you wish to go down the plugin avenue their are a few that exist to help you. WordPress HTTPS and Yoast SEO both can help to move your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Do take note that Yoast can sometimes be unreliable when performing these actions although it is a great SEO plugin. So just double check it’s worked.

The Conclusion

Personally I think this is a great move by Google. There is no downside to implementing extra security for today’s websites. This will further help to identify secure and relevant sites over those looking to achieve a high rank without the effort. If you run an online store I would recommend you setup an SSL certificate and use HTTPS even if your using a payment gateway like PayPal and are not PCI compliant. Putting SEO and ranks aside you should do it for your customers anyway, and at the end of it all, why send someone to an unsecured site if there are secure sites selling the same thing?

If you found this helpful please share. Also if this issue effects your business and you would like more information, don’t hesitate to call our team on 01276 409724 for more information.

Chris Nutbeen

Founder of Nuttifox and digital geek. Chris likes data proof, beautiful UX and clients with miracle allowing budgets.

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