In August 2014, Google added another important ranking signal – HTTPS. Since that time, many website owners have continued to migrate their websites from HTTP to HTTPS.
Some of the websites making the transition include financial organizations, e-commerce sites, small business websites, and blogs. Traffic is a highly valued commodity online and the SSL certificate is the latest avenue to help website owners increase their potential for page rank improvement.
Beyond SSL Installation
Despite the mass migration to SSL, it is interesting to note that most HTTPS websites failed to utilize their SSL certificate to its maximum search engine optimization potential. They fail to understand that the installation of SSL by itself does not bring the full scope of potential SEO benefits. The process of achieving a successful HTTPS migration requires a properly implemented custom configuration.
Some of the steps mentioned below can help maximize the value of your SSL migration:
Use permanent 301 redirects to ensure your visitors are sent to the HTTPS version of your website. These redirects are SEO-friendly.
Ensure that your main internal and external links are all updated. Perform a crawl of your website to double check and ensure that no link is skipped.
Evaluate Your Canonical Tags
Direct all rel=canonical tags to your new HTTPS website. Although your content management system may streamline this process, it is important to ensure this has been carried out properly.
Submit the XML site map of your HTTPS site to Google Search Console to make sure it is indexed.
Update References to Internal Links
Perform these updates to research your place function in the database. All references to internal links must be updated to use HTTPS.
Check to make sure no insecure content exists and everything works properly.
Update links from Social Media
Direct all links from your social media profiles to your HTTPS site. Update any posts or articles in which these links require an update. If the number of links is high, update the links contained in your most popular posts or articles.
Update References in Templates
Use HTTPS for all references to links, images, and scripts on your site. This may be done through Notepad++, Git, or another code editor tool.
Update Google Analytics Admin Website Settings
Update your website settings in Google Analytics’ administration area by selecting HTTPS version in saving the changes. This will ensure that the data Google Analytics recovers from now on comes from the HTTPS version of your site.
Update Newsletters and Email campaigns
Review your email campaigns, newsletters, pop-ups, and auto responders and update all links contained therein to point to the HTTPS version of your site.
Continue to monitor your site for any errors or indications of unfinished adjustment to the HTTPS migration and make fixes as necessary.