HTTPS and SEO

Client: Tuff Wrap
Goal: Improve organic rankings
Strategy: Secure the website

We wanted to organically rank our client TuffWrap for a particular keyword that was pretty competitive, so as part of our process, we conducted a competitive analysis, looking into the websites that were ranking both above and below TuffWrap in the search results, paying close attention to:

  • Domain Authority
  • Backlinks
  • On-Page Optimization
  • URL Structure

In reviewing the data, we noticed something interesting: competitors ranking above TuffWrap had secured URLs, while the websites ranking below TuffWrap did not.

TuffWrap_1

Google announced in 2014 that SSL certificates could give websites a ranking boost. It was rumored that this had only a minor effect on rankings, but as our competitive analysis shows, this may be a bigger ranking factor than industry pros expected.

More recently, Google announced that web pages using the HTTP protocol would be labeled as not secure in the Google Chrome browser. This change began to take effect in October 2017 and it would affect any website that offers any type of form input.

TuffWrap_2

With these two factors in mind, we recommended TuffWrap convert from http to https.

Here’s how the switch to HTTPs was handled:

  • We applied 301 redirects on all pages from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • All internal links on the website were updated to HTTPS.
  • The HTTP version was NOT blocked from being indexed. Google still needs to crawl this version of the website in order to find the redirect.
  • We updated all existing 301 redirects to HTTPS.
  • The sitemap URL in the robots.txt was updated to HTTPS.

 

Results

After making the change to HTTPS, we began to see positive change in TuffWrap’s rankings. One week later, their website was ranking in organic position 2 and 3:

TuffWrap_3

Google was still displaying the URL without showing HTTPS, which we believe was due to Google accounting for the HTTPS URL, but not updating the display URL in the search results simultaneously.

A month after the switch, their organic ranking began showing up above the local pack results, and displaying the HTTPS URL:

TuffWrap_4

If your website is still using the HTTP protocol, we recommend updating it to HTTPS. While it isn’t a major ranking factor, it can provide a boost. SEOM Interactive can help guide you through this process to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

Comments are closed.