If you want your website to rank well in search engines like Google, using HTTPS is no longer optional – it's essential. This post will explain what HTTPS is, why it's critical for SEO, and how to easily switch your site over to HTTPS.

For starters, HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It's an encrypted version of the standard HTTP protocol used on most websites. Those extra letters "S" at the end make all the difference in security.

With HTTPS, all communications between a browser and website server are encrypted. This prevents hackers from accessing or modifying any information transferred. That's why you'll see a little padlock icon in the browser bar when visiting HTTPS sites.

Here are 5 key reasons HTTPS matters for your SEO:

1. Google ranks HTTPS sites higher.

Back in 2014 Google officially announced that switching to HTTPS would provide a small boost in search rankings. They want to promote secure sites.

2. HTTP sites get scary security warnings.

Chrome, Firefox and other browsers now display warnings on plain old HTTP pages, frightening visitors away.

3. HTTPS improves page speed.

Encryption processes are faster than HTTP which improves site performance. Faster sites tend to outrank slower ones.

4. HTTPS enables modern web features.

Things like geolocation, push notifications, and credit card autofill only work on secure HTTPS connections. These can help increase conversions.

5. HTTPS builds user trust.

Customers are understandably wary of submitting personal info or making purchases on insecure sites. HTTPS reassures them.

Switching your site to HTTPS is easy and free thanks to services like Let's Encrypt. Most web hosts like SiteGround or WordPress specialists like WP Engine make the transition seamless.

For WordPress sites, plugins like AIOSEO by Awesome Motive automate the whole process for you with just a few clicks. It will redirect all traffic from HTTP to HTTPS, update sitemaps, and more.

Migrating to HTTPS should be one of your top website priorities for 2023. Just remember that security equals higher SEO success. Click here to learn more about our managed SEO and content services!