It’s widely known by now that it’s necessary to move pages with forms to HTTPS to avoid being shown as “Not secure” in Chrome 62. Google’s recent announcement that forms on web pages over HTTP will be marked as “not secure” in chrome starting this month offers a great opportunity to move to HTTPS.
Switching away from HTTP comes with many benefits to improve your website and security, but it also provides an opportunity to vastly improve user experience and conversion rates.
Improve Search Engine Ratings While Moving to HTTPS
Switching to HTTPS will help you deliver a better customer experience by creating a more secure website. This leads to greater online success for your business since a secure site means uninterrupted browsing; and, also, that you won’t raise alarm customers by being flagged as “not secure” by Google.
But what does this mean for your website and SEO? This gives you the opportunity to have your entire website (on the same domain/hostname) re crawled by Googlebot after implementing SEO improvements.
When you move to HTTPS, Googlebot will be encouraged to recrawl most of your URLs. Which URLs are crawled is determined and prioritized by Googlebot’s own process. When a switch to HTTPS is detected, Googlebot tends to temporarily increase the crawl rate to try and crawl the highest amount of URLs in the shortest time.
While HTTPS and SEO are not directly related, the temporarily increased crawl rate that accompanies a switch to HTTPS gives you an opportunity to better optimize your site and in turn create a higher conversion rate.
How To Optimize Your Website Before Switching to HTTPS
Before you switch to HTTPS, follow these steps to optimize your site and take advantage of the increased crawl rate.
- Complete an SEO audit as soon as possible. Remember that it can take a few weeks for an audit to be completed.
- Implement the recommendations from the SEO audit right away. Make sure you have a development team ready to go as soon as the audit is finished.
- Test your infrastructure for HTTPS and HTTP/2. You can do this while your SEO audit is being performed.
- Once you have completed the SEO audit and followed the recommendations, you can move your website to HTTPS.
What About The “Not Secure” Warning After October?
There is a chance that even after following the steps we’ve outlined that your website might still show the “not secure” warning on form pages in Chrome, especially if it takes a long to complete the steps above. Don’t worry, though, since your website will not be the only one. Don’t sweat over a few months of warning when other large, well-known sites will be displaying the same warning and users aren’t even used to it yet.
Rather, focus on completing your SEO audit and implementing changes within the next few months. Aim to have it done by the end of the year or in Q1 2018, and your website will flourish from the benefits of moving to HTTPS.