SSL is the new world of the web and if you don’t have it then be prepared to drop in the rankings and possibly lose prospective customers.
Setting up SSL is a task in itself. I hired someone to do that for me because my host did not allow Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates. I had to use a different system and to be frank I couldn’t be bothered learning how to do it. I had better things to spend my time on.
What I did learn though is that it is simple but not easy. Lot’s of fiddling with nameservers, plugins, fixing unsecured content issues and more. Here’s a tip if you get your SSL done by a third party: check you are secure by using the free tool by the clever techos at jitbit. I found a couple of issues which my supplier fixed but the scan showed up a few things I had to attend to such as calling images from defunct sites etc. Worth doing!
It’s so good when you can see that little padlock icon next to your domain name in the browser. But don’t fool yourself. Your job is not over. There are two big things you need to do (or get your hired help to deliver on).
- Webmaster search console – go to https://search.google.com/search-console/about and follow these brilliant instructions (thank you askwpgirl!) to let Google know of your sites (http, https, http://www, https://www), add sitemaps, fetch and index.
- Google Analytics – go to your console at https://analytics.google.com/analytics and update your site to recognise https in two places – follow these instructions
Do all that and you should be set.
If you’re like me and you don’t visit your Google tools too often then you will probably find that you need to spend some time here tidying things up.
- Are all your sites with https included?
- Are all sites showing a www version?
- Have you set a preferred domain to avoid duplicate issues?
- Do you have sitemaps set up and recognised by Google?
- Any crawl issues you need to deal with?
Leave aside a half day to do this – if it takes less then that’s a bonus! In fact, Google has some good advice on when and how to check up on your webbie responsibilities here including what to do if you change your domain name or remove a page from search results. Google also has a nifty SEO Guide that is worth reviewing to maximize your SEO-worthiness. And of course there are things you can do to help Bing find you.
Running an online business is exciting but it can be tedious and often we entrepreneurial types don’t keep our eye on all the balls we need to. When a change requires us to stop and review, that’s a good thing. Use the SSL imperative as that opportunity. If you’ve outsourced this whole process then take ten and check that all is how it should be.