As marketers, we invest a lot of our time and energy into SEO.
Considering that Google receives over 66,000 searches every second, we’d be stupid not to.
But when it comes down to it, Google and other search engines are just one of the many ways you can drive traffic to your website.
In fact, depending on your target audience and competition, Google may not even be your best traffic source.
Take Upworthy, for example.
This site, which has a reputation for sharing feel-good viral videos, gets almost 43% of their traffic from social and less than 19% from search.
Groups of consumers all use the web differently.
Some like to get their content from friends or influencers on social.
A few depend on their trusted newsletters to tell them what content they need to read.
Others use an alternative search engine like YouTube or even Facebook.
To prove that you don’t need Google to drive traffic to your website, here are six alternatives that can help boost your visits.
1. Create a YouTube channel
YouTube has 1.5 billion active users each month, making it the world’s second-largest social platform.
With 1.5 billion active users each month, YouTube is the world’s second-largest social platform.
Over 30 million users log on to watch a total of 5 billion videos each and every day.
These numbers are massive.
However, these numbers still don’t rival Google, which processes about 3.5 billion searches per day.
So, how can you drive even a fraction of the traffic with YouTube that you could with Google?
Well, the beauty of YouTube is that it allows you to share videos.
While Google does display YouTube videos as part of its results lists (Google does, after all, own YouTube), the results aren’t quite the same.
In order to appeal and reach these video-lovers, you need to create YouTube content.
Because YouTube reaches more people from the ages of 18-49 than any cable network, this is particularly true if you’re marketing to younger generations.
Gen Z’s love affair with YouTube runs especially deep.
In fact, 50% of Gen Z-ers told AdWeek they wouldn’t be able to live without the sharing site.
They also shared why.
For Gen Z-ers, YouTube is more than just a video-sharing site. Look at all of the things that they go to YouTube for:
If Gen Z’s love for videos continues as they grow older and start making new purchasing decisions, this may be a major game-changer for marketing in years to come.
Uploading videos to YouTube allows you to appear in front of customers who use the site like a traditional search engine.
Then, with appropriately-placed links, you can drive those users back to your website.
Let’s take a look at how GoPro’s YouTube channel does this.
As one of the most popular YouTube channels around, GoPro uses their high-quality videos to show what their product is capable of doing.
However, simply uploading videos doesn’t drive sales.
That’s why they also make it easy for customers to get from their YouTube channel to a product page.
Here, we have a video shot users shot with the GoPro HERO6:
Right within the first couple lines of the description, viewers have a link that will bring them straight to the product page for the GoPro HERO6.
Interested customers can check out what the new camera is capable of, then easily make their way over to the GoPro website to get additional details or make a purchase.
And this isn’t the only way GoPro pushes traffic to their website.
You can also find a link to their website and their social media profiles within their cover image.
This gives YouTube users who land on the company’s channel an opportunity to get to their website quickly.
You can also add links to your website within your actual video content.
YouTube even offers features that allow users to create interactive video ads.
These features display either over the video itself or at the end of a video, prompting viewers to make the next move.
You’ll see from this chart that both call-to-action overlays and auto end screens help drive traffic to your website.
Here’s an example of a call-to-action overlay from a HubSpot video.
YouTube features the link right within the middle of the video. HubSpot timed it perfectly so that it appears when the viewer has a thorough enough understanding of inbound marketing to start feeling enticed.
Now, let’s compare this to an auto end screen.
Here’s an example from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
This presents the viewer with a number of different options when they’ve completed a video. It includes an offer to head to the NBC website to download the show’s app.
When using either of these interactive features, be sure to provide a clear and direct value to your watcher.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t want to plaster over your video with links to dozens of content pieces.
Instead, focus on just one or two that truly support the contents of your video.
2. Start conversations on social
If you do it correctly, social can rival Google as a traffic source.
According to Sprout Social, 48% of Millennials and 48% of Gen X-ers followed a brand on social media in Q1 of 2017.
This means you have less noise to cut through to get to your target audience.
Additionally, social provides you with an opportunity to engage and entertain – something you’ll struggle to do on a search engine.
When social users scroll through their timelines and news feeds, they’re looking for just about anything that will pique their interest.
If you’re capable of providing something high-quality and interesting, they’ll click through to your site to check out more.
However, it’s important to recognize how social is changing for brands.
In 2017, social accounted for 25.6% of all site visits.
But this number is actually down from past years.
From the same study, we can see that from about the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2017, social was outperforming search for driving traffic.
Unfortunately, the changes to the Facebook algorithm led to serious declines in organic reach on the platform.
Compared to the first half of 2017, Facebook saw about a 9% drop in social media referrals in the second half of the year.
However, one social site’s loss is another’s gain.
While Facebook saw a large dip at the end of 2017, both Pinterest and Instagram saw some pretty significant jumps.
Regardless of the social networks you choose to target, you want to provide meaningful and valuable information.
Remember that users log onto social to engage with their friends – not to have someone sell them something.
You want to find ways to engage your user while they’re still on the platform.
Buzzfeed Tasty does an excellent job at this.
Within their Facebook post, they include it all.
They created a video to grab attention.
They have friendly messages that establish the viewer as their friend.
And they include not one but two links that can either push the user to buy or to check out the recipe from the video.
And they do all of that without making it feel overwhelming!
This tactic has gained the Tasty Facebook page serious attention – almost 95 million followers!
To replicate this for your own audience, know your audience and create social content that blends seamlessly into their timelines.
Another way to get a conversation started is to use Twitter threads.
Twitter threads allow you to share insights, tips, and thoughts that connect by replying to yourself – and they have the power to bring you viral attention.
Check out what happened to travel blogger Hey Ciara.
On January 1st, she started this thread.
With this one thread alone, Ciara gained over 13,000 new Twitter followers, 6,000 new Instagram followers, and a 10x increase in her blog traffic.
Threads like these provide a distinct value to followers in a relatable way.
After sharing her secrets, Ciara drops a link to a blog post on her website containing more information.
Though the engagement with the link is significantly less than the first post, it was still able to drive traffic.
She already established authority with her followers in the thread. They trust her and know that she has information worth sharing. That gives them a reason to click on the link.
Creating a Twitter thread typically takes minimal effort. However, you want to be prepared to keep the momentum going.
Know the direction you’re going to take before you begin and be ready to share images, videos, or links that support your claims.
3. Partner with influencers
There are a lot of scams on the web, making shoppers wary about who they choose to purchase from.
If they’ve never heard of a business, they’re not going to pull out their credit cards after seeing just one ad.
Before they’re ready to shop, they need to trust you.
Unfortunately, it takes time to build trust organically.
However, you can speed up that process by working with influencers.
Almost nine out of ten individuals say that they trust online recommendations as much as personal recommendations.
Influencer marketing gives your content a “stamp of approval” from someone your audience already values. This dramatically cuts down on the trust-building process.
There are two main ways that you can get in touch with influencers.
First, you can use the more traditional pathway of having influencers share sponsored posts.
Here’s an example of a sponsored post from Emma Blackery.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) sponsored the ad. In the UK, they offer kids from 15-17 years old a camp-like, professional development opportunity.
By sharing this post, Emma is bringing awareness to NCS while also vouching for its validity.
She also includes a link to the company’s homepage, encouraging her followers to check out the organization more.
Within just five hours, Emma’s post gained over 480 likes, 38 retweets, and 24 comments.
Compared to the handful of likes NCS’s own posts get, this kind of attention is huge.
Paying for advertisements can give you more control as a brand.
If you’re a small business or you have a limited marketing budget, it might not be right for you.
But even if you don’t have money to invest in influencer marketing, you can appeal to influencers for free by featuring them in your own content.
Posts like this one from Comm100 are a great way to connect with several influencers at once.
This not only gives you free promotion, but it can also help you create long-term relationships with influencers and experts you might want to partner with in the future.
If you choose to use this kind of content, have realistic expectations.
It isn’t likely that each influencer you mention will share the post, especially if they already have a large following.
However, reaching out to each expert to let them know that you’ve featured them might help you get a few new shares and a boost in web traffic.
One way of reaching out is to present a quote.
In this Twitter post from Jitesh Patil, he pulled a quote from Robbie Richards and then tagged him in the tweet.
This gained Robbie’s attention, so he retweeted it to his own audience.
This kind of outreach makes it easy for the influencer to share your content. With just one click of a button, they’ve done their job.
You can also reach out via direct message. This is one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s favorite ways to network.
According to Gary, “the key is to connect first, provide value, and THEN given the right opportunity presents itself, ASK.”
This kind of relationship can help you establish long-term relationships with influencers.
4. Take advantage of your email subscribers
The conversation about whether or not email is dying has been happening for years.
Many markers are quick to support social or mobile apps over email marketing.
However, in Adobe’s 2017 Consumer Email Survey Report, they found that email was the preferred form of contact for 61% of survey participants.
In fact, email was the only contact method that actually improved between 2016 and 2017.
But user preference isn’t the only thing that email marketing has over other contact methods.
The average click-through rate is also much higher.
For email, the average click-through rate is 3.42%.
While this might seem low, the average click-through rate for Facebook Ads is only 0.90%.
This means that you’re much more likely to get web traffic from your email subscribers than your social profiles.
And that starts with personalization.
Here’s an example of personalization from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn takes a user’s location, job title, and qualifications and provides unique job recommendations for them.
This goes far beyond simply changing the name at the top of a message. For best results, you need to personalize the email’s body, too.
According to research, personalizing email bodies has a dramatic effect on open rates and click-through-rates.
Open rates are almost 7% higher with a personalized email body, and click-through rates jump by over 1.3%.
You can also personalize the sender name for even stronger click-through-rate results.
Take this example from HubSpot.
When they sent a message from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot,” there was a 0.50% higher open rate and 0.25% higher click-through rate than when they sent the email from just “HubSpot.”
For HubSpot, this meant that a personalized sender generated 292 more clicks.
To improve click-through rates even further, you also want to optimize your emails for mobile.
In the study from Adobe that we looked at above, we see that users are much more likely to check their personal email on a smartphone than a desktop or laptop.
Make it easy for your email subscribers to get back to your website regardless of the screen they’re viewing your message on.
Use CTA buttons rather than in-text links and keep your messages short and to the point.
Provide enough information to pique your reader’s interest, but your end goal should always be to push to subscribers back to your site.
5. Provide assistance on forums and question sites
People have a lot of questions.
And they don’t exclusively turn to Google to get their answers.
Users turn to forums and question sites.
Although Google, YouTube, and Facebook outrank the site in terms of popularity, Reddit beats them all based on the average amount of time that users spend on the site.
Reddit can be a great place to promote your site. However, you need to be strategic with how you go about it.
Most subreddits have strict rules about what you can and can’t say in their comments.
Each subreddit has a moderator. If you post the wrong material, they’ll delete your post and potentially even ban your account.
Users turn to forums like Reddit for help – not to have someone sell to them.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use Reddit to drive traffic to your site.
One of the best ways to do it successfully is through an “ask me anything” session, or an AMA.
Here’s an example of a successful AMA from Student Loan Hero.
While the post is promoting the business, it’s more focused on providing Reddit users with valuable information about paying off debt.
By answering questions, Student Loan Hero is able to improve trust with Reddit users and get them interested in the brand.
They also find ways to link to their content and tools as they answer questions.
Here is an example.
Student Loan Hero isn’t using this platform as a way to spit out ads.
Instead, they’re framing their content to fit the unique needs of each individual asking questions.
If you’re trying to be spammy on Reddit, users will be quick to call you out.
However, you can still see a lot of success from the platform by making your value clear.
Jeff Callahan, creator of one of the most successful Reddit posts, says that success on the platform begins with a “non-clickbaity” title.
He begins his post by sharing who he is and how he relates to the other users. Then, he communicates exactly what he has to say and why he’s credible enough to say it.
He then follows these same ideas throughout his post, always relating back to the user before providing tips or insights he can back up with personal experience.
If you use it wisely, Reddit can be a great place to bring visitors to your website.
You can also use Quora, which has 200 million unique monthly visitors, to answer questions from potential audience members.
Here’s an example of how I responded to a Quora question.
Like Reddit, Quora allows you to engage with individuals who are asking questions. Answering questions helps you prove your value to them before they head to your website.
This can encourage more traffic to your page.
Kevin Lee, founder of Product Manager HQ, attributes his business’s start and growth to Quora.
According to his post about how Quora changed his life, Kevin explains that Quora brought thousands of new subscribers to his blog.
He says that people in public have even recognized him from his Quora answers.
If you’re in a niche industry, there are other forums you may want to take advantage of.
6. Take advantage of guest posting
Guest posting can be a powerful way to bring new traffic to your website.
About 57% of business bloggers use guest posting as part of their content strategy.
Some major brands even used guest blogging to get their platforms off the ground.
For example, Buffer used guest blogging to grow their site to 100,000 users in their first nine months.
When looking for guest posting opportunities, you want to find sites that are within your niche but aren’t direct competitors.
Hosting a post on another website puts your content in front of a new audience, driving new leads back to your page.
Check out this example of a guest post on Entrepreneur.
As you can see, Dan Dowling, the guest author in this example, has links to his Facebook page, Twitter account, and website homepage.
Guest posting on other websites isn’t the only way to use the strategy to drive traffic.
You can also feature guest posts on your own site.
This not only gives you a bit of a break in your content schedule, but it also encourages guest posters to share links to your page.
Here’s an example from ProBlogger.
ProBlogger benefits from this post because the author, Larry Alton, will want to advertise that they’re featuring him on their site.
Each time Larry promotes the piece, ProBlogger gets a new wave of traffic.
But blogging isn’t your only option.
You can also appear on podcasts or webinars to share your opinion and expertise.
Here’s an example from SEMrush’s Search Marketing Scoop with David Bain.
In this episode, both Barry Schwartz, News Editor at Search Engine Land, and Richard Fergie, a consultant at E-Analytica, jump on the podcast to talk about paid and organic search.
These types of partnerships typically take more time, but they can provide serious returns in the end.
You want to think of what podcasts or webinars your audience may be engaging with that aren’t your direct competitors.
You don’t need Google to drive traffic to your website.
Sure, it helps.
But it shouldn’t be your only traffic source.
In fact, for the most success, you should have multiple pathways bringing new traffic to you.
Use these six traffic-generating sources as a starting point for diversifying how you bring in new visitors.
Pay close attention to your customers and target audience.
If they’re not responding to a particular pathway, don’t waste your time.
When you provide what they’re looking for in an avenue they’re already engaging with, traffic will flock to your page.
What are some of the best traffic sources for your website outside of SEO?
About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.
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You might be wondering: “Why is my website showing up as an unsecured site in Google Chrome?”
The answer is because you don’t have an SSL certificate that converts your pages into secure, encrypted HTTPS pages.
Some people may think that there’s no need for an SSL certificate if your website isn’t used to store or process sensitive information, or that an HTTP protocol is enough.
That may have been the case a decade ago, but it simply doesn’t hold true today.
When visitors see the “Not secure” tag that comes along with the lack of an SSL certificate, they’ll be less likely to stay on your site or interact with your company.
Or buy anything from you at all.
In this post, we’re going to cover what an SSL certificate is and how it can be used to help your website.
So what does SSL stand for, anyway?
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates are data files that add a cryptographic key together with a company’s details. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
In layman’s terms, SSL certificates bind a domain name, server name, or hostname together with a company name and location.
When they’re installed on a web server, they activate a padlock that shows that a secure connection is present between a browser and the web server.
These padlocks, which are added to most of your favorite websites, look something like this:
They signify to site visitors that the owner of a website is encrypting connections on the page, which makes for a more secure experience.
Usually, SSLs can be used to secure transactions, logins, and data transfer. In today’s world, it has become commonplace for social media sites to have SSL certificates, too.
Twitter has one:
Facebook has one:
And even Reddit has one:
When you open an SSL certificate up, it usually looks something like this:
This particular certificate lists who it was issued to, who it was issued by, and the dates that it is valid from and to. This one is valid until 2019.
That way, site visitors won’t have to second guess if your web page is safe, secure, or legitimate.
The bottom line? If you want your site to be trustworthy, you’ll need an SSL certificate.
Here’s how an SSL certificate works.
How Does an SSL Work
When you access a website, the browser or server requests that your web server reveals it’s identity.
A web server with an SSL certificate sends the browser or server a copy of it for review.
Then, the browser or server will check to determine whether or not it trusts the certificate. If it does, it relays the message back to the web server.
Then, the web server sends back a digitally signed acknowledgment and an SSL encrypted session begins.
Encrypted, secured data is then shared between the browser or server and the web server.
The benefits to using SSL certificates are huge. For starters, SSL makes browsing safer for your customers, builds trust and boosts conversions, and protects both internal and customer data.
They also help you rank higher in Google since they’re made possible with HTTPS.
But what is HTTPS and why is it important?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is an application layer protocol that was created to transfer and receive data over the internet.
In comparison to plain old Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, HTTPS encrypts all communication between a browser and a website.
HTTP does not. The added S in HTTPS is much more than a letter.
This means that data sent through an HTTPS connection is converted into a nearly impenetrable code to prevent unauthorized hackers from getting their hands on it.
And even if they do, they won’t be able to understand it or make sense of it. Encryption can take a simple message, like “hello” and turn it into an unidentifiable code, like “6EB6957008E03CE4.”
An application layer protocol doesn’t discriminate when it comes to how information is transferred between sources, so your site visitors will all be treated with equal security.
HTTPS is commonly used by e-commerce websites in order to ensure secure transactions for customers when purchasing products.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance and advantages of the HTTPS protocol that SSL certificates provide.
The Importance and Advantages of SSL
Google’s main goal is to provide users with secure browsing options. That’s why they’re encouraging site owners to make the switch over to HTTPS.
In fact, Google is now marking all non-HTTPS sites as unsecure.
And if you’re selling products or services from your site, an HTTPS seal of approval could help you sell even more.
Think about it: would you hesitate if you were ready to buy something and you saw a header like “Secure payment?” Probably not.
But if you saw something on a checkout page mentioning that things were “not secure,” you’d probably be gone faster than a toupee in a hurricane.
Once you have an SSL certificate and an HTTPS protocol, don’t be afraid to show it off to your customers and boast about it to help boost sales and transparency.
HTTPS can also help your SEO and conversions.
How SSL Can Help Your SEO And Conversions
Google rewards URLs with HTTPS protocols for being secure, which gives them a minor SEO boost in comparison to sites without them.
This means increased rankings and more referral data.
Referral data is preserved when it passes through HTTPS sites, which can also help to increase your search engine placements.
Rankings will continue to increase over time if your site operates on HTTPS since visitors can always rest assured that browsing on your site is secure.
But there are several different types of SSL certificates you should be aware of.
Types of SSL Certificates
When choosing an SSL certificate, you need to pick the one that works best for you and your site.
There are three main types of SSL certificates.
DV SSL certificates are issued almost immediately, and no company paperwork is required to obtain one.
No company identity is displayed on this type of SSL certificate other than encryption information, but it is enough to activate the “secure” padlock on your URL.
While there’s no questioning that your information will be encrypted when visiting a site with a DV SSL certificate, there’s no way for customers to verify who is on the other end of the data.
These certificates are the easiest and quickest to get, and they’re also the cheapest. But they’re the least secure of all SSL certificates.
If you just have a small personal website or forum that needs some added encryption, a DV SSL certificate is a solid choice.
OV SSL certificates are more secure than DV SSL certificates but less secure than EV SSL certificates. They’re also usually right in the middle of the two when it comes to cost, as well.
They are issued within a couple of days and require you to:
When you obtain an OV SSL certificate, the “secure” padlock will be added to your URL, as well as some kind of site seal, depending on where you purchase it from.
If you have a large, public-facing website that handles some non-sensitive transactional data on a regular basis, an OV SSL is a good certificate to go with.
EV SSL certificates, on the other hand, require several steps before they can be obtained. To get an EV SSL certificate, you must usually:
EV SSL certificates are harder to get in comparison to other types, but they are more secure than DV SSL and OV SSL certificates.
You know exactly who is on the other end of the website with this kind of certificate.
These certificates are usually issued within several days and are the most expensive to obtain. The company name is displayed in the URL next to the “secure” padlock.
Your address bar may also turn green.
If you are an e-commerce site or you handle credit card payments and other sensitive data regularly, you need an EV SSL for maximum security.
How do you know what the best SSL certificate is for you?
What’s the Best SSL Certificate?
While all three different kinds of SSL certificates are better than no certificate, you have to pick the one that works the best for your budget and site needs.
Let’s analyze GoDaddy first.
All SSL certificates from GoDaddy include SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption, which is about the strongest out there on the market today.
With a certificate from GoDaddy, you’ll be able to protect unlimited servers, reissue your certificate as many times as needed for free, and reach 24/7 security support.
You’ll also receive as much as $1 million in liability protection and a 30-day money back guarantee.
A DV SSL is $59.99 a year, an OV SSL is $103.99 per year, and an EV SSL is $99.99 per year.
With Cloudflare, you can get a base SSL for a more affordable price.
With Cloudflare, you can get the base SSL service for free. There’s no hidden details or fine print.
For more advanced features or SSL certificates, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
All that you need to implement Cloudflare’s SSL services is create an account and update your site’s DNS records.
Cloudflare’s HTTPS options provide additional services beyond regular HTTS that can help you boost page loading times and site speed.
Cloudflare serves your site visitors a cached version of your site to help make it faster for users.
However, SSL with Cloudflare only encrypts the connection between site visitors and the cached version of your site.
It doesn’t encrypt the connection that exists between your site and your server.
This means that your server connection could still be hacked.
If you want a full SSL certificate complete with encryption for your server, you might have to pay as much as $200 per month per domain for Cloudflare’s Business plan.
Other features included in the Business package include a web application firewall, prioritized email support, and guaranteed 100% uptime for your website.
Comodo SSL certificates are a bit more secure than Cloudflare.
A DV SSL certificate from Comodo will set you back about $70.95 per year. A warranty level of $10,000 is included.
OV SSL certificates can cost anywhere from $88.95 to $427.95 per year, depending on the one you choose. Warranty levels are anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 for this SSL.
An EV SSL is $199.50 per year and includes a warranty level of $1,750,000.
Every SSL certificate from Comodo features 128/256 bit encryption, 2048 bit root keys, unlimited reissuance and a 30-day money back guarantee,
Each certificate features HackerGuardian PCI scanning service, as well.
Once you decide on the SSL certificate that works best for you, get ready to install it.
How to Install an SSL Certificate
Installing an SSL certificate might sound intimidating, but it isn’t anything to be afraid of. Start off by purchasing the SSL certificate of your choice.
1) Purchase the SSL certificate
Be sure to only purchase an SSL certificate from a reputable source.
After all, you don’t want to compromise your company’s security, so don’t just purchase an SSL certificate from anywhere.
You will probably need to upload a copy of your Certificate Signing Request (CSR) when you order the SSL certificate of your choosing.
A finished CSR should look something like this:
You can find a list of all CSR creation instructions for nearly every platform and operating system here.
Once you’ve purchased your SSL certificate, you’re ready to activate it.
2) Activate it
The method used to activate your SSL certificate will depend on where you ultimately decide to purchase it from. Sometimes, your web host will activate your SSL for you.
For example, if you purchase an SSL from GoDaddy, you’ll have to log into your account, head to “SSL Certificates” and click “Set up.”
Once you refresh the page, you should see your new and ready to use certificate.
When you have activated your certificate, you should validate it.
3) Validate the certificate
Before you officially begin to use an SSL certificate, you need to diagnose any issues with it.
Use an SSL Checker tool like this one from SSL Shopper to validate your certificate.
Next, install the certificate on your hosting server if it hasn’t already been done by your web host.
4) Install the certificate on the hosting server
The process for installing your certificate on your hosting server will depend on where you’ve built your site.
Then, click “Generate certificate.”
Note that your SSL certificate should never be removed unless you manually take it off of your site.
Once your SSL certificate is up and running, you need to set up 301 redirects and check your links.
5) Set up 301 redirects and check the links
If you have old google links or dated links to your pages on other sites, you need to set up a redirect so that HTTP requests can be changed to HTTPS ones.
You can do this by adding the following code to the top of your .htcaaccess file located in your root folder:
Once you’ve added that code, double check that your site is still working well and that requests are being redirected to the new version of your URLs.
All you have to do is add the code to your site.
For example, if you have an Apache web server, you can add the following code to your .htaaccess file:
# Use HTTP Strict Transport Security to force client to use secure connections only Header always set Strict-Transport-Security “max-age=300; includeSubDomains; preload”
Here’s how to view SSL certificates in Chrome.
How to View SSL Certificates in Chrome
To view SSL certificates for any site (including your own) in Chrome, open Developer tools.
From there, head to the Security tab and click “View certificate.”
Then, the full certificate should appear for your viewing.
Finally, you need to test your HTTPS to make sure that all web elements are as secure as possible.
Testing your HTTPS
The easiest and fastest way to verify that your HTTPS is working is to head to your website and verify that you see HTTPS: before your site name.
If you want a more in-depth test, use an advanced SSL-Check tool like this one from JitBit.
This tool will crawl an entire HTTPS website (and even it’s internal links) to uncover unsecure images, scripts or CSS files that trigger unsecure warnings in browsers.
You can crawl 200 pages of your site for free using the tool if you tweet about it, which is a pretty small price to pay for zero cost HTTPS testing.
If your site is marked as unsecure, you’re losing valuable site visitors every minute.
An SSL certificate can help, since it verifies and encrypts your website, making your pages safe for both you and your customers.
If you think you can avoid getting an SSL certificate, you’re wrong. The HTTPS protocol that SSLs provide is vital if you want to build a trusted and reputable site.
HTTPS tags show up with a padlock and a “secure” tag in visitors’ browsers, notifying them that your site is legit.
And HTTPS can help your SEO and conversions, since HTTPs pages are proven to have higher rankings and more referral data.
There are three different types of SSL certificates to choose from.
These include Domain Validated (DV SSL) Certificates, Organization Validated (OV SSL) Certificates, and Extended Validation (EV SSL) Certificates.
DV SSLs offer the least amount of security, while OV SSLs are more secure. EV SSLs are the most secure form of SSL certificate.
Choose an SSL certificate that works best for you, your company, and your budget.
If you want a reasonably priced SSL with high encryption, try GoDaddy. With Cloudflare, you can get a free DV SSL extension, but it may not be as secure as other certificates out there.
Comodo offers a wider variety of certificates than GoDaddy with similar encryption. However, they’re a bit more expensive.
To install an SSL certificate, you’ll have to purchase one from a trusted source, first.
Then, activate it and validate it. Install the certificate on your hosting server and set up 301 redirects to your new HTTPS URLs. Don’t forget to check the links.
If you want to view SSL certificates in Chrome, you can open them up for any site you visit using Developer Tools.
Finally, to test your HTTPS, use an advanced SSL Checker like the one created by JitBit. Double check that your URLs have a secure padlock, too, just in case.
Which type of SSL certificate are you going to add to your website?
About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.
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