How Can HTTPS Improve a Website’s SEO?


HTTPS improves a website's SEO by enhancing security, boosting search engine rankings, increasing user trust, and improving referral data accuracy. Utilizing HTTPS is vital for modern sites aiming to achieve better visibility and user engagement. Here’s an in-depth look at how HTTPS impacts SEO.

Elevated Security and Data Integrity

Protecting Data

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) ensures that data transmitted between a user's browser and the website is encrypted, safeguarding sensitive information from interception or tampering. Google prioritizes secure websites in its search rankings, acknowledging that security is a critical aspect of user experience.


This encryption fosters a safer browsing environment, as highlighted by Google [Importance of HTTPS, 2021].

Boost in Search Engine Rankings

Google officially announced in 2014 that HTTPS is a ranking signal in their search algorithm, which means websites using HTTPS are likelier to rank higher than those using HTTP. Although it is a lightweight signal, it can still make a significant difference, especially when paired with other SEO best practices.


For further details, refer to the announcement by Google [HTTPS as a Ranking Signal, 2014].

Enhanced User Trust and Conversion Rates

Visitors are more likely to trust websites that display "HTTPS" and the padlock icon in the browser's address bar. This increased trust can lead to higher retention rates and improved conversion rates, as users feel more secure sharing personal information and completing transactions.


Trust and HTTPS correlation is further discussed by HubSpot [Why You Should Use HTTPS, 2021].

Improved Referral Data Accuracy

When traffic passes through an HTTPS site, referral data is preserved in Google Analytics. Conversely, when an HTTPS site refers traffic to an HTTP site, the referral traffic is stripped, displaying it as “Direct” traffic. Using HTTPS ensures accurate analytics data, which is crucial for understanding traffic sources and optimizing marketing strategies.


Analytics accuracy is emphasized by Moz [SEO Tips: HTTPS & Security, 2015].

Specific Examples

Case Study: Encrypting eCommerce Websites

An eCommerce website using HTTPS might see an improvement in ranking due to enhanced security, leading to increased user trust and higher conversion rates. A secure checkout process is essential for safeguarding customer payment information, directly affecting the site's reputation and profitability.

Case Study: Blog Migration

A blog migrating from HTTP to HTTPS can experience improved data accuracy in tools like Google Analytics, resulting in better insights into user behavior and more effective content strategies.