Improve SEO & Security with One Single Step

Improve SEO & Security with One Single Step

04/02/2023   Blog   Indy Web Design

In recent years, the importance of website security and user experience has become increasingly crucial for online businesses. One way to improve both with a single step, is by forcing HTTPS and either www or none-www to a single domain. This best practice ensures a secure connection between the user's browser and the website, eliminates duplicate content issues, preserves link equity, and improves the user experience.

But lets define what HTTPS and www or none-www mean.

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, where data is encrypted to ensure secure communication between the user's browser and the website. On the other hand, www or none-www refers to how the domain name appears in the browser's address bar. For example, or

Why is it crucial to force HTTPS and a single domain for search engines? For the following reasons:

1. Security

HTTPS provides a secure connection between the user's browser and the website, encrypting any sensitive information exchanged, such as passwords, credit card information, and personal data. Google has been advocating for a secure web for years and has made it clear that HTTPS is a ranking factor. By forcing HTTPS, you are not only ensuring a safe browsing experience for your users, but you are also sending a positive signal to search engines that you take security seriously, which can improve your ranking.

2. Avoiding Duplicate Content

Having multiple versions of your website with different URLs can lead to duplicate content issues. Duplicate content occurs when search engines index multiple versions of the same content, leading to confusion about which version to rank. By forcing a single domain, you eliminate the risk of duplicate content issues and ensure that search engines index only one version of your website.

3. Consistency

A single domain ensures consistency in your website's URL structure, making it easier for users and search engines to navigate your site. When you force either www or none-www, you eliminate any confusion about which version of the website to use. Consistency in URL structure also helps search engines understand the hierarchy of your website and how pages relate to each other, which can improve your ranking.

4. Link Juice Preservation

When you have multiple versions of your website with different URLs, you are splitting the link equity between them. Link equity, also known as link juice, is the value that a link passes from one page to another. By forcing a single domain, you preserve all the link equity to a single version of your website, improving its authority and ranking potential.

5. User Experience

A single domain also improves the user experience by ensuring that users always land on the same version of your website. This eliminates the frustration that comes with accessing different versions of the same website and improves the user experience, leading to increased engagement and lower bounce rates. Improved user experience is also a ranking factor that search engines take into account, making it essential to prioritize

In conclusion, forcing HTTPS and either www or none-www to a single domain is a small but significant step in improving your website's search engine ranking and user experience. By doing so, you improve your website's security, avoid duplicate content issues, ensure consistency, preserve link equity, and improve the user experience.


How do you fix this? It depends. HTML websites requires you to modify your htaccess code, while you may use a plugin with WordPress that provides this function.

Here is how your .htaccess file may look like:

# Force SSL
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

# Force www
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) https://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]