These are a layer of security that ensures that information being passed to and from your site through an encrypted connection. Until recently, it was used almost exclusively for ecommerce, banking, and other sites where highly sensitive banking and other personal information is processed or stored.
The recommendation now is that all sites include SSL protection both to protect yourself and your site visitors, and SSL protection is a factor in the ranking algorithms. The good news is that certificates aren’t very expensive, though there is some work to set one up. Again, this is something you’ll want to work with your web team on.
Site performance and Technical SEO
Not surprisingly, this is an incredibly broad heading. Here’ we’ll focus on what you can to with your code to improve site load times. As promised we’ll steer clear of most of the technobabble and focus on three areas: caching, code optimization, and using a CDN.
Caching is the process that tells a visitor’s browser to store certain code elements so that they don’t have to be loaded every time a page reloads. These are typically header, footer, and other elements common to all or most of the pages on a site. There are a variety of ways that caching can be done and number of ways to configure your caching setup, so this is one you’ll want to call in the experts on.
Code optimization is another area with sub-topics and one in which you’ll hear terms like “minify.” Suffice to say that the goal here it to remove the little bits of inefficiency written into most code so that pages can load more quickly. Again, you’ll want to call in the experts.
Finally, you might consider using a CDN (content delivery network) to offload some of the heavy lifting to another server that is purpose-built to handle the needs. This is particularly true if your site is particularly reliant on images. No need to get into the underlying technology; it’s enough for you to understand that a CDN, properly configured, will help your site load more quickly.
(On a related note your images should be optimized for web display, as well. Your graphics team should be well versed in optimizing their work for its intended channel, including online use.)
There’s a lot more you can do to improve your site’s technical performance and, therefore, its SEO performance. Once you’ve begun the dialog with your technical specialists, be sure to work with them to set yourself up with useful, free tools like Google Search Console and Google Optimize. Though these efforts aren’t as critical as providing great content to a well targeted audience, they will have a measurable improvement when done well.