Secure Your SuiteCommerce Site Without Sabotaging it: 7 Essential SEO Tasks during an SSL Migration

By - January 16, 2019

The day has arrived: You have reviewed the SSL upgrade process, the new SSL certificate is ready, your SuiteCommerce development team has worked the migration into the latest sprint and you are excited to migrate the site from the old insecure http to industry-compliant secure https.

The day has arrived: You have reviewed the SSL upgrade process, the new SSL certificate is ready, your SuiteCommerce development team has worked the migration into the latest sprint and you are excited to migrate the site from the old insecure http to industry-compliant secure https.

Before pressing the button on that .crt file, it is worth pausing and considering the unforeseen effects this upgrade could have on your site. To begin with, each and every URL on the site (that is not already secure) will change. This means that, unless redirected, any SEM ads such as Google AdWords will point to broken pages. Any automatic feeds will likely break. Your sitemap will be 100% inaccurate. Your Google organic rankings and traffic will likely suffer. Here’s how to not throw out the SEO baby with the insecure site bathwater.

Essential SEO Checklist for a NetSuite SCA SSL Migration

Pre-launch

  1. Save the XML and image sitemaps and robots.txt files. Estimate the scale of effort needed to update each. Bear in mind that SCA’s Sitemap Generator typically results in substandard sitemaps, necessitating manual creation and upload.
  2. Export a list of 301 redirects using NetSuite’s redirect assistant. Try to do this before downloading and installing OpenSSL to generate the SSL certificate and private key.
  3. Crawl the site. Save crawl file for later reference.
  4. If the crawl file uncovers significant numbers of 404s, mis-canonical tags or multiple-hop 301s, now is the time to address them.
  5. Determine the best redirect method:
    • Manual redirects – Once crawl file is edited to be useable, merge and de-dupe with XML sitemap to generate a list of old, http URLs that need redirecting to the new https pages.
    • Automatic redirect – Major domain registrars such as GoDaddy provide automatic domain-level redirects from http to https. Such redirects may require edits to the site’s CNAME or ANAME records.

Post-launch

  1. Thoroughly test all major page types for conversion and SEO Page Generator functionality. Test the CDN.
  2. If using manual redirect method, upload redirects CSV file. Test site to ensure no redirect loops or checkout glitches.
  3. Update robots.txt and Sitemap files
  4. Google Ads ( AKA AdWords) – update ad URLs and any product feeds
  5. Google Analytics – update default URL
  6. Google Search Console – update default URL
  7. Update any 3rd-party plugins (MailChimp, SearchSpring, Zendesk)

A Path to Online Sales Success 

The time required for the above tasks is usually around 20 hours, assuming no major URL changes besides the move from http to https. This short project window should be built into a larger ongoing digital marketing (DM) action plan that includes target audience-based SEO and SEM content and platform improvements. All DM tasks should have ROI-positive impact as measured by NetSuite-reported revenue reporting, robust analytics, keyword rankings and Search Console metrics.

Whenever a major site change happens, the full scope of business impact should be considered. Digital marketing and specifically SEO are critical aspects of any major site platform upgrade, such as an SSL migration. This checklist should put you on the path towards success. Contact us with any questions or for assistance with your site’s SEO, SEM, analytics or any other digital marketing (DM) need.

For more information on this topic or others related to NetSuite, contact RSM at netsuite@rsmus.com or by phone at 855.437.7202.

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