If your site is still using “HTTP” in your domain name, instead of “HTTPS”, and has a “not secure” warning like the one below in your browsers, Google has put you on alert.
This icon now appears in the Chrome browser for any website which has not yet installed an HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) encrypted connection and SSL Certificate. It’s Google’s way of “naming and shaming” website owners who have not yet adopted SSL certificates on their website and serves as a dire warning for your web visitors – and potential customers to stay away and not make a purchase, or even enter any personal information into forms on your site. And with hacking of personal information at an all-time high, up to 82% of consumers are heeding the “Not Secure” warning.
If you still don’t have HTTPS on your website, here’s three important reasons why you need to make the switch.
1. Security Benefits
If your site contains any online forms, and you still do not have an SSL certificate, the warning on your website will persist whenever someone visits and may serve to repel potential customers who will (rightly) worry about the safety and privacy of their information being intercepted. SSL certificates help secure the transmission of information clients are entering into your form, protecting their privacy, as well as decreasing your liability for their data being breached.
There are many security benefits to having an SSL and if you are collecting any information on your site—whether it be payment, confidential financial information, or simply contact details from visitors on an online form. When transferring information over a non-secure, HTTP connection, all communication is sent as plain text that could potentially be viewed or modified by a hacker, or really any interested third-party. A secure, encrypted connection prevents third parties from stealing that unencrypted information about users, and also prevents them from modifying the information your server is sending to the visitor’s browser.
For more on how HTTPS encryption technology works, check out this video.
When it comes to ranking your site higher on Google search results, HTTPS can now make all the difference. If you and a competitor business are battling it out for a prime search keyword position, having https instead of http before the www. in your domain will mean Google will now rank the more secure site higher through its search algorithm.
This was confirmed by Google’s Gary Illyes, who told Bruce Clay in 2015 that when two web pages are otherwise equal, the search engine prefers HTTPS sites, pushing the secure domain higher in the page ranks.
This essentially means that if your site and another site are comparable and competitng for top Google ranking for a certain keyword, the addition of HTTPS in your domain could be enough to give you the edge and secure the top spot on the search engine’s first page.
3. Customer Trust Factor and Perception
There’s no denying it. The general public, including your own web visitors, customers and leads, are more privacy cautious and aware than ever before when it comes to sharing their information on the internet.
Just think of the number of friends you have who now stay away from social media or the many news stories we read, on an almost daily basis, of data breaches at large companies. As digital marketers, we want website visitors to feel safe and we want their information to actually be safe. With security in the forefront of consumers’ minds, seeing an unsecure HTTP in the browser may be enough to deter a new lead from sharing their information with you. With so many websites now having HTTPS, the ones that are still lagging behind will stand out in a negative way and look outdated. Your customer may wonder, “if they can’t be bothered keeping my information secure, what else are they dropping the ball on?” If your website is giving a security warning, it may also make your potential clients question the quality of your actual products and services as well. Good security is good for business.
Ready to Get SSL for Your Site?
We’ve installed SSL on our client websites and can help you too!
Contact us for our turn key SSL certificate installation service, available whether you host with us or have your own hosting.
Our SSL Certificate service includes:
• SSL Certificate
• Installation to your server
• Setting up domain redirects from HTTP to HTTPS so you don’t lose any SEO ranking with the domain switch.