Why Does HTTPS Matter?
Do you know the difference between an HTTP and an HTTPS? While Google have been using secure connections as a signal in their ranking algorithms for 4 years now, many are still unaware of the advantages of an HTTPS site.
Since July last year, Google has also marked HTTP sites in Chrome “not secure”, making it more important than ever for businesses to encrypt their site. Despite this, a recent survey revealed that only 47% of respondents “knew roughly what the warning meant”, with only 46% of people stating that they would not enter their full name or financial information into a site that did not feature the green padlock. A further 64% admitted that they would “instantly” leave a site if it was not secure. Other common concerns included viruses, fakes sites and unreliable information.
Following this alarming data, here at Absolute Digital Media, we’re taking a closer look at what HTTPS is and why it matters.
What Is HTTPS?
While you are probably familiar with the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) part of a URL, you may not be as aware of HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). Websites with HTTPS are equipped with a protocol known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) which encrypts information being transmitted between the website and user’s computer. In short, this means that if an attacker was to intercept this information, they would not be able to access or alter it in any way.
What Is An SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate better known as a Secure Sockets Layer authenticates the identity of a website to help reassure customers that they are safe when visiting or purchasing from your website. When a website has an SSL Certificate installed, a green padlock will be displayed at the top of the search engine.
Why Your Site Should Be HTTPS
There are several reasons why you should switch to HTTPS from the ability to boost your Google rankings, to increasing the security of your website:
With more than 40% of the sites featured on the first page of Google being HTTPS, it’s clear that Google wants to make sure that their users have the best and most secure experience. If your site is not secure, it could be at risk of being outranked by sites that are secure, including your competitors.
In a recent blog post, Google stated that: “We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.”
“For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content— while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
In addition to increasing your Google rankings, HTTPS of course improves the security of your site. With a cyber-attack occurring every 39 seconds and 43% of those attacks targeting small business, it is crucial to ensure that the security of your site is continuously monitored.
In a bid to improve user experience, Google is updating their labeling for HTTP sites in Chrome’s URL bar. HTTP sites are simply marked with a gray information symbol that informs the user that the site they want to visit is not secure. However, Google is planning to change this.
The search engine giant has warned that they are planning on marking all HTTP with a red triangle alongside a “Not Secure” label to ensure that users are aware that the site they are visiting isn’t secure.
Another advantage of ensuring that your site is HTTPS is the opportunity to increase conversions. Even though several users won’t understand the technicalities of secure connections, they do know one thing: HTTPS is vital when submitting personal information online. While there is already a great gap in conversion rates between HTTPS and HTTP sites, this is likely to expand after Google has updated its HTTP labelling, which is predicted to potentially cause chaos for all businesses.
With Google updating its labelling system, it is likely that more users will think carefully before clicking onto a site and submitting their personal details such as their telephone number and address online. However, by ensuring that your site is HTTPS you can not only ensure that your site provides a secure connection, but your customers can have trust in your brand. Increased customer confidence also goes in hand with customer loyalty, enabling you to improve retention and boost sales.
For more information about the digital marketing services that we provide, get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0800 088 6000, today.