HTTPS has been somewhat of a hot topic for a while now – and yet a large percentage of websites have still not made the transition to a secure socket layer.
Considering whether or not to convert your site to HTTPS? Here, we’ll review what HTTPS is, why it’s important for your site to convert to HTTPS, and how you can benefit from having a secure website.
What is HTTPS?
You may recognize HTTP as the beginning of a website URL. It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it’s essentially a piece of the website URL that helps individual computers to communicate with web servers.
HTTPS – or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure – is a secure version of that protocol. It makes your website safer for the users who visit and interact with it.
Why Should You Migrate Your Website to HTTPS?
There are a number of benefits to moving your site to HTTPS.
Customers have learned about website security and they tend to trust sites that are on HTTPS more – as they should. If you offer the best product but not a secure website for checkout, who knows how many sales you are losing.
You don’t want someone to bail on their purchase at the last minute when they realize that your site is not secure. This happens a lot! When consumers don’t see HTTPS or they receive a notification that the site is not secure, many of them think “Oh no! I was so close to buying that great (whatever it was) but NO WAY am I going to give them my credit card number now!” These consumers may choose to go shop for the product somewhere else – somewhere more secure.
Some customers may not even make it as far as the purchase process, as they may see a warning from their browser when they reach your homepage or another landing page informing them that the site is not secure and asking them if they would like to proceed anyway.
There’s no way to tell exactly how many customers you may have lost because of your sites lack of HTTPS, but if you don’t want your site to be passed by it’s in your best interest to migrate to the more secure protocol!
Protecting Your Customer’s Information
The customers’ information is protected when your site has that SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate.
Offering protection for your customers is another way to show you value their sale, you value the safety of their personal information, and you value your customer service offerings. Along the lines of building their trust, as noted before, customers feel more comfortable giving you their credit card information to buy your products, and are more likely to offer repeat business if they feel safe and protected on your website.
Improved Search Engine Rankings
While HTTPS was highly recommended beforehand, in 2018 Google made HTTPS an official ranking factor. This means that if your site is secure, it has a better chance of performing well in the search result rankings.
There are many other factors that influence a site’s search engine rankings but if your site has HTTPS status, Google tells the world and they rank those sites higher than ones without the ‘s.’
Google knows the value in a secure site and therefore pushes those sites to a better spot in their search. Customers and potential customers will find a secure site closer to the top of a search list than a company that doesn’t bother with HTTPS.
Faster Mobile Load Speed
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is something Google developed to help content load faster for mobile. It’s hard enough to keep people’s attention on a regular computer but if they don’t see something quickly on mobile, they abandon it – move on, look for it later, or do another search to find a website that will load faster.
If you’re publishing content that would benefit from AMP, HTTPS is a must, since in order to implement AMP Google requires a site be on HTTPS.
Avoiding the “Not Secure” Notification
Some browsers now offer alerts that tell people the site they are visiting may not be secure. In addition to customers noticing for themselves that a site is not on HTTPS, now a notification in the browser bar reminds them!
As a user, you may not be sure if there’s truly a threat with the HTTP site you’re about to visit – but with a browser pointing out that the site is not secure, you may be tempted to leave rather than proceed.
Should Everyone Switch their Website to HTTPS?
Still not sure the benefits will make migrating your site to HTTPS worth it?
What if you don’t have an e-commerce store? What if you are not collecting personal information on your site? Can’t you leave your site as HTTP?
The truth is, you can. It’s not mandatory that your site switch over to HTTPS.
However, given the benefits, moving your website over to HTTPS is highly recommended. Not doing so could put your business at a serious disadvantage.
Having a browser note “not secure” or making people second guess if your website is legitimate will not help you from a marketing perspective, and it may cause people to leave your site unnecessarily. Additionally, HTTPS gives you an SEO benefit that you’ll miss out on if you don’t hop on the bandwagon.
We suggest you change to HTTPS now to avoid any issues, make your site more secure, and allow customers and prospects to see you are the right, secure fit for them.
Ready to Migrate Your Site to HTTPS? We’re Here to Help.
Interested in learning more about transitioning your site to HTTPS? Have questions about the process or wonder if the benefits will truly put you at an advantage?
Looking for other ways to improve your website? Check out our post about other essentials for an effective website.
Wondering why your site isn’t ranking as well as it used to in Google’s search results? Explore some of the reasons why your site may have dropped, and find out what you can do about it.