Until recently, having a secure website with HTTPS wasn’t a priority of every business online. However, times are changing, and Google is making sure that companies follow its recommendations regarding privacy protection.
It’s essential for all business website owners to be up to date with the situation. To that effect, let’s recap the changes Google has been making recently, as well as take a look at the importance of HTTPS.
What Is HTTPS?
Every website’s address begins with either “http:” or “https.” The latter means that your website is secure — all the data you’re receiving from that website or sending to it is encrypted. The “s” in “https:” stands for “secure.”
This kind of security is crucial for privacy protection on websites where users are required to input sensitive data. It is why HTTPS was at first primarily recommended for sites handling credit card information of the users. But, thanks to Google, implementing HTTPS has become more important — so much so that all businesses should do it now.
Google Updates and HTTPS Requirements
Google puts a lot of stock into website credibility, and that has been reflected through their treatment of HTTPS. In August 2014, HTTPS became a ranking factor, which sent a clear signal that it will become more critical in the future. However, many marketers and web developers still argued that HTTPS is only necessary for e-commerce websites.
So, Google doubled down and decided that offering incentives to implement HTTPS wasn’t enough. In late 2017, they announced that all websites without HTTPS would be marked with “not secure” in the user’s browser. Their recent deployment of Chrome 68 made that happen. Now website owners need to amp up their cybersecurity if they don’t want to make their website visitors feel uneasy.
Benefits of HTTPS
One of the most obvious benefits of implementing HTTPS is creating trust with your website. The little green padlock with the word “secure” next to it instantly adds credibility and alleviates potential privacy protection concerns. But there are more — as I mentioned previously, HTTPS has become a ranking factor, and it might be a stronger one than anyone thinks. Additionally, HTTPS can boost your conversion rates, as it directly affects how much your customers can trust you.
Reducing Cybersecurity Threats
Another positive consequence of using HTTPS is peace of mind. HTTPS is a welcome layer of protection against cyber attacks which are getting more frequent and more dangerous. If you don’t have a secure website, a hacker can break into it and see all the sensitive information displayed as plain text. It is why encryption is such a welcome addition to your cybersecurity strategy. Creating trust with your website instantly becomes an easier and more straightforward process.
Now that you understand the importance of HTTPS in improving your website credibility and ranking, you can take the necessary steps to implement it. However, implementation can be a little complicated. To save yourself some time and frustration, it might be best to talk to a professional.
These factors can significantly contribute to the success of your digital marketing strategy. Contact me to discuss how I can help with your digital marketing and website overhaul needs, including HTTPS implementation.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.