5 reasons to get HTTPS ready today

What is HTTPS?

Every day we see the letters HTTP at the start of web addresses and links. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, but simply put, HTTP defines the method by which all text, photos, and cat videos are delivered to your screen from the world wide web.

Green padlock icon in Firefox browser
Firefox’s “green padlock” icon

So what the heck is HTTPS? It’s very similar to HTTP, but all communications are securely encrypted. That little S stands for Secure and it carries a lot of weight. I bet you wouldn’t send your credit card details without seeing that one letter, right?

In the wake of several high profile corporate hacks, social media data leaks, and government espionage scandals, the general public have become much more sensitive to online security. Now is the perfect time to upgrade the security of your website with HTTPS, and improve your customers’ experience. Here are 5 reasons to get HTTPS ready today:

1. Google Chrome is scaring your customers

Red Not Secure label added to URL
Chrome 70’s treatment of standard HTTP pages

The world’s most popular browser accounts for approximately 60% of our clients’ traffic. At time of writing (September 2018), Google Chrome already has a subtle “Not Secure” warning, but with the release of Chrome 70 in October 2018, that warning will suddenly become more eye catching.

This will scare consumers, hurt conversions, and damage your brand.

padlock with heart2. Protecting data is good for business

According to a study by IBM, 75 percent of consumers will not buy a product from a company – no matter how great the products are – if they don’t trust the company to protect their data.

HTTPS protects your customers’ data using encryption, and businesses that demonstrate a commitment to security will earn the trust and loyalty of consumers.

3. Confirmed SEO boost

White dog running fast in green field

Google isn’t in the business of revealing how its algorithm works, but one of the few confirmed ranking factors is whether your site uses HTTPS or not. If your competitors are using HTTPS, you have to work harder to beat them out in Google.

4. 70% faster load time

This benefit isn’t touted as often, but HTTPS uses a state of the art connection, whereas standard HTTP spends more time in the slow lane. The result is up to 70% faster load times, happier customers, and better search rankings. Yes, another confirmed Google ranking factor is page load speed.

5. Better data in Google Analytics

Since HTTPS traffic is encrypted, any visitor coming to your HTTP site from a HTTPS website will have the referral data scrubbed for privacy reasons. This traffic ends up being mislabeled as a “Direct” visit in your Google Analytics.

Graphic showing how HTTPS traffic coming to your HTTP website will lose the referral date
When visitors are referred by another website they bring useful marketing data with them. Your website Analytics software will not be able to read this data if your website is not HTTPS-enabled.

The result: TripAdvisor stats? Gone. Yelp stats? Gone. Once you lose this data it gets really hard to calculate your return on investment for these critical online marketing channels. Consider this too: as more websites move to HTTPS, your data is getting less trustworthy every day. Clean data empowers you to make better business decisions.

I’ve read enough. Help get my business website setup with HTTPS now.

So what does HTTPS require?

Short answer – you need a valid SSL Security Certificate.

An SSL Security Certificate contains information about your company like your website and business address. An independent third-party Certification Authority validates this information and issues your SSL Certificate, along with unique cryptographic keys. Every time somebody visits your website, your SSL Certificate is cross-checked. If it passes, then all communications between your website and the visitor are securely encrypted with those special keys.

Where should I begin?

The best place to start a conversation about going HTTPS is with your web developer or web host.

Although obtaining a valid SSL is not as complicated as it sounds, proper installation of an SSL Security Certificate is a complex technical undertaking. Successful installation requires site-wide database changes, the issuance of proper 301 redirects, re-validation of your website in search engines, and updating your settings on third party services.

If something goes wrong you may experience a loss of search engine rankings, database corruption and even website down-time. That’s why we’ve developed a 30+ point checklist for successful SSL installation and HTTPS migration.

Call us at (508) 694-7126 and tell us you want to get HTTPS ready today.

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