The Importance of Using HTTPS

Internet users are looking for security when they surf the web. They’re looking for a secure user experience where their personal information is protected. One of the strongest indicators of a secure connection is a site using HTTPS encryption.

Privacy and security in a digital age is on the minds of so many people, especially when using their computer or mobile devices for online shopping. But is there any real benefit besides online safety and trust? Leave it to Google to sweeten the pot with a resounding YES. If you’re a brand with a website, ensuring that your site is using HTTPS is a wise decision.

Aside from the obvious security benefits, Google considers it a ranking signal for websites implementing this sort of encrypted connection.

Every online business wants to rank high within search results. Some try to outsmart search engines (which is never a good idea), while others invest in SEO to give them the upper hand. In either case, internet safety is always the #1 concern. So is HTTPS the right choice for you?

Do I Need An HTTPS Website?

This question really depends on the nature of your website. If you have a domain where visitors are entering personal information, credit card details, or any other identifiable data- then yes. If you have a site dedicated to bird watching, your collection of cars, or pictures of your dog Fido when he was 1 year old then probably not. Don’t get me wrong. You still may want that extra layer of protection anyway. Plus as I mentioned before, it’s a ranking signal.

Google’s algorithms communicate with each other on a daily basis, including with their machine learning artificial intelligence. Are you scared yet? Well don’t be. HTTPS is there to protect you. And if a website is secure, that’s part of making the user experience more enjoyable with an extra sense of peace of mind.

There is a real-time difference between HTTP and HTTPS. It’s called security and trust. But what is that ‘S’ doing at the end of the HTTP? Why, keeping you safe of course. The S stands for SSL or “secure sockets layer”. Basically, SSL is the gears behind HTTPS.

By definition:
“SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.”

When using a browser and you come across a secure site, the browser seeks out an SSL Certificate. Once that has been verified, the information between you and the site you’re on becomes encrypted or private.

Top 5 Reasons To Use HTTPS

Here are 5 reasons why switching your website over to HTTPS can benefit you:

1. SEO, baby! That’s right. Besides the aforementioned benefit of security, there’s also a level of trust and speed. If a search engine has ranked two or more websites equally, it must determine which site to position first. And since Google is focused on the user, privacy is its main concern. So if there is a site that’s set to HTTP and another is HTTPS, there’s a high probability that the HTTPS will be positioned higher than the non-secure site.

Fun Fact: Page 1 of the search results have HTTPS websites that show up higher and more frequently than HTTP. This isn’t by accident.

Give it a try! Type in any random search query such as “land lenders in florida” or “land loans in Texas”. Try searching for “custom made t-shirts in pennsylvania” or “patent prosecution”. The vast majority of the time, secure websites show up first.

So you may want to consider switching to HTTPS if you don’t have a secure connection by now.

2. Speed & Mobile Indexing work hand in hand. Ever since it was announced that Google would be directing more of their attention to mobile indexing, things started to change. It was only a matter of time before it became obvious that HTTPS sites would be the preferred first results. Technically, secure sites are faster than standard HTTP on mobile devices.

Page load speed has been a ranking factor for many years now. The slower a site loads, the user experience becomes affected. Algorithms are programmed to understand this, and evaluate a site initially based off that speed.

If you want some of your content to load lightning fast, then your site needs to be AMP ready or Accelerated Mobile Pages ready. Here’s the catch…a properly functioning AMP page requires an SSL. This makes sense since mobile indexing is happening now and it’s all about the speed of information.

3. Trust in a website is a large reason to switch to HTTPS. Online shopping sales forecasts continue to skyrocket revealing more customers are making online transactions. In this case, it’s more psychological than anything else. If a visitor lands on a page and really likes a certain product, seeing a closed green padlock strengthens that trust.

Imagine wanting to buy a product online and you’ve been shopping around. You find a few spots that have the same item you’ve been craving! Most people, including yourself, are more apt to complete a transaction when a green padlock is visible at the top of the browser.

Building trust online is part of building consumer confidence.

4. A Boost in Page Rank is one of the best reasons to switch over to a secure site. As mentioned earlier, Google will give a small boost in rankings to businesses having a secure site. Remember…it’s all about the user. So a domain that’s secure improves the user experience and gains an increase in page rank.

5. Did someone say FREE? You can get a free SSL for your shiny new site or if you’re redesigning your old website. When was the last time something free felt so safe?

Two places to visit for more information are:
https://letsencrypt.org/
https://www.cloudflare.com/

HTTPS is Safety First

Remember that saying when you were younger: Safety First? Well it looks like now is a better time than any to practice it. With the rise of hackers and millions of sites being attacked by automated malware injection attempts – is it worth the risk not to have a secure site?

Contact the digital experts at Creative MMS when you need professional website designers to build a responsive website that’s perfect for mobile devices. And don’t forget to ask how you can be the most secure kid on the block with an SSL Certificate.