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4 Reasons Why You Should Switch to HTTPS

By Lydia Barley

As you may have already seen, within the past few months Google has begun cracking down on non-HTTPS sites. Not only affecting their SEO rankings but more recently, in July 2018, along with the release of Chrome 68, the marking of all HTTP sites as ‘not secure’. All these recent changes show Google’s preference for HTTPS sites and therefore public acceptance of HTTPS is also becoming increasingly common.

However, not all sites are HTTPS, yet. And many non-HTTP sites are being told to make that switch to HTTPS. We recognise that making that switch to HTTPS is a big decision, and not all website owners truly comprehend what HTTPS is and why they should make the switch, making them reluctant to make the switch. So, in this blog post, we clear things up a bit and discuss 4 reasons why you should switch to HTTPS.

What is HTTPS?

Firstly, for those who aren’t familiar with HTTPS we thought we should explain what HTTPS is. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, also known as HTTP Secure, and most commonly known by it’s acronym HTTPS is an extension of HTTP. HTTP is the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are on.

The ‘secure’ part of HTTPS means that all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. Protecting all information and data that is exchanged during interaction with that website. Historically HTTPS was primarily recognised as important for sites where highly confidential information is stored or transactions take place, such as online banking and online shopping purchases. However more recently HTTPS is taking on a more widespread view, being recognised as important for all websites to have.

woman online shopping

1. Secure your website

The most obvious reason for switching to HTTPS is to secure your website. Securing your website keeps any data collected from users safe and secure. It keeps both you and your users safe, protecting any confidential information they share with you and reducing the risk that you’ll be attacked by online hackers.

 2. SEO benefits

HTTPS is a ranking signal. It first became a weak ranking signal in 2014. For the past few years however Google has strongly advocated sites that adopt HTTPS, hinting that the strength of HTTPS as a ranking signal will increase.

Google’s primary aim with their algorithm is to make sure that each user has the best user experience. Therefore, it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want to send searchers to insecure sites.

HTTPS may just be that one factor that pushes you above your competitors. So even for SEO benefit alone, it’s worth making the switch.

man on computer showing graph seo results

3. Increased customer confidence

As mentioned in our previous blog post, 5 website must haves for an excellent user experience, there is nothing more fear instilling than a ‘not secure’ message a website. When visiting a page that says ‘not secure’ or ‘your connection is not private’, users suddenly have a plague of paranoid thoughts: Is my computer now compromised? Does this site have viruses? Will I get a virus? Will they steal my data? The list is never ending.

unsecure-website

Seeing as building trust is essential in driving sales, any changes that you can make to instil trust in your users is a change worth making. By instilling this trust users are more likely to stay on your site and become a customer. In contrast, without this trust, users are likely to click off your site immediately, hopping onto a competitors site.

4. Increased conversions

Following on from our previous point of increased customer confidence, increased confidence increases the likelihood of that user to convert. Due to the extra confidence that HTTPS sites bring to users, HTTPS websites are more likely to convert. Bringing in more sales for your and your business. Making the switch to HTTPS a worthy investment.

woman on floor on laptop

Already have HTTPS?

While it’s great that you already have HTTPS set up, you need to ensure that it is fully integrated into your website. If not, you may not be getting the most out of it. If your HTTPS is not installed and integrated with your website, search engines will see your website as though you don’t have HTTPS, preventing you from gaining the SEO benefits that HTTPS brings.

You can check this by manually entering HTTPS into the address bar. If the SERPS show that you do not have HTTPS set up, but you can manually enter HTTPS into the address bar, there is a SSL certificate on your server but it is not installed and integrated with the website. If this is the case, get in touch with your web developer who can assist you in integrating HTTPS with your website.

So, there are 4 reasons why you should make the switch to HTTPS. If you want to stay strong in SEO, user experience and conversions, HTTPS is crucial. Hence, why it’s an investment worth making.