What difference does having an HTTPS website really make when it comes to a small business? To answer this question, let’s start by talking about what exactly HTTPS is.
HTTPS stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure and it is the secure version of HTTP. It is secure because it uses an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate.
HTTPS is encrypted to ensure a secure data transfer, the SSL certificate is what encrypts HTTP. Without HTTPS, personal information is not secure or private. Anyone who has gained access on the network can view any information entered through that website. Login credentials and banking information can be seen with only HTTP. However, with HTTPS, that information is encrypted and becomes a strand of random letters and numbers. No personal information can be taken from the encryption.
What information looks like with HTTP:
This is what anyone on the network sees.
What information looks like with HTTPS:
Why you should switch to HTTPS from HTTP:
1 – Improve your SEO.
Having foundational SEO elements in place on your website is recommended to rank high on Google. This includes having a secure (HTTPS) website. A new MOZ study says that roughly 98% of Google’s page one results are HTTPS.
Image Source: https://moz.com
HTTPS wasn’t a Google ranking factor until it was used by Chrome to ratchet up the security warnings, block non-secure digital assets, and essentially break sites. Proof of this can be found below:
Image Source: https://moz.com
Changing your site from HTTP to HTTPS probably won’t make you jump to the top of search, that would take an entire SEO strategy, but it could definitely make a difference in your ranking.
2 – Avoid getting marketed as not secure.
Since 2018, Google Chrome has been marking all HTTP websites as not secure. According to this study, it takes .05 seconds for web users to form an opinion about your site. Most potential customers will automatically lose trust in your brand when the first thing they see is that your website is not secure, thinking you don’t care about keeping their personal information concealed. Not only will you be missing potential sales by customers not feeling comfortable putting in their personal information, they may not even stay on your site long enough to see what you have to offer.
3 – Keep up with trends in the digital space.
Year over year, more people are spending more time on HTTPS websites. According to Google’s transparency report, HTTPS connections on both mobile and desktop are becoming more prevalent. Desktop users are spending two-thirds of their time on HTTPS websites and loading over half of the pages they view over HTTPS. A study by W3Techs states that 68.8% of all websites are using HTTPS.
Image Source: https://transparencyreport.google.com
Making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS will instill a new sense of security and trust into your potential customers. Not only will you rank higher in search, but you may also make a few more sales.