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Published on Tue Jul 3, 2018 by David Colbran
I expect you have heard about SSLs and even if you haven't you will have noticed the little green padlocks next to URLs on your browser and the HTTPS prefix at the start of a URL.
Perhaps you thought your site doesn't need additional security? Unfortunately changes are now happening that mean it is something to carefully consider.
Google / Chrome and other web browsers have announced that they will be increasing the way they highlight unsecure websites to site visitors. That is those sites that don't have a green padlock or a SSL certificate in place. While I don't think they are going to block unsecure sites, it will mean some people searching and more importantly potential customers, may be put off from visiting and head straight over to a competitor.
And while it’s certainly more valuable for an eCommerce website where financial information is accepted, even the most basic of websites and blogs can now benefit from implementing an SSL certificate. So get ahead of the game, future proof your website and check these benefits.
For many people online security is a top concern and having a visible way of showing this is key. For online purchases, security has always been a key factor on checkouts and for most eCommerce websites this is already a must. But security is going to become much more important in the future for ALL sites - and having the green padlock and the HTTPS prefix will soon be the norm and the easiest way to demonstrate that your business takes security seriously.
Whether you are an e-commerce business, or simply running a site to engage with potential customers, research suggests secure websites increase interaction. This is both from sales increases and also boosts to click-through measurements. For example, if someone was searching on Google for a 'London event photographer' they are more likely to click on a link that begins HTTPS, rather than an unsecure HTTP website.
Google has already stated publicly that strong HTTPS encryption for a website, is a factor within their search algorithm and therefore effects page ranking scores. So now many websites appearing on page one for a particular keyword phrase search has SSL level security and I predict this will only increase in time, becoming an established SEO factor. However HTTPS is only one ranking signal. It won’t make you suddenly rank #1 for each and every keyword or phrase. But if your website and another website tie on every other ranking measure then having HTTPS will make you rank higher.
Brian Dean’s research from analyzing 1 million search results found “that HTTPS correlated with higher rankings on Google’s first page”.
As far back as January 2017, Google started displaying security warnings to Chrome users if no valid SSL certificate is found on pages with sensitive information requested. This is primarily pages collecting information, for example credit card details, but now also includes simple contact forms as well. Other browsers, for example Safari and Firefox have followed Chrome's lead and Google has already sent out a proposal for all web browsers (‘user agents’) to begin marking websites on HTTP only as ‘non-secure’ as part of their on-going algorithm changes.
I started investigating SSLs back in 2017 and installed it on my Liverpool wedding photography business site. It was relatively simply to set up and after 6 months monitoring the page rankings and SEO measurements, it looks pretty worthwhile.
So it is something I've started rolling out and offering as an add-on to website clients. First up was Neil Spence a London based photographer. Neil trys to keep up to date with technology changes and came to me asking for advice. Most of his clients are in the commercial sector and he decided to go down the route of improved web security. We got a SSL certificate and necessary site changes completed within a couple of hours and at a very affordable price.
Here is what he had to say;
"David arranged the SSL certification for my website quickly and efficiently. Everything ran smoothly, with great communication and at a very good price."
It really looks like Google is encouraging — both with Chrome and their search engine — websites to adopt HTTPS and SSL certificates and I can only see the HTTPS adoption rate go up. However trust me, setting up HTTPS is not too complex and is something I can set up easily. It will yield results both from better rankings and an improved user experience. If you have not enabled HTTPS for your website, Google will provide more and more incentives in the future. Please get in touch for a free quotation for your site.
website, web, web, design, security, SSL, HTTPS
Author: David Colbran
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