This article was written by Chloe Smith, a cycling enthusiast, business consultant and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice.
We all browse the internet every day in search for information, products or services.
Mostly we type certain keywords, but sometimes we’re provided with links with that mysterious ‘https’ at the beginning.
Have you ever asked yourself what HTTPS really means?
This abbreviation stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and the most important word here is Secure.
That letter S is actually SSL, again an abbreviation, which means Secure Sockets Layer. It’s a technology that encrypts your connection to a website so hackers couldn’t intercept any of your data.
Okay, but what exactly all that means, why is it so important, and, first of all, why do you need it for your website?
1. Secure from who?
If your website has a login button for the entrance, the login data is being exchanged between the browser and your website every time a customer logs in.
When that exchange happens, some third party may be eavesdropping and get access to a number of your and your client’s information. But if you have HTTPS then that transaction will be encrypted and all the information will be safe.
That’s way HTTPS is important, especially if you accept online payments on your site.
2. Your customers need trust.
Most of the users don’t buy anything anymore on the websites that don’t have the green padlock before the site’s name.
In numbers, less than 3% of users still shop on the websites that don’t have HTTPS, because that means your site is not 100% secure.
If you don’t have this kind of security you not only risk payment information of your users, but you’re also destroying your business. Just ask yourself if you’d buy something from the website that you can’t completely trust.
3. You will be marked.
If your website doesn’t have HTTPS and accepts payments online, Chrome will start tagging it as ‘not secure’.
You won’t have that pleasant green padlock, instead, you will have a broken red one.
If there are so little people left shopping on websites without HTTPS now, how much more will go aways if they start getting this ‘not secure’ warning?
That warning will be like a black flag on a pirate ship that screams ‘danger’ and all your customers will run away to your competition.
4. Overthrown by competition.
It’s not just the matter of customer judgment, but you’ll also be judged by machines. Search engines, to be exact.
All reputable SEO Experts will tell you that the future of your business depends on this method of security.
Google officially mentioned that websites who have HTTPS have better preferences than those who don’t have it. If you and your competitor have equally good and functional websites, he will always have a better SEO ranking because it has HTTPS.
5. You need to adapt.
Today the usage of mobile phones has reached the point when most of the browsing and transactions on the web go through them. Soon Google will start indexing mobile pages because that’s where the most of the traffic is.
They will probably rank search results according to mobile pages of the website. The speed of loading of a website will be a critical factor for that process of ranking.
AMP is the technology that allows pages to load instantly on mobile devices. So websites that have enabled Accelerated Mobile Pages will be better ranked than those who haven’t.
The thing is that AMP requires HTTPS, so basically HTTPS will soon be a must have if you want to keep your SEO contacts an remain in the business.
Be safe and smart.
HTTPS is slightly expensive, especially if you have a number of sub domains on your website. That’s why is important that you first do a research whether your site needs it or not.
Just have in mind that lots of reasons for HTTPS are tightly connected for your performance, so pay close attention what they mean for you.
To sum up, it’s definitely worth your money and effort. Today nothing is more important than safety and security of your client. After all, the clients are those who keep your business alive.
Besides that, as you could see, HTTPS provides a lot of benefits for SEO and its importance is growing day by day.