Does Your Website Really Need HTTPS? Hint: YES!
Back in 2014, Google first announced the push for all websites to move to HTTPS so it quickly became an important topic amongst website SEO companies. The reason for this, is they are awesome, and want to make a safer place for us all to browse! Since then, they have been rolling out changes to the Chrome browser, to encourage everyone to make the switch.
Most of you will have noticed by now, a lot of websites you visit, will get the little green padlock to the left of your address bar:
That’s telling you the website is HTTPS, and therefore, a secure site. In our digital age, where almost everything we do is online, consumers will become more focused on this green padlock, and all that it stands for. Thus, if you don’t have it, your leaving yourself behind the eight ball, so to speak.
Last year on this blog, we explained that Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a way to make your website more secure. Put simply, HTTP is the protocol over which data is exchanged between the browser and a website. The ‘S’ at the end stands for ‘Secure’, and means the data is being encrypted during this exchange, preventing any third party from listening in, or stealing personal information.
Since the initial announcement back in 2014, we have been recommending everyone transfer their websites over to HTTPS as soon as practical. Fast forward to August 2017, and the next phase of Google’s encouragement has been rolled out. In August, Google sent out the below message via their Google Search Console:
So, if you dig in your heels and do nothing, from October 2017, this ugly unsecure message will pop up in the Chrome browser, next to your website:
It only gets worse from here, eventually, it will be a big, red X. For anyone who has the option for customers to fill out their personal details or other info, seeing a big fat “not secure” is not going to instil a lot of confidence in your site.
Main Reasons You Should Move
At this point, it’s safe to assume it’s not a case of ‘if’ you move your website, but rather ‘when’. It will certainly pay for you to get ahead of the curve, so here a few of the major reasons why you should conduct a website SEO audit move now, rather than later.
- Added Security for Your Website
We hear horror stories everyday about websites being hacked and people’s personal details being stolen. Data sent via HTTPS is encrypted, preventing others from listening in or stealing information. Why wouldn’t you want to add this extra layer of security, to one of your most important assets, your website!
- Ranking Factor
Google announced back in 2014, that moving to HTTPS will give you a minor ranking boost (so Google are more likely to give you a favourable ranking). This will inevitably become a larger factor moving forward, so may as well take advantage of this now!
- Consumer Trust
Online consumers are a switched on bunch these days, so it’s important your customers have confidence in your website and its online security. The big green SECURE padlock is going to help you achieve this. If you don’t have it, and a competitor does, consumers will certainly move to the safer option.
So How do You do it?
There are plenty of tips and tricks out there, on the best way to make the migration. The first step is to talk to your developer about the best way to move forward. SEO Tip: Make sure you keep an eye on your traffic and rankings throughout the process, to ensure a smooth transition.
White Chalk Road have helped many of our clients manage the migration process from an SEO perspective. Contact our team today for some expert advice.
By Sarah Green.
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Sarah has more than 15 years’ experience in media and marketing, having worked in both Perth and Asia in the search marketing, media intelligence and content marketing industries. She has worked with some of the most well-known brands in WA along with many of the largest state government departments. Sarah has a BA in Mass Communications from Murdoch University, focussed on Marketing & Public Relations. She is also a Google Ads and Google Analytics accredited professional.
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