In 2014, Google started awarding websites that use HTTPS with a minor bump in their search rankings. At that time, only eCommerce websites were adhering to this rule, especially since they were handling their customer’s sensitive information. But in recent years, more and more websites are switching over from HTTP to HTTPS. If you are a website owner and are thinking of making the switch, this article will quickly explain what HTTPS and why it is a good reason to make your website one.
What is it?
HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol. This is the protocol that allows different systems to communicate over the internet. By using a secure version called HTTPS, where the “S” stands for secure, the site uses an SSL certificate that creates the secure encrypted connection between your web browser and the webserver. Why is it a good idea to use an encrypted connection?
#1 – Keep your data private
If you are transferring data over HTTP connection, data is transmitted over an unsecured connection. This means that anyone who views the information transferred will be able to see your password and login details. In contrast, HTTPS transfers data over an encrypted connection. This means that even the smallest of data is protected against hackers and potential misuse. This is very important especially for eCommerce websites wherein a customer’s payment information is taken. Misuse of your customer’s information will not only be a catastrophe for your website but for the entire business itself. Thus, HTTPS will protect your from possible security breaches.
#2 – Increased security for your website visitors
An unsecured site will drive users away. Upon entering an unsecured website, a warning page will appear telling them that the website they are trying to visit has a potential threat. Users will be running in the opposite direction when this happens. Loss of website traffic will mean a loss of revenue and will certainly hurt your business. In contrast, having a secure website is going to help you build trust with your customers, helping you capture new leads and close out sales. Using a secure connection will provide a seamless experience to your customers.
#3 – SEO purposes
As mentioned on the beginning of the article, websites that use an encrypted connection are awarded by Google with a minor bump in SEO rankings. Google is all about its user’s safety while browsing the internet. When a user searches for something, it will display first the websites that use HTTPS rather than those websites that do not. In addition, users, themselves, will most likely visit and revisit websites that they know are secure. Additionally, using HTTPS will allow you to use Google Analytics more effectively as the referral sources are saved for you.
Without a doubt, using HTTPS is advantageous for your website and your business. Luckily, Google has the Webmaster Tools which will help make the transition from HTTP to HTTPS go over smoothly. It is a bit tedious at the beginning, but surely, all efforts will be worth it.