HTTPS: To Convert or Not?
Google is undoubtedly the most powerful and widely used search engine in today’s digital landscape. And with this immense growth comes a plethora of problems: security is one of them.
Overall web security is a major priority when it comes to results that Google displays. Over the past couple of months, we’ve noticed a trend—almost 50% of results in the first page of a Google search are in HTTPS format.
Should your site convert? Before you hop on the bandwagon, let’s evaluate what switching over to HTTPS really means for your business.
So What Exactly Is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”. It’s just like HTTP but with the “S” in the end which stands for secure. With HTTPS, the protocol on which data is sent between your browser and the websites you’re visiting is altered. How so? The communication between your browser and the website is encrypted when you are browsing an HTTPS website. In short, it is a safer way to browse the internet.
What Does It Mean?
It means that more and more of Google results are becoming safer. It is projected that 65% of Page 1 Google results will be in HTTPS by the end of 2017. Many powerhouse sites have already made the switch on nearly every single one of their pages, including Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp!, and TripAdvisor among others. Some larger sites however, haven’t made the change, including Target, eBay, and WebMD.
Assumptions are being made that Google have been bumping up HTTPS sites in search results. Regardless, browsers such as Google Chrome displays warning signs when you’re headed into an unsecured website, usually HTTP pages. Warning signs like this can certainly drive away customers and potentially damage the reputation of your business. No one wants to risk their personal information online.
These warning signs are major red flags for everyone browsing the internet.
Businesses are tempted to switch their websites into HTTPS in the hopes their presence in Google’s search results. Converting to HTTPS isn’t too hard for newer websites since the cost to acquire a security certificate is fairly cheap. On the other hand, older websites would potentially require an entire site makeover which bears risks, both technically and in terms of brand image.
At the end of the day, businesses want to generate as much traffic as they could to their website and convert it into business. While on the other hand, consumers want feel more comfortable by browsing secure sites. What do you think? Are the costs and risks are worth the reward?