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Do I need an SSL certificate for my website? This is a common question coming from business owners looking to drive more business through their website. Let’s talk about what HTTPS is before we get into the benefits of enabling it on your site. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure and is the secure version of HTTP. The extra “S” stands for Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Essentially this “layer” can be looked at like a protective encrypted coating for messaging between the user and website, keeping information more safe from people who would hack and intrude into your site for the purpose of stealing such information. If you haven’t thought about making the switch before, here are 3 benefits of HTTPS.

1. It’s good for your search engine visibility

Search results are not stagnant it’s like the most epic online marketing tug of war that is ongoing every second of every day and things are ever changing. But lets say we live in a hypothetical world where two competitors are exactly equal in terms of their site except that one has HTTPS enabled. The https site with an SSL certificate is going to have more of an edge over the other site as it is rewarded by search engine algorithms. Google and other search engines want to ensure great user experience as it also keeps people using their services.

2. It protects your users

Security for your users is important. We have all heard stories at one time or another about a website being hacked and customer’s information being allegedly stolen and sold on. HTTPS can help protect your users privacy. This is especially important if you are collecting any personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and also banking details. Unprotected messages between your site and users can be tampered with by intruders, even tricking a user into giving over information that they shouldn’t, which creates issues. Consider switching to HTTPS to minimise this risk.

HTTPS can help protect your users privacy

3. “Not Secure” warnings

In 2017 Google sent emails to webmasters warning that Chrome would show a not secure warning in the address bar. For users who are not aware that this is because the site doesn’t use HTTPS, it can sometimes be a turnoff for them when browsing your site even when they’re not inputting any personal details. However, at this stage it is ALWAYS a turnoff for web browsers. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari are some of the most popular browsing platforms and they are all making moves towards rewarding HTTPS over HTTP sites and making more of an effort for non-secure sites to be clearly identifiable when browsing.
This is what users may see when they visit;

A non secure (HTTP) site via Google Chrome

Chrome Website Not Secure Warning

A secure site (HTTPS) via Google Chrome

Secure Website Image

A non secure site (HTTP) via Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Connection Not Secure Warning

Image credit Mozilla

These are a few examples of what browsers are incorporating for their users and there is no doubt in future they will work to make this more clear and obvious so that users are always aware of whether the site they visit is secure.

As with any site changes and http to https migrations it’s important to work with digital marketing, website development and search engine optimization experts to ensure you minimize any disruptions to your site and sales. Don’t take chances that could cause you issues. Get in touch with our SEO agency for a no obligation discussion about how we can work with you on your website and online marketing.