The competition in the online business space is at fever pitch and the biggest concern for many online businesses is how to stay ahead of the competition. If you are in that place, adding the letter S to the HTTP of your business website may be the answer. It may not seem like much but that letter carries more weight than you can imagine.
HTTP is short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The extra ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. In essence, communication over HTTPS, unlike over HTTP, is secured. This is achieved through the data encryption protocol of an SSL certificate.
There are several reasons why you should add HTTPS to your local business website. Here are the most important points:
Higher Google Ranking
A HTTPS website will achieve a better ranking in Google search results. All online businesses work towards a high Google ranking because it means increased visibility, more traffic to their website and ultimately, higher revenue.
In a bid to improve user experience, which also includes a secure experience, Google introduced a signal in their algorithm in 2014 to give a slight ranking advantage to HTTPS websites. The signal was strengthened in 2015 to give a HTTPS website an edge in cases where two websites tie as far as all ranking considerations are concerned.
Currently, HTTPS websites make up to about 40% of Google search results that appear on the first page. This is despite the fact that only about 1% of all websites are believed to be HTTPS secured. This should not be taken to mean that HTTPS alone accounts for the whole 40%. There could be other facets of search engine optimization (SEO) in play. However, it is clear that HTTPS ranking boost is increasingly taking center stage in Google rankings.
The primary role of HTTPS is to provide internet security. A higher ranking on Google is the icing on the cake.
An SSL certificate secures your business website by encrypting data transmission between the browser of a client and server. This effectively locks out a hacker that may want to intercept any data in the network. Another threat that an SSL certificate can thwart is a phishing scam. A hacker may create a replica of your website and lure your customers to it via phishing emails and steal their data. If your website is SSL secured, your customer will have a way to distinguish it from a fake.
SSL certificates are a must have for all websites handling sensitive data like credit information. However, you should have some form of encryption even if no financial transactions happen over your website. A hacker can keep tabs on your online behavior and steal your identity.
The large variety of SSL certificates in the market can complicate the selection process. Important factors that should guide you are, the level of encryption your website requires, the number of domains, subdomains or multiple domains to secure, and whether or not you need a certificate that will also verify your identity. You can get your certificate from ClickSSL, a reliable SSL provider that stocks a dynamic range of SSL certificates from some of the world’s best certificate authorities (CAs) at surprisingly low prices.
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Higher Conversion Rates
It is one thing to drive traffic to your website and another to turn those visitors into buyers. The aim of every online entrepreneur is to convert as many visitors as possible into buyers. Many online buyers are aware of the threat posed by cyber criminals and need an assurance that their information is not at risk. According to a survey by GlobalSign, a top certificate authority, about 84% of online buyers would cancel a purchase if they realize that they are on an insecure website. Another study by Blue Fountain Media, a digital marketing agency showed that using an SSL certificate increased sales by 42%. Visual clues such as a padlock are embedded in HTTPS secured websites indicate that your website is secured and information is safe thus it can help to boost customer confidence.
Increased Average Transaction Value
Apart from the conversion rate, another key performance indicator of business website is the average transaction value, that is, the average value of each sale made. The higher this value is, the greater your revenue. For an online buyer, the fear of being scammed increases with the amount of money to be transacted. This means that buyers with security concerned about of a website will avoid to do shopping online. On the other hands, buyers will be more willing to spend more in a transaction over a secure website.
Updated Browser Labels
As highlighted before, Google is concerned about online security. In line with this concern is a push to update their labeling for insecure (HTTP) websites accessed via their search engine Google Chrome to provide better security warnings. In the beginning of the July 2018, google chrome browser will display symbol ‘non secure’ for all non http website which will become one of the factor for bad website reputation, losing of customner’s trust for the any business website whether it is local or worldwide. So to enable https ASAP is beneficial for any non http website as HTTPS secured websites are labeled ‘Secure’.
All online businesses that accept credit card information are mandated to meet PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance. This includes securing their websites via an SSL certificate with 128-bit encryption at the least.If your website falls into this category, HTTPS is necessary for accepting payments.
In summary, you also stand to enjoy a myriad of benefits other than web security if you make the switch to a HTTPS website. There is more traffic to your website because your search engine visibility is enhanced; the enhanced customer confidence boosts your revenue through a higher conversion rate and a higher average transaction value, and a certificate that can verify your identity will help build your brand in the market.