If you are someone who uses the Internet on a regular basis, one thing cannot have missed your attention is HTTPS.
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If a website you are visiting does not have HTTPS, then you will see something like this:
So, what do these symbols stand for? What does HTTPS mean secure while everything else is flagged of (especially by Google as insecure).
In simple terms, the ‘s’ in HTTPS stands for Secure. HTTPS address bar is the URL of a website that is secured by an SSL certificate.
Having an HTTPS address bar can boost your website’s SEO ranking significantly, especially in Google search results.
Google, which leads the search engine market share and also as the most used web browser, Google Chrome is the go-to destination for digital marketers. Many websites and businesses rely on SEO to drive organic traffic and to generate leads out of them.
That said, putting everything in order to make your website SEO-friendly is not an option, but a must-have. HTTPS is one of the ranking signals that make it happen.
Google Chrome since its 56th build onwards started flagging websites without HTTPS as Not Secure’.
This makes switching HTTP websites to HTTPS mandatory that one cannot avoid. Here are some reasons and benefits why switching your website from HTTP to HTTPS is essential for better SEO ranking.
Why Google prefers HTTPS websites?
Google, as a user-centric brand wants to ensure users by directing them towards safe, encrypted and certified websites. HTTPS helps to encrypt the information between the user and the browser. Hence, Google has included HTTPS as a ranking signal for websites.
Studies have already proven that HTTPS does have a minor positive influence on the ranking of the website. More than one-third of Google’s first page results consists of web pages that have the “https:” protocol.
This asserts the fact that websites can no longer stay in the dark and assume HTTP is good enough to stay on top of search rankings.
But, should you install a cheap SSL certificate and get the HTTPS address bar only for SEO benefit?
Experts say NO. Because there are more benefits that an SSL certificate can bring to your business.
Builds Trust. Reduces cart abandonment
We know that Banks are getting hacked, media companies getting their digital assets hijacked and several other credit card scams are making customers rethink the use of digital payments for online purchases. They need assurance that their payments are handled with proper precautions that ensure total security.
HTTPS is only the only way to fulfill that. With the green address bar and the trust badges that are displayed in prominent locations of the website, customers can be made to trust the online store for web security.
In other words, HTTPS helps clear the cobwebs of fear that is making people hesitant of shopping online and paying for it through digital means.
How can you do that effectively?
Get Extended Validation Certificate
EV SSL certificate, unlike ordinary SSL certificates, can give the website the green address bar along with the company details like domain ownership and location.
Users can know whether the website is really the original one as it seems to be by clicking on the certificate and going through the particulars.
SSL helps customers from being tricked into submitting their sensitive information, or still worse their credit card information to phishing websites.
There is also another technical advantage that setting up an SSL certificate for your website would provide. It will make your website HTTP/2 ready which is faster, more secure and all the more futuristic than its predecessors.
HTTP/2 can deliver up to 2x times faster page loading speeds than previous hosting services. It also offers better mobile responsiveness which translates into better user experience and higher dwelling time. It also offers superior security which makes it a must-have in times when malware can be literally bought off the rack.
Express it clearly in writing
Subtitle signs like you are secured by Verisign, Symantec or Norton along with their trust seal can go a long way in boosting customer trust. Place it bang on the checkout page or the form where the credit card details are to be given to see a reduction in your cart abandonment.
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Show that you are for real
With so many online stores cropping up like grass after a rain, there is a necessity for your business to prove that your business is genuine with a real identity. Which can be shown with the help of links to press releases, publications, etc. about your online store. Even public review websites like Yelp, Reddit, etc. can help your online store look more trustworthy.
All this put together means that having an SSL certificate and the HTTPS tag that comes along with it is a must-have for your website. The cost you invest in buying and setting up an SSL certificate will come back with positive RoI and many other benefits including better SEO ranking, better customer trust, better website performance among many others.
It is worth remembering that Google is in the works to make web security (implying HTTPS) as a critical search engine ranking factor. So, it is never too late to set up an SSL certificate that will optimize your website for SEO friendliness.