HTTP vs HTTPS: Understanding the Benefits and Effects of that “S” in the URL
With online transactions and communications being such a norm in our everyday lives, whether it be purchasing goods or submitting a contact form, users want to make sure their online data always remains secure and safe. Not only do users want this security from websites but Google wants businesses to provide it to their users.
How is this fulfilled? Through an SSL certificate, which is essentially a way to strengthen your website’s security; and has helped assure millions of people’s online data every day by providing that secure link between your business site and the person browsing it.
While HTTPS has historically been mainly used for financial and ecommerce sites who would require its users to submit sensitive personal information; this SSL certificate can be an important tool to have in your arsenal when your website is acquiring and transferring data such as online appointment request forms or new patient forms. This makes it ideal for businesses such as dentists, attorneys and other service-based ones.
How can you tell if a website you are visiting is secure or has an SSL encryption? You will see a small lock icon appear with the word “Secure” in the address bar right next to the website domain you are visiting. You will also see an “s” at the end of the “http” part of the url which stands for (Hypertext Transport Protocol Security).
The SEO Advantages of Switching to HTTPS
I’ve been asked on different occasions “does Google considers HTTPS a ranking factor”? The answer is yes. While it is not a major ranking signal (at the moment), in combination with other SEO factors will only benefit your website in the long run.
- Better Rankings: While converting your website to HTTPS alone will not immediately increase your rankings directly or even rank you at all, it will have a positive impact especially since Google and its search algorithms are looking to push for more websites to convert.
- Faster Website Loading: HTTPS websites load faster than HTTP ones, which will correlate with better rankings in the long run.
- Privacy and Security: As a business you want to protect your assets and reputation. By making your website secure, not only will the added security help you with this, it will also help your users and operators feel safe when engaging with your site.
- Conversions: Privacy and security leads to an increase in trust from your users. According to a survey done by GlobalSign, 84% of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection. With fears of their data being improperly used online, your users may just leave your website and either contact or purchase through a competitor who has made the proper steps to offer this security.
If you haven’t converted your business website already, we highly suggest you do so now as this is one marketing trend you can’t ignore.
How to Change your Website from HTTP to HTTPS
The process of migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS is pretty straightforward and simple.
You can contact either your domain or web host provider to assist you on purchasing and installing your SSL Certificate. Just make sure that all of your HTTP links are properly being redirected to your new HTTPS links and that you submit a new sitemap within Google Search Console.
If you are currently planning on creating a new website we highly recommend hosting with SiteGround. Not only are they highly affordable and have phenomenal customer support, they actually include an SSL Certificate within their hosting package for as long as you remain their client. Which means you don’t have to purchase your certificate as an add-on outside of your host, it is actually bundled in at a great price.
If you are currently hosting your website with SiteGround, but do not have your website as HTTPS, you can speak with a rep to help you install it – it takes a matter of minutes!
We Make Sure ALL New Websites Designed by Us Are Secure
When we are hired to design a new website for a client, whether it’s from scratch or a redesign we will enforce that you take this route for better security, user experience and long-term SEO benefits. If you searching for a great web host, go with SiteGround, if you need any assistance in purchasing and any web design services contact us today – we would be more than happy to help!