Since 2014 Google made a decision to start reviewing the ranking status of websites that did not appear to be providing a safe internet connection for their visitors. Those websites were easily identifiable by the absence of the letter ‘s’ in the beginning part of their URL or web address. Those web addresses looked and still look like the following:
The significance of the missing ‘s’ became more apparent as more and more websites, some of which whose website owners had spent a lot of time, money and effort on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), lost their ranking. According to Google, they simply had not put enough time, money and effort into ensuring their high ranking websites were secure enough for their visitors to safely enter sensitive data.
A HUGE RED FLAG
Nowadays if your website address is similar to the above example, you will most likely have an ‘i’ information icon next to it which, when clicked opens a dialogue box, explicitly telling visitors that your website does not have a secure connection and sensitive data should not be added. This is a huge red flag for the security conscious and those who are curious to find out what the i button has to offer.
This means also that if you have created your website with a view of capturing sensitive data or selling products the web browser will tell your visitors that you have not made the effort to secure how their data will be transported.
As a website owner (with an insecure connection) have you ever wondered why no one is buying off your website or why you have not reached your target of obtaining subscribers who may need to enter some sort of sensitive data to buy into your service or join your membership scheme? This dear website owner may be one of the main barriers to hitting your targets as the missing ‘s’ and the prevalent ‘i’ icon are telling your visitors that you do not care about keeping their data safe!
Read on if you want to put that ‘S’ on your website
How can you secure your website connection and get the https://
You can secure your website connection by obtaining an SSL Certificate which provides the technology to encrypt and transfer data securely. Even if the data is intercepted for devious purposes it should not be accessible, until it has reached it’s intended destination, due to the encryption.
Once enabled your website URL will look like the following:
What does SSL mean?
SSL means Secure Socket Layer. It is an encryption method.
Why do you need an SSL certificate
As previously mentioned Google does not look favourably on websites that do not have an SSL certificate, so it may affect your ranking. This is an issue for website owners who do not request or need visitors to send any data, let alone sensitive data, via their websites. For those who do require data to be sent via their websites not having a secure connection can be a deterrent to potential customers or clients,
With the GDPR coming into effect on the 25 May 2018, an SSL certificate will be one way to showing your commitment to complying with the legislation.
How to obtain an SSL Certificate
Your web hosting company should provide it an SSL certificate as part of your hosting package or as an additional paid/free addon. The prices vary but they are much cheaper than they used to be a few years ago. If your hosting company does not have an SSL certificate option visit https://www.ssls.com where you find one to suit any budget.
So get that ‘S’ on your website and you may hopefully see an improvement in your website performance, even if you don’t be content knowing that you have added another layer of security to your website for your visitors to feel more confident with using it.
Hope this has been of use, drop a comment and let us know.