You must have heard about HTTP, but what is HTTPS? Actually, the S stands for SSL, or the Secure Sockets Layer, which is responsible for encrypting connections to a server so that no hacker or agency can intercept the data being exchanged. Now that you know what it is, the next logical question should be whether you should enable it on your website, and why. Here are some solid reasons to justify this.
Improves Search Prospects
Google’s sophisticated ranking algorithm is always keeping track of content and ranking it to ensure the best user experience. If, however, there is a tie between two websites on all the standard metrics, a few factors come into play to break it. One of the most important ones is HTTPS. The site which is https enabled will get preference for sure.
Security Is Paramount
The “man in the middle” attack is a kind of eavesdropping-based hacking attack, involving monitoring and modification of data being exchanged over a communication channel by intercepting it during transmission. SSL is the perfect answer to this because it totally cuts out the scope of these attacks, keeping your data secure. It is an absolute must-have if your website has login functionality or accepts credit cards. Not only it ensures absolute security, but also adds a dimension of trust to your site that signals to the users that it is safe to use your site. The bottom line is privacy is important, and HTTPS ensures privacy.
Accelerated Mobile Pages Needs SSL; Mobile Becomes a Priority
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages has been around for a while now. It is a service that caches web pages to make them load almost immediately on phones. A lightning bolt beside the page’s link on Google means it is AMP-ready. Google has already made AMP a priority this year, and there is no doubt that it will play a big role in the SEO world. AMP-ready pages will definitely get higher preference. However, AMP only works for SSL-enabled websites. By not enabling HTTPS, you are not only losing a valuable security dimension but also missing the mobile SEO train.
A recent Google announcement also indicates that their algorithms will begin ranking sites primarily by the content of the mobile version of the site. For your site to be indexable there is a list of practices that Google recommends, one of which is migrating to HTTPS. A great SEO agency like SandCrest will have no issues setting it up for you.
The fight against unsecured websites has already begun. New versions of all browsers display a persistent “not secure” message, a broken lock, or thereabouts in the address bar for any website that deals with sensitive data but uses simple HTTP instead of HTTPS. This is a pretty big red flag for any visitor and will cause most of them to take their business elsewhere. 97% users would never enter their information on a site that is declared unsecured. So if Google goes that extra step and does the work for the user, your site will be labeled as “not secure” and buried in the result pages beyond the reach of most people. Sales and traffic will take a hit. As a site owner, it is your duty to provide a good, secure experience to any visitor. For a feature that can be enabled with very less hassle, HTTPS is an absolute must, and there are no excuses for not having it enabled.