Ever wondered what the difference is between an HTTP and HTTPS website? It’s all about security. Having the ‘S’ in a URL means that the site has an SSL Certificate, officially known as a Secure Sockets Layer, which authenticates the identity of the website and encrypts the data being transmitted. In layman’s terms, it increases the security of sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and contact details.
What websites need an SSL Certificate?
A common thought is that the only websites that require HTTPS are those that have e-commerce, an online shop. However, this is certainly not the case – all websites should have an SSL Certificate to add an extra layer of protection.
Google has already indicated that they want to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web,” and they would equally encourage new websites to adopt a HTTPS structure from the beginning.
Having an SSL Certificate directly correlates to customers trusting your website, which means that if you don’t utilise it, some customers might have second thoughts about clicking on your link. In fact, Google Chrome is now warning people who visit HTTP sites that they may be non-secure.
How does an SSL Certificate affect your SEO rankings?
To date, there haven’t been any major signs that your HTTPS sites could get a huge boost in rankings. However, there is a growing trend that search engines are rewarding websites that have an SSL Certificate. What are the benefits? Well, we’ve highlighted some of the reasons that having a HTTPS URL could help your rankings:
Security/Trust – Having a secure site means that you become more trustworthy to customers, who will be more inclined to visit your website than others who don’t have HTTPS.
Traffic – By earning customers’ trust, you end up getting more people to your site and can increase your traffic. The bigger the volume of people visiting your site, the better your rankings can be.
Load Speed – HTTPS sites have also been deemed to load quicker than HTTP, and with page load speeds part of the criteria for higher rankings, this could be another positive effect.
Tie-Breaker – If you have similar results for your SEO strategy as a potential competitor, Google could determine the rankings based on whichever site has an SSL Certificate. If you do, but your competitors don’t, this could put you higher in search results.
Amazingly, only 1% of all websites have an SSL Certificate. If your business puts itself in this 1%, you could see your HTTPS positively affect your SEO Rankings.
You can contact Melbourne Media Consulting anytime for more information about SEO.
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