Starting in 2018, certain web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox began marking “HTTP” websites as “not secure,” resulting in lower visitor rates and rankings. As a result, making sure your business’ website has an SSL certificate installed for “HTTPS” protocol is extremely important. Dr. Peter J. Meyers of MOZ found that at least 50% of page one Google search results are now HTTPS protocol; he projects this percentage will continue to increase throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Since Google is already starting to favor websites that are switching to HTTPS in comparison to those that are still HTTP, this should be a top priority for the marketing department of any business with an online presence.
Why Should I Convert My Business Website to HTTPS?
In August 2017, 30% of page one Google search results in Dr. Peter J. Meyers’ keyword tracking set were HTTPS, or “secure.” Nine months later, that number jumped up 20%, and will continue to increase as more marketing directors choose to convert their business websites for visitor security. Dr. Peter checked with his friends at Rank Ranger to ensure his numbers were accurate; they also returned a 50% secure, or HTTPS, page one Google search result. Fact is, any “not secure” rating popping up on consumers’ or customers’ screens when they’re trying to visit your site, shop, or check out your services, could make them go away — never to return. Your job as a marketing professional is to ensure that doesn’t happen by whatever means possible, including converting your business website to HTTPS.
Will HTTPS Conversion Rates Continue to Increase?
According to Dr. Peter, a steady rate of converting HTTPS websites could result in something like a 75% page one Google search conversion rate by 2023, and your business doesn’t want to be in the minority when this rate hits. Although conversion rates have grown 20% since April of 2017, Gary Illyes (a Google webmaster trends analyst) does not believe that Google will bump up HTTPS website rankings via a new algorithm, but you never know! Better to be safe than sorry. While Google Chrome and Firefox are not yet rewarding HTTPS sites or penalizing HTTP sites, they have begun warning visitors about non-secure pages that collect sensitive data. This is great for consumers, but not great for non-converted HTTP businesses.
Who Has Converted to HTTPS?
- Google Play
- Who Hasn’t Converted to HTTPS?
- Food Network
- Best Buy
- Mayo Clinic
- Home Depot
How Can I Convert My Business Website to HTTPS?
Converting your website to HTTPS is as simple as purchasing and installing an HTTPS SSL certificate — but installation can be tricky. Encryption and server configuration knowledge is a must, so you may have to bring in the IT heavies to get it done. Check out Vladislav Denishev’s guide to converting from HTTP to HTTPS to get an idea of how to do it.
HTTPS SSL Certificates for New Websites
If your website is new, jump on the boat now — you may have to in the future anyhow, and converting now will save time and money later on. Installation of those SSL certificates are still cheap and even free in many cases, so you can pitch the conversion to your boss as a precautionary measure.
HTTPS SSL Certificates for Existing Websites
If your marketing department is considering converting an existing HTTP website to a HTTPS website, proceed with caution! Site-wide changes may cause unforeseeable or site-wide problems, and we don’t want that. The old switcheroo should be relatively simple and doable from your control panel, though, if your hosting provider supplies HTTPS certificates as well as HTTP certificates. If not, you may want to consult with IT when the company approves the conversion. Either way, converting to HTTPS should garner more website traffic for your business and better rankings overall, so it’s a win-win for any marketing department.
For more information on converting your site to HTTPS or if you’re looking to start a new website, contact Zero Gravity Marketing, today!