Feb 23, 2017

The small problem that’s turning people away from your website – and how to fix it

Web development

From DT’s SEO Specialist, Nicole Childs

SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, sounds like some sort of futuristic mumbo jumbo but if you’re a regular user of the world wide web you’ve probably encountered it on a number of sites. In fact, many who browse the web are wise enough to know never to share personal information or credit card information on any site that doesn’t display the little green padlock beside the url.

 

But beyond protecting your latest purchase or preventing hackers from stealing your personal information, SSLs are starting to come into play in big way across all websites.

 

For a couple of years now, Google has been promising to make site security a factor in its ranking algorithm, giving preference to sites with trusted SSL certificates. But as of January 1, 2017, Google’s taking its goal of promoting a secure web to another level by highlighting sites which do not have an SSL.

 

While browsing sites on Google’s Chrome browser, any site which does not have an SSL is labelled with a small circle with an ‘i’ in it. If you hover over the circle it highlights that your connection to the site is not secure. While this seems fairly unobtrusive, Chrome promises to make the Not Secure highlight more prominent as we continue into 2017. Nothing scares site visitors quite as much as seeing a red highlighted warning. Firefox as well has started putting an icon of a padlock with a red slash through it to indicate an unsecure site.

 

Do you think you need an SSL yet? Do you want a secure site your visitors can feel confident visiting? Do you want to rank well in Google? Then yes, you do.

 

The basics: What is SSL? What is HTTPS? Why are you using so many acronyms?

Well in order to understand HTTPS and SSL you need to understand HTTP.  Don’t worry, this is the “Cole’s notes”, get it? HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, and is simply put, a set of standards which allow users to exchange information on web pages. So when you type a domain into a browser it uses an HTTP command to the web server to fetch the data for you. So then add and ’S’ for, you guessed it, the secure version of that protocol.

I know what you’re thinking. But you’ve been talking about SSLs and now you’re switching to HTTPS. That’s because in order to use HTTPS on your website you need to install an SSL certificate.

 

Why do you need it for SEO? Yes I know, another acronym.

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of HTTPS and SSL, why is it important? As I mentioned before, Google has been making secure sites a priority for a while now making adding an SSL to your site a key component of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. In other words, if you want to rank well on Google, consider that the security of your site is now a factor in how far up or down you’ll be in search results.

 

Sign Me Up!

Getting an SSL for your site is not as daunting as it may seem, it’s an add-on that most hosting providers, including ourselves, can set you up with. Costs can range in price depending on your hosting provider and your security needs. If you’re interested in getting an SSL certificate installed for your site, call our office and we’ll determine the right solution for your needs.