Why Your Website May Be Scaring Potential Buyers Away
Due to the escalating number of hacks, data breaches and malicious security incidences experienced by organizations of all sizes, industries, and types, Google has taken steps to make the Internet safer. When Google announced that their browser, Chrome, would display a warning on websites without an SSL certificate, companies that took corrective actions were able to improve their online visibility and avoid scaring away potential buyers.
HOW TO NOT SCARE POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AWAY
If you would leave a site after discovering it wasn’t safe, you wouldn’t be alone – but rather part of a growing majority of website visitors. Chrome users that visit a website that accepts information (including “contact us” forms or email addresses) without an SSL certificate will see a “Not Secure” warning in the URL address.
A green lock, https, and the word “Secure” is a sign of a safe, Google-compliant website that’s been SSL enabled. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and prevents unwanted 3rd parties from reading or forging communication between a visitor and website. SSL uses encryption to protect websites from attacks and give visitors confidence that a site is authentic and trustworthy. Although potential customers can view unsecured sites, seeing “Not Secure” inside the address bar probably deters most from staying, and forms a negative first impression.
At one time SSL was only required by websites that accepted credit cards or other sensitive details, but that changed in October 2017 with the release of version 56. While Chrome is the first to institute these warnings, the other three major browsers are sure to follow. The most important part to keep in mind is that Google is progressively taking aggressive action and that this new warning is just the beginning of a long-term plan by Google to mark all non-SSL encrypted pages as “Not Secure”. Considering Chrome has an 88% market share in the United States across computers, tablets, and phones, it is important to have your website protected, and to not deflect potential customers from visiting or staying on your site because it isn’t secure.
GOOGLE REWARDS SSL ENABLED WEBSITES
Companies with SSL-enabled websites are rewarded by Google and potential buyers. Google has publicly stated that SSL is now factored into their search ranking algorithm and that SSL-enabled websites may outrank sites without SSL. Based on independent test results, it appears most sites on the first page of Google do have https URLs and that it is a ranking signal. While https is not going to catapult companies from the tenth page to the first, when competing with comparable sites, websites with green https will have an advantage over websites without it.
SSL builds trust with first-time visitors unfamiliar with your site by ensuring a safe environment to browse and interact. Trust is the foundation of all relationships including those between potential customers and the websites they visit. An SSL-enabled website implies a company’s views on safety and protecting customers from potential hackers. Simply changing from http to https sends a subtle but strong signal about how much customers are valued. Despite what you may say in your website, nothing is more convincing than what you do.
PUTTING THE “S” IN HTTPS
The investment in time and money to properly convert your http address to https is nominal, although the process of setting up or converting a non-secure site can be arduous and taxing. The investment for making a website SSL compliant ranges based on the complexity of the site, and other factors.
When contacting your developer for a quote on SSL enabling your website, also ask for a protection plan. While SSL is a positive first step, SSL alone is not enough. If your website is not backed up regularly, scanned continuously for malware and hacks, updated as needed, you are still leaving yourself exposed and vulnerable.
Contact Paradigm for simple tips, tools, and techniques on proactively avoiding potential problems, and capitalizing on competitors who don’t. 847-768-0018.