Does your website collect sensitive visitor information such as passwords, credit card information, or personal data? If so, award winning local digital marketing agency The Creative Collective are warning Google Chrome is now marking sites without HTTPS as non-secure and this may impact on your website’s performance.
“Back in August 2014 Google announced that adding a security certificate also known as an on your site would give you a minor ranking boost. In January 2017 Google said it would mark ‘HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure,’ says founder and now partner of leading digital marketing agency The Creative Collective, Yvette Adams.
“Since last month we are seeing errors coming through on our Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for clients which don’t have a valid SSL certificate which shows Google has caught up with them and wants them to do something about it to ensure the security of their visitors and as an agency we are also urging them to get a SSL certificate to ensure any ranking on Google they may have.”
“In short, website users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website; in penalizing HTTP connections, Google is taking steps to ensure they get it.”
So what is an SSL Certificate?
Have you ever noticed how sometimes websites start with “http://” and then sometimes they start with “https://” and have a green padlock nearby? If you have, you’ve seen the end result of an SSL certificate. But what you probably don’t know is how to get one on there and until now, why you would want to.
“SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Essentially, SSL establishes an encrypted link between your web server and your website visitor’s browser which ensures that all data passes during their visit on your website remains private and secure,” says Adams.
So how do you secure your website if you do sell online or collect other data to ensure your website visitors feel at ease?
“We’re encouraging all of our clients which sell anything online as a first priority to get security certificates on their site asap,” says Adams.
“We’re also encouraging all of our clients who have a web form on their site and collect data in any shape or form – which is most of them – to get a security certificate on their site,” she says.
Adams says it’s highly likely users could be browsing your website now and seeing security warnings without you even realising, which will make them feel uncomfortable and see them jump off without taking the desired action i.e. make a purchase, request a quote, fill in an enquiry form, and says it is therefore important to act quickly on this update.
Adams says that whilst some hosting packages come with a built in security certificate it’s important to ensure you have the right security certificate for your needs.
“We are urging most of our clients to opt for a paid security certificate as like with anything, you get what you pay for. Prices for a SSL certificate with us start from $100+GST. If it is their first time installing a security certificate on their site as opposed to renewing or upgrading it, a small labour charge may also apply.”
Adams says if businesses don’t know if they have a security certificate already or not, and want to double check, a handy website to use is https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html.
For more information go to https://thecreativecollective.com.au/SSLcertificates.