In 2014, Google made an announcement that changed the face of website ranking. It was within this year the trend toward HTTPS began to spread. In the current digital realm, the suggestion of moving toward HTTPS has now become a requirement. In fact, Google recently announced the upcoming algorithm shift toward HTTPS-focused ranking. Essentially, this means if your web hosting provider doesnt support HTTPS, then you may find achieving top ranking positions is nearly impossible.
Why HTTPS is Now Necessary
If youre unsure whether this shift toward enhanced security is right for you, heres the latest information outlining why HTTPS is no longer an option for modern website hosting, but a must.
Reason #1 – Keep Your Website from Being Flagged by Browsers
Starting in 2017, Google announced any website without the secured HTTPS protocol will be flagged as a potentially unsafe website. This means, when a visitor attempts to access your site, they are directed to a full screen warning page warning visitors of the potential security threat.
As you can imagine, this can prove disastrous for your online reputation. This warning page only occurs if the webpage requires a password, features credit card input forms, any type of entry field or if the visitor attempts to access the page in Incognito mode.
For eCommerce solutions, this warning page is capable of completely eliminating conversions. Even if your site is safe, few customers will continue past the warning page in fear of being hacked or having their personal information stolen.
Reason #2 – Boosts User Trust Levels
One of the driving forces behind conversions is user trust. In the most simplified explanation, if a user doesnt trust your website, then its impossible to make consistent sales. Even if your enterprise is 100% trustworthy, perception is everything in the digital marketplace.
HTTPS not only prevents the browser-based warning page, but it provides a tangible sense of security among potential customers. In the highly competitive marketplace, distilling trust is just as important as visual design and hosting provider stability.
Reason #3 – Increases Search Engine Visibility
Of course, theres no way to know exactly how much influence HTTPS has on SEO ranking factors. However, insiders believe that the move toward HTTPS directly influences SERP ranking. When youre competing for the top ranking position, every element, no matter how small, is important.
While integrating HTTPS into your website may not instantly skyrocket your organic traffic, it does support your overall SEO strategies. Even though the exact impact of HTTPS on SERP ranking isnt fully known, what is universally understood is the negative influence its absence has on conversions and tanking. As more websites adopt HTTPS, and search engines/browsers continue to push for 100% compliance, non-secure HTTP websites will absolutely experience underwhelming CTRs, organic traffic and conversions.