What Small Business Owners Need To Know About HTTP vs HTTPS
Way back in August of 2014, Google officially announced they would be using https as a ranking signal, and switching from http over to to a https site could give your site a minor boost in ranking. The question is, should small business owners invest in https secure websites? If so, why? And what are some of the benefits of https sites?
First, let’s make sure everyone has a better understanding of the basics regarding http & https websites.
What’s the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the foundation of data communication for the world wide web and has been around for a number of years. It’s known to be fast and reliable; however, there are many ways to hack into data being transferred via http. This can create a problem when there’s a need to protect the information and or communication being sent and/or transferred between the user and your website.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) on the other hand is a protocol for secure internet communication between the customers’ and/or user’s’ computer / tablet / cell phone and your site. When using a https site, it means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted to ensure everything is secure.
If you look at the beginning of any web address online, you’ll be able to see whether a site is using http or https. Do you know what format your small business website is currently using? Take a minute to check now!
The Benefits of HTTPS for Small Businesses
The most basic benefit for a small business to upgrade their website from http to https is for security purposes. A user that visits a https website can feel more at ease that their interactions with that website are safe and their information protected. In fact, many users may quickly bounce off a website that isn’t https because of the poor reputation it has acquired over the years. Having a https website in lieu of a http website will encourage your visitors to stay on your site longer and encourage them to buy with confidence from your website as well.
In this modern era, your customers’ privacy and data security needs to be a top priority. A https website provides a sense of authentication that shows your small business website is legit and that visitors can trust it. It also demonstrates to your customers that you care about their experience with your business. It’s shows your audience that you’re a modern company who makes your customer’s needs a priority.
If you want your small business to be successful, you need to keep your website as up to date as possible. That means following the latest design guidelines and marketing efforts, but that also means using the most secure web address as well. If your website is safe, current, and updated, more visitors will come to and interact with your site. You’ll gain a positive reputation in your industry by meeting this modern day standard.
HTTPS & Online Marketing
In 2014, Google announced that they would use https as a ranking signal in their SERPs. So, apart from the security benefit, you could potentially see a little boost in ranking as well if you make the switch from http to https. According to a study by Search Engine Journal in 2017, their results showed that about 50% of top SERP results were all https websites. Other studies by SEMRush have also shown a dramatic upswing in the amounts of websites using https instead of http from 2014 to 2017.
If your small business website currently has a http web address and you’re thinking of making the switch to https, don’t forget to update your Google Analytics too. Once you do update your website to a https, be aware of your page load time metrics as well. Https websites are known to slow down page load time a little because of the extra security it provides; however, there are many other easy changes you can make to your website to address page load time so you can continue to use https.
Using https establishes a sense of security and legitimacy for your website. Taking this extra step assures viewers and potential clients that your information is valid and more trustworthy than a http site would be. Show your clients you’re a leader in your industry, committed to protecting your site, and producing quality information.