We live in a digitalized world where internet and web surfing has become an integral part of our lives. This has given rise to online businesses which operate through websites that allow you to carry transactions. Even if your business does not provide its services online, the chances are that you or your company has a website where customers can learn more about your services.
As you peruse various pages on the internet, you must have seen the tiny padlock that is visible in the address bar when you visit most sites. This lock showcases that a given site is serving its content over SSL, meaning any data (such as passwords and credit card numbers) passed between your browser and the website is encrypted.
SSL, or secure socket layer, is something that every online business should be aware of. Gone are the days when providing online security was something that you could avoid. Now, serving your business and personal website over SSL has become a necessity if you wish to avoid penalties!
What Is SSL?
Simply put, SSL is a certification that secures your site. It ensures that customers can feel confident about visiting or interacting with your website whether they enter sensitive data or not. This online security is provided by encrypting the users data automatically as its passed from browser to web server, guarding it from interception and other prying eyes.
Sites which are not secured by SSL have all of their details and customer information stored in a server that can be hacked into or looked at by third parties, who can then assume the role of a given customer and use their data to conduct transactions. Hence, SSL serves as a way to combat online fraudsters that prevail in the digital world.
Penalties of Not Using SSL
For those of you who have personal or business websites, getting yourself an SSL certificate is now a necessity. When the technology first arrived, sites could get away with not using SSL. However, as the technology has progressed and become more accessible, sites that do not use SSL are at a risk of suffering from various penalties and lower SERP visibility.
It is safe to say that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of Google or Mozilla if you are the owner of an online business and use a website to provide your service. Why do we say so? Well, both their browsers combined constitute 50% of the browser market. Hence, most, if not all, of your customers will be using them.
Both Google and Mozilla will now warn visitors if a given website is not secured. Chrome v56 and Firefox v51 have already brought this penalty to life. The browsers are now displaying a warning on pages that are not protected by SSL. Therefore, if your site is not served on SSL, the first thing that the visitors to your website will see is a message telling them that the site they are visiting is not secure and advising them to go back.
And let’s face it, when faced with such a warning, only a few souls are brave enough to proceed to the given site. Most of us go back and find platforms which are secure.
This penalty is going to be detrimental to customer confidence in your business. While previously only informed clients knew about the dangers of using an unsecure site, with warnings like these, all of your customers will become aware and rethink their decision to use your services. This is going to affect both your conversation and bounce rates negatively.
SSL as a Ranking Signal
This step might be seen as a penalty for non-SSL users, but it is actually implemented to encourage those who do serve over SSL. As you know, the chances of people interacting with your site depend on the ranking of your website. As a Google user, you will know that only a small proportion of visitors opt to look at the second page of the search engine. Most of us choose from the results that pop up on the first page.
And how does one ensure that one’s respective business or personal site is placed on the first place of Google searches? Well, it all depends on where you are on Google’s ranking. The better your rank, the higher your page will be displayed.
While the algorithm for the ranking is quite complex, recently Google has announced that it will also check whether a given site is serving over SSL. For those who do, their ranks will receive a boost. This serves as a disadvantage for the sites that do not use SSL since it means that such websites will receive less visibility than secure sites.
Slow Loading Time
Page speed is integral not only to get a respectable rank on Google but also to ensure that you retain your visitors. It is safe to say that you must have clicked on a page and went back to the homepage at least once because the given site was taking too long to load.
Websites which are not serving on SSL do and will continue to suffer the wrath of slow loading time. Therefore, the experience for your users will be undermined as it is highly unlikely that your visitors will have enough patience to stick through the long ordeal of your website loading. If you are losing visitors, it means that you are giving up on potential revenue, which we believe is the biggest penalty for not using SSL.
HTTPS Migration – Your Only Option
There is a clear need to migrate to HTTPS and, thereby, avoid all the pitfalls mentioned above. It is highly likely that the security and penalties imposed by various browsers and search engines are likely to become more severe with time. Therefore, now is the correct time to use HTTPS.
For this purpose, you need to begin by obtaining a certificate for SSL. This is where HTTPS migration services come in. You see, there are various different types of SSL certificates that are available for you to choose from. You need to pick one which is ideal for your site. HTTPS migration services ease this task and allow you to purchase the required certificate. It is wise to avail HTTPS services to ensure that the process of HTTPS migration goes by as smoothly as possible.
The final word…
As the world is becoming more and more digitalized, the need to take care of the privacy of customers and users has become more pressing than ever before. All browsers and search engines are making sure they play their part in securing users.
For those of you who have a business or personal website, make sure you serve your content over SSL. This is integral not only for the viability of your business and the visibility of your site but also for the security of your customers. Data theft is a grave issue, and all of us need to make sure that no one suffers from it.
Migrate to HTTPS and avoid the wrath of not using SSL. Choose your HTTPS migration services wisely and ensure that you provide your customers with the best user experience possible.