HTTPS TO BECOME A RANKING SIGNAL
In their passionate plea to website owners to create a more secure internet, Google is using a rallying cry that would surely go straight to the heart of everyone: HTTPS will become a ranking signal.
WHY EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS SSL
If you sell things on your website, there’s not even a debate. An SSL certificate is not optional. Since most payment gateways don’t even work properly without an SSL, we don’t need to convince the ecommerce folks out there to get one. So this is mostly for your lead generation and small business owner folks.
Remember back when a lot of businesses said they did not need a website? And then they all said they did not need a mobile-friendly website? Well, any business that is worth a grain of anything has a website now, and the ones who are not mobile friendly are trailing far behind. The same thing is going to happen very soon with HTTPS. The websites that do not have it will fall behind the competition. Search engines, users, and even browsers will soon heavily favor secure websites. It all comes down to security and trust. Customers will not buy from you if they do not trust you, and your website must be secure for your users to trust you.
DO IT FOR THE SEARCH ENGINES
Google is not going to stop pushing HTTPS. Google is pushing HTTPS harder and harder. It is now a legitimate ranking factor originally used only as a tie-breaker when all other things were equal, it is now widely believed that SSL means more.
DO IT FOR YOUR USERS
Doing things for search is nice, but search engines do not help you pay the bills. Your customers do. Everything you do should ultimately be for the benefit of your customers. How does HTTPS help your customers? It tells them that your website is secure and that any information they share with you on that website will be secure.
In other words, having an SSL certificate builds trust. Unsurprising fact of the day: when your customers trust you, they are far more likely to buy from you or use your services.
DO IT FOR THE BROWSERS
Chrome, the most popular browser in the world, now tells your customers when your site is HTTPS or just plain old HTTP. Chrome is now warning all users when a website is not using HTTPS with this scary message:
That’s right. If your website isn’t HTTPS, Chrome will immediately call attention to the fact that your site isn’t secure. Over half your website visitors are going to see this message. What impact do you think this is going to have on your customers? Hint: it’s going to cost you a lot of sales.
SO WHEN DO YOU REALLY NEED AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
This is what I recently said regarding who needed an SSL certificate:
If you are doubting whether or not you actually need an SSL for your business website, consider whether or not your website allows customers to do any of these things:
Customers who are looking for your product or services. Make a purchase or submit credit card information. Create an account. Submit a contact form. Sign up for a newsletter. Search for something on your website. Now I am updating my recommendation to this:
If you have a website There are no more excuses now. If you have a website and you want people to trust it, you have to be secure.