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Do you want clients to feel safe sending information through your website? Do you want to boost your search rankings? If so, you need to get an HTTPS website as soon as possible.

What’s an HTTPS website?

An HTTPS website is a website with a valid SSL certificate. Websites with these protocols encrypt information sent through the website’s forms to make it harder for hackers to intercept it.

You can tell a website has these security features if its URL begins with https:// instead of http://. In addition, your browser will check the certificate and display a lock, show the URL in green, or display the word “secure” next to the URL. This lets you know the website has a valid certificate.

What does HTTPS have to do with SEO?

Google and other search engines consider the user experience when they make search rankings. They believe that searchers are better served by being sent to secure websites when possible.

Google first announced that it would give a boost to HTTPS websites in 2014. However, at that time, obtaining an SSL was a costly and time-consuming process, so few websites made the switch beyond banks and large corporations. As certificates have fallen in cost and become easier to install, the majority of websites now have them. Search engines are now viewing having a certificate as the rule rather than the exception and are now penalizing websites that don’t have one.

Why is my Website showing as not secure?

Browsers are now changing how they treat HTTPS and HTTP websites in a similar way to what search engines are doing. Previously, HTTPS websites displayed as secure and HTTP websites showed as “regular” with no special markings.

Since HTTPS is now expected, browsers are switching to show HTTP websites as not secure and HTTPS websites will be viewed as the “regular” websites with no special markings.

Why is HTTPS good for my clients?

To begin with, having your website display as not secure in browsers will probably scare clients and potential clients away from your website. And that’s if it even shows up high enough in search results for them to find you.

If you collect client information on your website, having it be more secure is good for both you and your clients. You also won’t have to worry as much about clients disregarding your contact form disclaimers and sending sensitive information that you told them not to.

Of course, HTTPS protocols aren’t perfect, and even bank-grade websites can be hacked, so you’ll need to evaluate the risks and rewards of how you collect information on your website.

How do I get an HTTPS website?

To get an HTTPS website, you’ll need to purchase and install an SSL certificate. The easiest way to do this is through your current web hosting provider, as many will automatically complete the installation for you or at least give you easy to follow instructions.

There are a few different levels of certificates.

  • The most basic either make your website show as secure or as not unsecure depending on how the user’s web browser handles HTTPS vs HTTP websites.
  • Extended verification certificates verify your business’s legal status and physical location. The advantage to these certificates is that your business’s name appears in green text in the URL bar similarly to how banks and other financial institutions appear.
  • There are also more technical options available such as the option to use the certificate across multiple URLs if you have multiple websites.

To learn more about this process, contact your web hosting provider. To learn more about SEO in general, continue reading below.

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