How Chrome’s not secure label can impact your site

HOW CHROME’S NOT SECURE LABEL CAN IMPACT YOUR SITE

From July 24th, Chrome will be labelling all non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’. If you’re not sure how Chrome’s not secure label can impact your site & affect your brand, read on…

Having ‘not secure’ displaying in your URL bar isn’t an ideal situation. Even if your website doesn’t collect any data – no newsletter sign ups, no checkouts – it’s still a label that you want to avoid.

Not secure label on Chrome

From eroding customer confidence to damaging your brand, there are more than a few reasons why moving from HTTP to HTTPS is a good idea for your business.

HTTPS VS HTTP: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Overwhelmed by all of the talk about HTTP, HTTPS, secure & not secure? Here’s a very quick (& non-technical) overview of how the two differ. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. If a site secures itself with HTTPS technology, its URL will begin with https://www.example.com. When you use a site like this, it’s viewed as being more secure. That’s because any details that you share with a website, for example, when you sign up to emails or enter your credit card details to purchase, will be encrypted. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to read, modify or corrupt.

A website that doesn’t use HTTPS technology is referred to as being less secure. You’ll know when you’re visiting a HTTP site as you’ll see a URL that looks more like this: http://www.example.com. Any personal data that you share with a HTTP website isn’t encrypted, making it much easier for hackers to steal, modify or corrupt.

I won’t go into the technical details or talk about how to secure your own website, but if you’d like to read more about that, I’d recommend starting with a look at Google’s page, Securing your site with HTTPS.

HOW CHROME’S NOT SECURE LABEL CAN IMPACT YOUR SITE

If you’re thinking that traffic from Chrome doesn’t matter, I’d urge you to think again. Google Chrome’s global market share for the period June 2017 to June 2018 was 58.94%*. When it comes to traffic to site, it’s a browser that you definitely don’t want to ignore.

Let’s look at 4 ways that your site can be affected by a not secure label.

1. It can instantly reduce trust in your website

Everyday, we’re bombarded by news stories of data breaches, identity theft, fraud, viruses, malware & more. That, combined with online security education from cyber security firms, banks & Google, means that a growing number of people are looking for trust signals as soon as they arrive on your website. If your site has been marked by Chrome as not secure, it’s bound to scare off more than a few visitors.

2. When visitors leave, you achieve less

Following on from the first point, if customers don’t trust your site, they’re less likely to share personal data like email addresses or credit card details with you. The impact of this on your business?
a.) A declining number of sales or leads;
b.) Less visitors & / or a higher bounce rate;
c.) Fewer brands, bloggers & individuals linking to / recommending your site.

3. Your brand can suffer

If you’ve spent years building your brand, associating it with award-winning customer service & high quality products, ignoring the not secure label could put a serious dent in all of your hard work. If visitors arrive on your site & the first thing they see is ‘not secure’, they’re not going to feel like you value their safety, let alone go above & beyond for your customers. Previous purchasers might question your data protection practices, leading to uncertainty & disappointment. As a direct result, the values & experiences that they associate with your brand could take a beating.

4. It’s paving the way for other browsers

When a Google owned product starts rolling out big changes, its competitors usually follow. 41.06% of global browser market share belongs to Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge & other browsers*. Many of these browsers are already warning users against HTTP sites. Right now, their warnings are much more discreet than Chrome’s, but it might only be a matter of time before they start making them more obvious. While these discreet notifications can have some impact on your website’s performance & branding, if major browsers do follow Chrome’s lead, the fallout could be much bigger.

THE HTTPS QUESTION WE’RE ALL ASKING

Before we wrap things up, let’s quickly touch on one of the most commonly asked HTTPS questions: will moving to HTTPS make your SEO performance skyrocket? It won’t make it skyrocket, but who knows what the future will bring. All I can say is that, if something can help improve user experience, boost first impressions & build trust, it can’t be a bad thing.

*Browser market share stats from statcounter.com’s Browser Market Share Global graph & report.



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