If you do not have an SSL certificate installed on your website or webshop, then read on – it might harm your online business.

A warning sign meeting the end user 

Googles Chrome Security Team has announced, that around October 24, 2017, a new warning sign will meet end-users browsing in Chrome. Specifically, it’s when users enter data in input fields on HTTP pages, that the warning message will show up. It is not only obviously sensitive information, such as credit card information or passwords that lead to the warning message but any kind of input field. This goes one step further in Google’s strategy on protecting end-users browsing the internet.

With the launch of Chrome 56, in January 2017, all HTTP websites containing input forms for passwords and credit card information were marked with a ‘NOT SECURE’ warning message. Google now takes the next step towards protecting end-users against spoofing and other types of cyber attacks.

From around October 24, 2017, Google will launch Chrome 62, and in this browser version, the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning message will appear on all HTTP pages when the user starts entering data in any input form. Moreover, in Chrome Incognito mode the warning message will show at page load and be constantly visible when visiting an HTTP site.

Image from https://security.googleblog.com

The consequences for your website and your business 

If you haven’t installed an SSL certificate on your website, you should consider installing one, since it might have consequences for your website, and possibly your online business, if you don’t react.

If your potential customers are met with a warning message when entering personal information in your websites input form, there is a potential risk that they’ll interrupt the session and the purchase, and chooses to make the purchase at a competing website.

End-users have learned to look for the padlock symbol, and to know that this is an indicator of safe browsing. Therefore, if the browser shows a ‘NOT SECURE’ sign instead of the green padlock symbol, it might have an impact on the conversion rate for your website.

In the announcement from Chrome Security Team it is also stated, that the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning, eventually, in later versions of Chrome, is planned to show on all HTTP pages. Google is a trendsetter in browser security, and therefore you might expect other browsers following Googles standards.

HTTPS in relation to SEO

In 2015, Google announced that HTTPS websites would have a larger likelihood of ranking high in the search engine results page (SERP), compared to HTTP websites, if the two pages were equal on other parameters. That means HTTPS is not only important for website security and user trust, but also important for SEO.

It seems like it is worth the effort to apply HTTPS on web pages: According to mozcast.com, HTTPS pages now are figuring more frequently than ever in Google search results:

Yes, this is a steady rise in HTTPS search results, and it can be caused both by a favouritism for HTTPS pages in Googles algorithm, but also by a general rise in the number of HTTPS pages in the web.

In organic searches, it is important to be found on SERP #1, because click-through rates (CTR) generally drop dramatically when turning to SERP #2. Internet Ninja Marketing conducted a survey with 20,000 search queries over a period of 3 months, showing that CTR is around 20% on result #1, CTR around 10% on result #2, and going down to flatten out to around 1.5% from #8 – #20.

When using SEO to create a competitive advantage for your company, an SSL certificate will ensure HTTPS on your website, thereby increasing the likelihood of ranking higher in Google search results, and in the end a higher CTR. It’s about conversions, for you and your business!

3 reasons for buying an SSL certificate 

It is important to have an SSL certificate installed to your website. Here are three good reasons to get one.

  • Website security – you need HTTPS to ensure encryption of sent content
  • SEO ranking – if you want your website to be found high in organic searches, an SSL certificate can help you some of the way
  • User trust – customers are increasingly aware online, and a warning message (shown in HTTP websites with input fields) doesn’t help with the trust part.