By now, you are probably thoroughly accustomed to seeing, in the address bar of many websites you visit, an “https” address and that trusty padlock symbol alongside it. Still, what does it all mean? And could your own site benefit, especially in a marketing sense, from adopting “https”?
What does “https” mean compared to “http”?
Once upon a time, almost every website’s address used “http”, an acronym standing for hypertext transfer protocol. Using this protocol, a website transmits data from their web server to the user’s web browser, in which the site can then be viewed.
However, “https” adds an extra layer of security – hence the “s” – so that information sent between the server and the browser is encrypted. This strengthens a site’s defences against hackers who may wish to obtain this transmitted data, which could include payment details.
Should you transition your site to “https”?
Making this switch makes most sense for sites that routinely handle sensitive information, such as ecommerce sites. Nonetheless, almost all sites can benefit from taking up “https” – not least due to the search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits it can bring.
As long ago as 2014, Google classed “https” as a “ranking signal” capable of boosting a website’s visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs). However, transitioning to “https” can also help make your site more trustworthy, and thus give your visitors another reason to keep returning.
An “https” site even goes as far as shielding its users’ browsing histories from prying eyes. The site’s visitors won’t have to worry about anything they download, buy or sign up for on the site putting their online security at risk – and you could emphasise this on your site itself.