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What is HTTPS and how does it affect SEO?

By Daniel Dunt on May 12, 2017

In the past couple of years, HTTPS sites have risen in popularity, and for good reason. Google is constantly changing up its search algorithms and, this time round, the difference between HTTP and HTTPs websites is a focus – if you're looking to market your business effectively online, listen up. HTTPS Defined
In simple terms, HTTPS means your website is secured with an SSL certificate. By having a HTTPS website, you're reassuring customers that their activity and data entered on your website is encrypted and, consequently, not at risk of being stolen – especially important for e-commerce websites. The Benefits of HTTPS
A recent study found that 84% of users would leave a purchase incomplete if website security isn't guaranteed, which means by not having an SSL certificate installed on your website you could be losing thousands of pounds in sales. Worse still, Google doesn't let you off lightly if your website isn't secure – every time a customer is browsing your site, they'll be warned that the connection is not secure and, in most cases, will click away from your site to find a retailer that does have a secure website. After all, consumers are savvier than ever and won't risk their details for anyone – your product could be incredible but you're not going to make a sale if your website isn’t secure. How HTTPS Benefits SEO
To date, having a HTTPS website instead of a HTTP site has only been proven to offer slight benefits to search ranking. For instance, 40% of websites on page one of Google are HTTPS sites. However, this latest addition to Google's algorithm was only introduced in 2014 and, as with most of Google's latest updates, is yet to rise to prominence – but once it does, you'll be well behind the curve if you haven't already got a HTTPS website. Also, in 2015, Google confirmed that if two websites are of similar ranking but one is secure while the other is not, the secure website is more likely to be the frontrunner. How HTTPS Benefits Web Traffic and Sales
It has been proven there is a link between high amounts of traffic and HTTPS sites. The first step to getting a new customer to buy from you is getting them to your website and you can do that effectively by having that important green tick show up in search results. Better still, once a customer is on your website, they are more likely to make a purchase if your website is secure – as we said, 84% of customers would abandon a cart if the website isn’t secure. Without a doubt, HTTPS pays. Considering having your website redesigned? With Digital Reflow’s web design services, all websites receive a free SSL certificate to ensure customer security. At Digital Reflow, we care about our customers' web security which is why we now install an SSL certificate for free on all new websites we create from scratch or develop. Our clients on web maintenance packages have also had an SSL certificate added to their website free of charge. If you're looking to have your website created or redesigned, explore our Colchester web design services or contact us to find out what we can do for you.