If your small business website is not secure in 2017, you may be losing customers.
In January, Google rolled out updates that affected how your customers see your website in Chrome – a browser that now commands a whopping 76% of browser traffic.
We can all understand why. With the recent proliferation of viruses and identity theft, the search engine giant is more committed than ever to its users’ security – which has huge implications for your website.
What happens when customers get to your page and see this?
Source: Viral Patel
That ugly screen means Google Chrome could not verify the identity of your website. The browser is warning your customer that your website is not secure and therefore their data could be intercepted by hackers.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
If you were them, wouldn’t you click “Back to Safety?”
If you were them, would you feel comfortable performing a financial transaction on that website?
You’d probably leave and find whatever you were looking for elsewhere, perhaps at a competitor’s website that doesn’t flash that scary screen.
We know that as a small or medium-sized business, you may get tired of people telling you that you need a website or need to change this or that about your online presence. But your site’s security through HTTPS/SSL is one update you can’t afford to ignore.
Read on to discover why you need a secure website in 2017 and how to go about it.
1. First of all, what is HTTPS/SSL?
SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.”
When you type a website name into the search bar, for years you have typed “http://www.” Now, however, even if you type that, you’ll see more and more websites redirecting you to their “https” version.
This certificate encrypts information so that when someone is filling out a form or making a purchase on your small business website, their information is protected from people who might want to “scrape” it.
It prevents a hacker from redirecting the user to a false, malicious version of your website that is designed to swipe their personal information. It ensures all their data remains private.
Watch this helpful 90-second video to gain a quick understanding of how SSL works:
(If the video does not display properly in your browser, click here to view it).
Finally, a helpful diagram from Neil Patel’s blog of how HTTPS/SSL works:
Source: Neil Patel
2. Your Google rankings are affected by your website’s security.
If you and a competitor rank equally highly for a certain keyword and have similar domain authority, Google will usually choose the secure domain over the insecure domain.
Google’s increasing preference for secure domains could even have a cascading effect across PPC advertising. If someone clicks a landing page link to a non-secure page, you’ve just paid for one of your customers to see “Your connection is not private!”
Google used to implement one big algorithm update once a year; now the updates are once a month, with countless small updates in between. We don’t know exactly how Google is going to further reward secure websites in 2017 or to what extent, but we do know it will continue to prefer secure websites.
3. Google has publicly said it will continue to ramp up its efforts to mark non-secure websites throughout 2017.
“Our plan to label HTTP sites more clearly and accurately as non-secure will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria…don’t wait to get started moving to HTTPS.” – Google Blog
When Chrome first started warning users that websites weren’t secure, around 70% of them were ignoring the warnings and clicking “Proceed Anyway.” Then Chrome intentionally changed the design so that now over 60% of users click “Back to Safety”.
Your website will be “shamed” both by the most popular browser and in the search rankings of the most popular search engine if you do not migrate to HTTPS.
Avoid the Google Cone of Shame! Secure your website.
4. A non-secure website can negatively impact your conversion rate.
Even if the user ignores the “Back to safety” button and continues, will they now trust your website enough to do business with you?
Not only does having a secure small business website impact your search engine rankings and browser experience, but it also impacts your conversion rate.
77% of internet users are concerned about their data being intercepted online, while 84% said they would abandon a purchase if they knew it was sent over an insecure connection (and Chrome is doing its best to make sure they know).
5. Securing your website can be expensive, but you can do it yourself for free.
Probably the only drawback in making the switch to HTTPS/SSL is the cost. A lot of companies like Symantec charge very high fees, which is why many websites have yet to make the switch.
The good news is, if you’re willing to put in some time and do a lot of research, you can do it yourself. Google provides some great resources, as does Geek Flare and this great guide from Moz. The process is, however, highly technical.
We’ve been building secure websites for all of our clients for a while now, so for our digital marketing clients, it’s just included in the package.
If you just need a secure website and have some technical expertise, you can implement it yourself. But if you need general digital marketing services for small and medium-sized businesses as well as a secure website, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
Have you made the switch to HTTPS/SSL yet? What effect has it had on your website traffic and conversions? Leave us a comment below!
Humans are visual creatures.
Even before the computer age, brands with a memorable, easily identifiable color scheme succeeded.
Yes, the thing no one likes to think about, talk about, and is mostly trivial in its effect on the lives of people, that is what I want to discuss: budget. Not YOUR budget, so stop running for the hills. I want to talk about how to plan and set a budget for PPC marketing campaigns. While many may think setting a PPC budget is as arbitrary as a personal budget, I can assure you it isn’t. Your marketing campaigns and business can directly benefit by setting a PPC budget the smart way.
A plan for setting your budget is what you need. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and there are actually several things that make the process easy. But it can be tricky, so we’ll also need to consider the unique obstacles for setting a PPC budget. Let’s start with some things to consider and utilize for how to set a PPC budget with ease.
Digital is becoming the most important marketing channel for small and mid-sized businesses today; failing to compete online just sends customers to those who do. Yet it can be hard for a non-expert to choose the best digital marketing company for their business.
Below are seven tips for finding the right digital marketing agency for you.
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Imagine you have crafted the perfect business… You have worked long and hard to get things just right and you have slaved away in a DIY website builder bringing a killer website to your online customers. As you eagerly await the massive amount of orders this website deserves, the results are mediocre at best and you struggle to understand why. You begin frantically scouring your website looking for an obvious mistake or problem but there are none to be found. Then comes a lightbulb moment… You’ll call a friend, ask them to check out your website and ask for their opinion. You excitedly wait for their praise and the first thing out of their mouth is, “Why is it so tiny?” “What do you mean tiny?” you ask. Your friend replies, “Here I’ll send you a screenshot.” *ding* You open the photo on your phone and, to your horror, the beautiful website you designed is shrunk down, the tiny text is almost impossible to read and you start understanding why those orders are not rolling in. Customers have been bouncing right off your website because they can’t really interact with it on a mobile device. The few orders you do have are all from people using a desktop computer.
This is why you need a mobile friendly website!
Are you trying to start a new company? Starting a new product line? Growing a new business unit? Or, maybe, you want to better understand your business so you don’t waste time on the wrong activities?
Well, if any of these apply to you, then I have the blog post for you!
Here at Qualbe Marketing Group, we appreciate many, many fandoms. If you wander through our office you’ll run into Harry Potter fans, Star Wars and Star Trek fans, plus one HUGE He-man fan. (I’m not kidding, he has so many He-man action figures on his desk.) I am actually writing this at my desk, where my Avengers action figures are all lined up and ready to save the world!
Facebook ad campaigns are a smart, powerful tool that can help you reach new audiences and grow your business. In this article, we cover some of the tips, best practices and strategies that you’ll need to help you get the most out of Facebook ad campaigns.
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