Can your online brand be trusted?
What an interesting question our title is for our article today. Our business reputation is on the line and we want, and need, to convey trust to our current and potential customer's. All our businesses try to show trust with our physical locations by showing our customers we care and are concerned for them. Online it is not any different. We show trust in our actions. These actions are not just the words we write to show who we are as a company but in how we act online. In today's world, we need to show trust with "The Green Lock".
In our latest JM2 Digital Talk video we discussed in detail the importance of protecting our customer's information by securing it with an SSL or now referred to as a TLS certificate. Google started in January 2017 marking sites as "Secure" that use the green lock. Google has also stated that coming in January that they will start marking sites as "Not Secure" (Source: https://security.googleblog.com/2016/09/moving-towards-more-secure-web.html) that do not have a green lock protecting the site. Today Google marks sites that are not secure with a neutral indicator that a site is not secure.
It is one thing today to be marked as secure to build trust. It is a completely different story to be labeled as insecure. We feel that being labeled insecure means you don't care about your customers and we know that is not the case. You do care as you wouldn't be in business trying to make a difference in the world if you didn't. You would have a green lock if you knew where to get one, how to install it, and how to properly configure it. You are completely in luck as your web designer will know exactly how to implement one and get you up and running in a short period.
But why do you really need an SSL certificate or TLS certificate to protect your website? The simple answer is that sites that are not encrypted from your computer to the web server have a better chance of having the information modified or intercepted. This insecurity means that your information can be taken or the information presented to you can be more easily altered and make you do certain actions you might not otherwise do.
The label of secure has a great side effect on your search engine optimization or SEO as well. If you and your competitors are equal in everything and you have a green lock and they do not you will most likely rank higher than they do. This means on regular organic search as well as local search you stand a better chance of being seen by potential customers. As more businesses come online this added benefit will diminish but why not take advantage of it now to benefit and grow your business? Even as it diminishes Google does keep track of when they notice certain changes within your website. There is no guarantee that they will put a lot of weight on your having a SSL certificate before your competitors but there is also no data that says they won't either.
Per Google's HTTPS Usage report (Source: https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/https/metrics/?hl=en) in December 64% of all Google Chrome browser users connected to sites with HTTPS rather than HTTP. As we read the report and looked at the numbers we saw another indication of improving your site SEO. That is in the bounce rate on your website. Bounce rate is when someone comes to your site and leaves and visits no other pages within your site. The lower your bounce rate the better. When HTTPS is used, people tend to spend more time on a site than one without HTTPS. This is significant as the longer we can stay in front of our website visitors the more likely we are to engage more with them and bring them on as customers.
We know that security is important to you and you want to have your brand known and trusted as protecting your customers. Having a security certificate on every page of your website is the first step in showing this trust. We may be talking about the security connections between your customer's computer and your web server today but there is more to protecting your customer's data beyond a security certificate. Start with this first step and you will be making a positive step forward to improving your company brand trust online.
If you need assistance in getting a security certificate the team at JM2 is here and ready to assist you. We have always prided ourselves in protecting our clients and helping them keep their trust online. We can be reached at 219-229-1633, email at sales@FawkesDM.com, or through our online contact form here.