January 25, 2017 –

Why secure your site for better website performance?

Author: Alex Clough
Alex Clough
Managing Director
Photo by: Scott Webb
A friend once said to me, “you only need to be 1% more relevant than the competition to win the business”. Now, apart from accountants and data analysists who would argue the figure as actually you don’t even need to be one whole percentage point more relevant, the sentiment of the statement is obvious but also incredibly true.

Now, if there’s something we can do to help to increase that relevance then it’s always worth sharing especially as it will give a little boost.

There are a couple of changes coming regarding search engine optimisation and Google has been saying for some time that there are two areas which will be changing:
A small (but lots of smalls add up) ranking factor as to how well your site performs in search engine results pages (and by search engines, we predominantly mean Google) is going to be whether your site runs over a secure connection with an SSL certificate (padlock symbol and https:// in the URL).

Google’s own browser, Google Chrome, is planning to display a red X in the address bar when viewing a site which isn’t over a secure connection. This is not going to fill some consumers with confidence over the levels of trust associated with the site. They are already displaying a little i in a circle which when clicked states that your connection to the site is not secure.

Your connection to this site is not secure

A good question is why is Google doing this? And actually, we agree that this is a very sensible way forwards from a data security perspective as it ensures information which is provided in any forms (contact forms, login screens etc) remains confidential and isn’t sent in what is essentially plain text for anyone to intercept and access across the internet. This isn’t meant to be scaremongering as a lot of the time it’s not a massive concern, but if you value your email address confidentiality and any messages you send, then you may want to be more aware of what connection type the site you are using is on. If you’re including any password which you also use for other services, you may wish to reconsider and use another password or even a different site. If the website provider isn’t prepared to invest in an SSL certificate to protect your sensitive details such as passwords, then what else isn’t being done behind the scenes?

For our own site, all recently launched sites and all sites which are currently in development, all of these have an SSL certificate in place. It’s such a small element which can be done and provides so much more protection for the users of your site.

At the end of the day, it’s all about trust and relevance with Google – we can help with both. If you would like more information, then do please get in touch.