You may have recently noticed a little padlock icon starting to appear in the address bar of more and more websites. This is an indication that a site is using a Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) connection. HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP and means that all communications with the website are encrypted.
What is a HTTPS website certificate and SSL certificate?
In order to begin a secure session browsing on a website with a HTTPS connection, the website will need to send their SSL certificate to your browser. This is known as the ‘SSL handshake’ and it allows a secure connection to begin between your browser and the website you are viewing. The SSL certificate allows the data from all communications with the website to be encrypted so it is a much safer especially when handling card details..
The padlock icon will then be displayed in the address bar of the website to indicate that a HTTPS connection is being used. On an occasion when you see the address bar turn green, this is an indication that an Extended Validation Certificate is installed on the website.
Why does my website need to be HTTPS and what are the benefits?
There are quite a few benefits of having a HTTPS website. One of these being additional trust that can be gained from a visitor which, when encouraging a new customer to contact a law firm for the first time, is invaluable. If they can see that your site is using a HTTPS connection, they can be more likely to feel encouraged to communicate with you. It also builds confidence by proving that that you are a verified and registered business.
All customer information and data that is passed through the website is encrypted, which means that even if the site was hacked, the data stored would not be able to be read.
30 of the top 100 UK law firms are still without HTTPS websites
Google and HTTPS Websites
Currently Google Chrome users will see sites without HTTPS marked as non-secure.
There are warnings shown for sites without an SSL certificate, by stating “your connection to this site is not secure”. In credit card or password fields displayed on a website, there are warnings written next to them saying that the fields are “not secure”. Warnings like this can be highly discouraging for users of a website, who will fear that their data is not being stored safely.
With Google flagging up any sites that are not on a HTTPS connection, implementing this quick fix for data protection is only going to help visitors feel that they will be able to safely use your website.
How does HTTPs help SEO?
Changing your site can cause minor fluctuations in the rankings at first because of the difference in HTTP and HTTPS. However, this change is only short-lived and should settle down rather quickly.
HTTPS is used as a ranking signal and so it will contribute towards the overall positive effect the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and rankings. It also will help instill user trust because HTTPS shows that your website is secure and more reliable.
“84% of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection”
Websites without HTTPS could potentially have a negative impact on sales.
It is very important to make sure you track your ranking and traffic data before and after a migration. You should also always make sure that tools like Google Search Console are updated this will help when measuring the impact of an HTTPS migration on SEO.
Get in touch
Several recent high profile cases involving client data leaks following law firm website security breaches make this additional layer of security even more important.
If you would like more information on HTTPS implementation, please get in touch!
Tela is a creative digital agency. We deliver website, online marketing, lead generation and conversion optimisation campaigns to some of the UK’s leading law firms. If you would like to learn more about the ways you can improve the speed of your website contact
Tim Sheed: 01799 524 464 | firstname.lastname@example.org