September 5, 2017 Chris Barnhill

What Marketers Need to Know About the New HTTPS Requirements

As Google looks to protect all form data with its new HTTPS alert, 3 steps marketers need to take to ensure conversions.

When it comes to convincing potential customers to give you their personal information, there are a whole host of best practices to improve conversion. However, in today’s age of information security, if a user does not feel like their information will be kept safe, you could probably offer them a free car and they still wouldn’t give you their email address.

Trust is a key factor in the process of converting leads, and with a new public data breach happening what seems like every month, people are more cautious than ever about protecting their personal information. This is especially notable given Google’s announcement that websites that do not make use of HTTPS protocol will be marked as “Not Secure” in Chrome.

What does this mean exactly? The HTTPS protocol encrypts any data that is passed from a user’s browser to a website. This prevents any possible hackers from breaking into the communication layer between a browser and a website, and reading any plain text information that is passed between them. With all form data encrypted, even if a hacker was able to weasel into that communication layer, they wouldn’t be able to read any information that was being passed.

Google already makes use of this flag for HTTP sites that ask for credit card information. Now, the new alert now includes all form fields, directly impacting marketers, anyone concerned with conversion, looking to capture email addresses, phone numbers. The most recent numbers show Chrome having nearly 60% market share for web browsers. This means a majority of users could be scared away by these warnings.

3 Steps to HTTPS

It’s increasingly important to migrate your website to HTTPS in order to increase user trust. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Purchase an SSL certificate, install it on your website, and run through a myriad of tests to ensure that the website functions as expected, and that the “SSL Handshake” has been correctly established for secure encryptions.
  2. Establish redirects from all old HTTP URLS  to their new HTTPS counterparts.
  3. Inform Google that you’ve made this change: Submit your new URL to the Google Search Console for indexing.

This may sound like a bit of a hassle, but it will pay increasing dividends as the world comes to expect a more secure web.

Have any questions about your transition to HTTPS? Feel free to reach out to Consensus Interactive for a consultation.