Your website is the shop window to your business – it’s usually the first time a potential customer interacts with you and that’s why you work so hard to make it a positive experience. You’ve made it look amazing, it really brings your offering to life, it makes you look totally professional and you are proud to direct people to it.
BUT… there’s just one problem… your website is not secure and here’s why that is a big problem for you and can be really bad for your business.
Back in July 2018, Google Chrome started explicitly warning users if a website’s domain was simply delivered on HTTP and not HTTPS making it not secure and carrying risks for the user – your potential customer.
So let’s look at some of the main effects an unsecure site can have on your business.
Firstly, it presents a risk to your customers
If a customer fills out a form on your unsecured website there is a big danger that their information can be intercepted by 3rd parties - any information a user inputs on the website (e.g., name, address, credit card details) is not protected and can be stolen. On a secure website, the code is encrypted so any sensitive information cannot be traced so your customers are protected.
Consumer trust - customers are literally turned off by unsecure sites
Research shows that 46% of people said they wouldn’t enter their name, password or bank details into a website that was “not secure”, with 64% of those saying they would leave the website instantly. *
The research went on to focus on two specific examples of companies with unsecure HTTP websites - a hotel and an estate agent. A panel of consumers were asked about their view of the two businesses and how likely they would be to interact with these businesses if they were interested in the products and services they offer.
The results of the survey threw up some main areas of concern that should serve as a warning to SMEs across all business sectors.
When questioned about the estate agent with the unsecure site, language such as unprofessional, amateur and “not bothered about their customers” was commonly used by the panel. Obviously not how any business wants to be seen by potential customers.
In the case of the hotel, the business was viewed with extreme suspicion, “fake”, “wouldn’t book” came up regularly in the responses showing how important security is to most consumers especially if there is likely to be a financial transaction or exchange of personal details.
Google now shames unsecure sites and you can see from the consumer reactions in the research how that makes your business appear in the eyes of the consumer – not at all positive.
Search rankings - Google punishes you if you are not secure – Google have made it very public that it rewards safety – having an HTTPS served site boosts you search rankings giving you better visibility to your prospective clients. In any cluttered market your business not only needs be on page one of the Google search results but ideally above the fold as well – very difficult to achieve with an unsecure site.
So, what to do next? Well firstly, it’s not the end of the world and it can be fixed. The first step is to speak to the people who built your site – it’s probably just because your site is old and hasn’t been upgraded in a while but it can be fixed and they will be able to help you.
If you are struggling with that, speak to us at Vinegar and we can help. We are primarily a design company, but we work closely with developers who we trust implicitly to secure your site. Who knows, we might be able to suggest some design improvements at the same time.
*Source Real Business 2017