A few months ago, we spoke to the importance of having HTTPS on your healthcare sites moving forward. Now, the amount of secure sites that are taking up real estate on the first page of Google is increasing, and this takeover shows no signs of stopping. Currently, over 50% of the page one results in Google show HTTPS URLs, with the amount said to increase to 70% by the end of this year. With this information, it’s not too far-fetched to assume that this could be a signal with a similar level of importance as mobile-friendliness. Are you being proactive with your online presence?
Will HTTPS Help with My Ranking?
Since 2014, Google has been announcing that HTTPS would be a ranking signal, albeit lightweight, in their algorithm. However as recent as April 24, 2017, online marketers have been hearing that the ranking boost will not be increasing in importance. So how do we know if it truly helps with SEO? The answer is research!
User Experience is Key to SEO
Since the announcement in 2014, and really far before that, studies have shown that users feel more confident when navigating a secure site. With the fear of data breaches and security lapses, people take a few extra steps before offering up any of their personal information. In the healthcare industry, it’s imperative that you offer HIPAA compliant solutions, such as Practis Forms, in conjunction with a secure site. As the old adage goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. Help the horse, in this case your potential or current patient, feel comfortable to drink and you’ll receive traffic before your competitors.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Sure, Google hasn’t officially released any information about the ranking boost becoming stronger so we really can’t firmly say that it’s a firm line in the sand. However, with an increase of HTTPS results on page one going from 30% to 50% in the span of nine months, it really does create a strong case. Could it be that users are just more apt to pick a site with HTTPS on it? Sure! But, I highly doubt that 50% of the population is that knowledgeable about their searches. Instead, it seems that this is a case where the masses (and highest ranking sites) are adopting the HTTPS method and pushing the others out. As someone running a business, you should absolutely be aware of trends like this, and (most of the time) follow the masses. Don’t get left behind!
Is Everyone Going to Go to HTTPS?
This is the million dollar question. Nowadays, there is an audible gasp when someone mentions that their site is not mobile friendly, so it’s obvious that everyone didn’t make that jump when it was announced. To say that everyone will make the move is a stretch. To even say that Google will make it mandatory is a bit of a stretch. However, we know how the mobile-friendly process went, and it’s safe to say that Google does stay fairly consistent in their methods.
Big Companies Without HTTPS
Here’s your chance to do something major companies aren’t! Unless, of course, you’re already working with a fantastic SEO person who stays ahead of the game. The sites below are just a handful of those that are currently not secure:
So if you’re not HTTPS yet, you’re not far behind. But now is the time to capitalize on something that’s proving to be a major helper with regards to your online presence.
Contact Practis today to learn more about how easy it is to take your site to the next level of security before your competitors do the same!