Is https screwing up your small business?
Are you receiving strange reports from customers about your website? Let me assist you with the problem and solution. If like me you do not have your own in-house web team, you may not be aware of this phenomenon or its consequences. This is for small businesses everywhere who may be suffering the pain.
In recent weeks we received a number of customer calls to inform us that they cannot access the website. Usually after an aborted payment and they’re not sure if the payment process completed.
From a user perspective, when they land on your website, generally all they see is the top tier structure of the page names. With no information present, there is an inability to access the page content once clicked.
Effectively, nobody can access the website while it’s cached by Google (and if you’re midway through a transaction, this is painful). It means your website is no longer a website, just a holder where the website is. No access, no customers, no revenues. Google eventually un-caches it and your website reverts to normal.
Google outlined a few years ago that https is a ranking signal for SEO, not a strong one, but still, anything to score brownie points with Google is definitely a plus for your web presence on a small budget.
If https is screwing up your small business, then the transition from HTTP to https (the secure version of the web protocol) has been rolling out this last 18 months and about 75% of UK websites have implemented https.
The benefits are speed (SEO load time (50-70% reduction)), reliability, and of course, security.
If your website uses credit card payments it’s essential that it takes on a greater security profile. If you value your customers, users and staff and their payments, passwords, and login ids as mission critical, you might well expedite the implementation of https. It’ll cost you up to £200 for the techies to work their magic.
Now that I have lightly touched upon the SEO and security aspects, I hope that you’re alerted to the key reasons why you should consider an https implementation sooner rather than later. If like me, you don’t have a clue how to go about this implementation, speak to your web development team and construct a detailed implementation plan. Then communicate that plan to your team. Ensure the plan is thoroughly discussed from all business and technical points of view.
All of your web site’s URLs must be updated from HTTP to https. If you’re running Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, those URLs need updating too. If not, you’re throwing money down the drain because your original landing pages no longer exist.
Once the technical implementation is finished, you require a thorough user testing of functionality, particularly around access and payment systems. Review all of your internet real estates like Google My Business and Bing. If you have automated Twitter feeds linking back to the website, update those too. Google Analytics? The list goes on. Think through business activities. Identify all automated procedures that access your web site’s URLs.
Is https screwing up your small business? I hope not. Good luck and stay secure.
The College of Public Speaking were made aware by customer queries regarding incomplete payments. If you have an in-house web team, they should know this. If your website is outsourced, raise the issue with them urgently.
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