Has your website provider asked you to upgrade to HTTPS? If so, you might want to pay attention.
Upgrading to HTTPS isn’t a gimmick. It’s a necessary addition that’ll help your website perform better, while protecting your practice and your patients. Sounds pretty good, right? Before you pick up the phone and make the upgrade, let’s take a closer look at why this is such an important next step for your practice, so you know what you’re getting.
What is HTTPS?
In its most basic form, HTTP is the way data is sent between your browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) and the website you’re visiting. HTTPS is the same thing, except it means all your data is encrypted and secure when it is sent.
This last part is important because the integrity of the information your patients provide you (even something as simple as a name and phone number) must be kept as private and secure as possible.
The benefits of upgrading your website to HTTPS go beyond security too. Here are some of the marketing perks to having an HTTPS website for your dental practice.
Your Website Ranking
It’s competitive in the digital world. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), every little thing you can do to boost your ranking in search results helps.
Upgrading to HTTPS is one of those things.
In 2014, Google announced that adding SSL 2048-bit encryption (or HTTPS) would give websites a small boost from their algorithm. Although going to an HTTPS website is not enough alone to shoot you to spot number one in the search results, it does give your website that little extra oomph.
Having high-quality content is still a priority in Google’s eyes, and having an encrypted website earns you brownie points because it shows you care about keeping the web safe, just like Google.
You’ve likely heard the stats:
- 80% of Internet users own a smartphone Smart Insights
- Over half of smartphone users grab their phone after waking up. Express Pigeon
- 91% of mobile users say accessing content is very important. Wolfgang Jaegel
It’s clear that we’re living in a mobile world. Google isn’t naive when it comes to how their consumers are using their service. That’s why they give extra SEO points to the websites that make it easier and faster for the mobile user to access the content.
But won’t adding HTTPS functionality slow my website down? Nope. That’s a myth you shouldn’t believe.
Although HTTPS does add another layer to your website, it’s impact on your site’s performance is minimal to nonexistent. You should also ask your web provider about adding accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to your site.
AMP makes your site load faster on smartphones and tablets by cutting out a lot of the bulky, unnecessary design that mobile users don’t need or can’t appreciate on the smaller screen. Pair this with the bonus points you get for having a secure website and you’ll appear higher in mobile search results.
All these signals to Google are important, but ultimately your website needs to convince your patients that you’re the dental practice of choice in your area. HTTPS can help accomplish that too. Google will actually start providing warnings to visitors if the website they are on is not HTTPS, warning them that the site they are on is unsecured.
When a visitor lands on your website and is asked to hand over personal information, she wants to know that it’s secure. By having an encrypted connection between her browser and your website, she will have more confidence in giving you her contact information and in your practice overall. You’ll earn more leads and more respect among potential future patients. This is especially important if you have patient login options or fillable forms on your website.
Don’t wait for your website provider to call. Get on the phone with them today and ask to upgrade to HTTPS. The benefits in terms of search rankings and visitor confidence are worth it.
Do you have other questions or concerns like this? Don’t guess your way through your online presence. We’re here to help. Sign up for a free coaching call where you can ask all of your burning questions and get our 7-day practice mastery challenge free.