You may have noticed when you visit your dealership website in Google Chrome, a “Not Secure” warning text appears in the address bar.

You might be wondering why this appears, and how you can go about resolving it. The message is, after all, unattractive to your potential customers, and it could deal some damage to your reputation as a modern and trusted dealership.

Here’s a look at what the message means, why your website must be secure, and how you can go about making sure that’s the case.

What does the “Not Secure” warning mean in your web browser?

Essentially, the message is pretty succinct and accurate: it means that a website is only offering an unencrypted connection. This is referred at as HTTP, and it means that visitors to the site are susceptible to a range of security risks.

Hackers or malicious parties could intercept HTTP connections and alter the information that is being sent between the user and the server. The lack of encryption also means that those malicious parties could see everything that a user is typing – such as sensitive account information – in plain text.

Pretty scary stuff, right?

HTTPS is a superior form of encryption and ensures that all of the data exchanged over the connection is heavily encrypted using the latest standards. This is why Google Chrome (and other browsers) will display a “Secure” message within the address bar.

Why your website must be secure?

There are many reasons that your website must be served over HTTPS. Here are a few of the key reasons.

Customer confidence

Google Chrome is by far the world’s most popular browser, with an estimated 70% market share. This is absolutely huge, and Google wants to maintain its large market share by offering the best experiences possible to its users.

This means offering safe and secure experiences, which is one of the main reasons that the tech giant is trying to stomp out unsecured HTTP connections by any means necessary.

As HTTPS becomes the standard, the “Not Secure” warning is going to stand out more and more to your visitors. To gain their confidence and position yourself as a capable dealership, you should consider switching over to HTTPS. As browsers continue their fight against non-secure connections, we can expect the warnings to become even more severe.

An SEO Boost

In a blog post last year, Google confirmed that HTTPS was going to become a ranking signal that would influence the way its search algorithms rank websites. This means that if you want to give yourself a nice SEO boost and put yourself a step ahead of the competition, you’ll want to consider making the switch.

When PPC is so expensive for car dealerships, it’s essential that they make the most of organic SEO. This means that HTTPS is a must if you’re looking to get the edge over your competition.

Accurate referral data

Another way that Google is encouraging the shift towards HTTPS is by obfuscating referral data for those websites using HTTP. If your website is served over HTTP but receives a referral from a website using HTTPS, you will not receive any referral data about those visits.

This can really put the brakes on your SEO strategy and have a negative impact on your data. You’ll want to be serving over HTTPS for this very reason.

A Speed Boost

HTTPS is actually faster than HTTP, again speeding up your website to make the experience much more pleasant for your visitors.

In addition to offering a faster experience, this will also register with Google. The speed of your website is a huge ranking signal for Google, so you will want to do everything that you possibly can to ensure your website goes from 0-60 in as little time as possible.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is particularly relevant here. You can use the tool to get a better idea of the web performance techniques you can implement to make your website faster.

Future-Proof Your Website

HTTPS is also becoming an important standard because it can also boost the functionality of your website. By serving your website over HTTPS, you will find that you future-proof your website.

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are web apps that can essentially run on a user’s device like a native application. They can be installed directly from the web, and they’re incredibly fast. They can even send push notifications, too, but that’s only possible on connections that are served over HTTPS.

How to migrate to HTTPS

KeyCDN offers the most straightforward guide on how to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. You will notice, however, that this is a very complicated process that requires some level of technical expertise.

Your hosting provider might be able to help you with this process, and they will give you the advice that you need. You will find that the smaller your website, the easier the process becomes. This is one of the reasons that many gargantuan websites like Fortune.com are still served over HTTP.

If you have any specific questions about migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, be sure to get in touch. It will be my pleasure to offer you the help that you need and help you reap the benefits of a secure HTTPS connection.

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