Healthcare SEO: Move Your Site to SSL Before July to Avoid Being Flagged as Not Secure by Google

Google has another update to make and yes, it requires some work on your part to comply. Starting this July, Google Chrome will mark all HTTP, or SSL, sites as “not secure.” Chrome currently puts forth a neutral information icon, but now the browser will warn users via a red notification within the address bar. Currently, HTTPS-encrypted sites show a green lock symbol and “Secure” sign. This isn’t really a big surprise. Google has been trying to get users to abandon unencrypted sites for many years. Now they are finally taking more forceful action. Back in 2015, Google search started down-ranking unencrypted sites, followed by warnings for unencrypted password fields the next year.

This is especially important for healthcare SEO businesses that operate on trust quite a bit. As a result, you’ll have to be very careful about employing this change when seeking out web design for your company. A professional like A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing can take care of this for you, whether as a modification or as part of a new website. We deal with these encryption issues all the time, so we can get it done quickly and efficiently for you.

The Details

This latest announcement came last week, spurred by increased HTTPS adoption web-wide. You will see these changes take effect beginning the week of July 22 to 28, 2018 with the release of Chrome 68. Eighty-one of the web’s top 100 sites now use HTTPS, says Computer World, while 68% of Chrome traffic on Windows and Android, and 78% on macOS and Chrome OS are encrypted. That is a big increase from September 2016, when half of all Chrome desktop page-loads were served by HTTPS.

Avoiding the red-for-danger “Not secure” icon is critical in the healthcare field, particularly for elder care services, as your whole business is built on trust with your patients and their family members.

Why HTTPS is so Important

So what’s the big deal about the HTTPS encryption? Essentially, it protects the connection between your browser and the web site you are looking at, ensuring no middle man can mess with the traffic or check out what you are doing, says The Verge. If your site is not encrypted, anyone who has access to your router or ISP can see information you send to websites or add malware into your pages. We don’t have to go into detail about what this could spell for your eldercare business. Let’s just say it would be complete chaos, potentially resulting in identity theft, causing your reputation to take a nosedive, and your bottom line to tank. Not to mention the downtime and expense it would take to address and correct all of that.

Just trust us that complying with HTTPS encryption is a good thing for you. Fortunately, this process is much easier to implement through automated services and Google’s own tools for migrating your website to HTTPS. So what is it exactly?

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an Internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between your computer and the website, says Google. You as the user deserve to have a secure and private online experience when using a website. Likewise, your clients deserve the same thing when they visit your website. Adopting HTTPS serves to further protect your users’ connections to your website.

Data sent using HTTPS gives you three key layers of protection:

  1. Encryption—Keeps data secure from eavesdroppers.
  2. Data integrity—Data can’t be modified or corrupted during transfer without detection.
  3. Authentication—Proves that users are communicating with the intended website.

Best Practices for Implementation

  • Use robust security certificates
  • Use server-side 301 redirects
  • Verify that your HTTPS pages can be crawled and indexed by Google

Of course, if you don’t know the first thing about the back end of your website, you should leave this up to the professionals at A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing. Too many mistakes can happen to the uninitiated, such as expired certificates, missing server name indication support, crawling and indexing issues, mixed security elements, status code errors and much more. These can all complicate and delay the process.

Why should your healthcare business comply? There are many reasons:

  • To encrypt sensitive patient and financial information
  • To protect you from cyber-criminals
  • To build trust and brand power
  • You will be penalized if you don’t!

Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing

Need help with your HTTPS-encrypted site? A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing specializes in healthcare SEO so you can bet you’re getting targeted, focused attention to detail for your industry. Please call us at (760) 227-2720 to learn more. Remember, you only have till July (five months), so it’s best to get going now!

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