The latest Google changes will impact your website
If you’re a tradesperson and you don’t have a website, then you should get on that now because you are missing out on a lot of new clients – 85% of consumers use the internet to find new business.
However, if you do have a website and rely on traffic from the search engines or paid advertising, then you need to be aware of the latest Google changes which have the potential to bring your online efforts crashing down.
It’s a safe bet to say that most tradesmen have reasonably uncomplicated websites. There’s a homepage, an about us and contact page, and maybe a couple of pages which showcase previous work. In some cases, there may be a blog attached to help with SEO efforts.
A lot of tradies probably haven’t thought about SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which is a form of encryption that keeps the flow of information between a browser and a web server private. Up until June 2018, lack of SSL hasn’t posed much of a problem to websites which are mostly nothing more complicated than an online brochure advertising a business, but that is about to change.
The primary goal of SSL is to prevent personal data that is entered into a website form at the client’s end, such as a payment gateway or contact form, from being intercepted by a third party who may be “listening in” on the transaction. All data exchange is safely hidden behind the encryption connecting the two machines.
SSL happens behind the scenes, but you can tell if a website is protected when a small padlock icon is shown next to the URL of the browser’s address bar. When the icon is green and displayed as locked, you can be reasonably confident that all data transmissions from the browser to server and back are secure, that all parties are who they say they are, and that data integrity is maintained.
Recently, Google has been making a lot of noise about SSL, and in June 2018, they will finally be making good on their promise to protect their users even further by displaying a warning on every website which doesn’t implement SSL.
It’s not a good look for a business if a prospect’s first contact is an intimidating message that their data is not protected. You can be that most visitors won’t risk clicking through and will end up on a competitor’s website. SSL is affordable, and the reasons for using it are to protect visitors to your site from nefarious individuals looking to commit credit card fraud or identity theft.
Don’t risk losing out on more business to save a few bucks a year. Show Google that you have your client’s best interests at heart and invest in SSL today. And don’t forget, if you have SSL, Google is more likely to display your website in their search results than a site which doesn’t use this secure technology.