Are you interested in protecting you and your clients’ personal information while at the same time gaining an edge in Google search rankings? Adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate—better known as HTTPS or HTTP over TLS—to your website will allow you to achieve both goals with a single upgrade.

Bad web security has gained attention in recent years as individuals and businesses have increasingly been the victims of criminals and governments seeking to acquire personal information. More and more, Internet users—which is to say just about everybody—is wondering how they can keep personal, professional and financial details safe from prying eyes.

In response, web companies have begun to beef up online security. Google led the charge by making HTTPS, a form of encryption, the default for all of its services, and Facebook and Twitter soon followed suit.

Now, Google, with an eye toward “HTTPS Everywhere,” is incentivizing security by offering a minor search engine optimization (SEO) boost for websites that ditch HTTP in favor of HTTPS. The company recently announced that HTTPS will now serve as a search engine optimization (SEO) ranking signal. That is, Google will now favor sites that switch to secure, encrypted connections.

For the time being HTTPS is only a minor signal, but Google has hinted that it may strengthen the signal over time as a way to bolster web security on a broad scale.

And since the announcement is coming from Google—the world’smost popular web search engine—there really is no such thing as a minor announcement. This might be a small adjustment for now, but encrypted everything is likely to be standard practice in the not-too-distant future.

Why HTTPS Matters for Law Firm Marketing

HTTPS isn’t just for sites that require users to enter credit card information. An encrypted connection protects both you and your clients/potential clients from would-be criminals and snoopers who can use seemingly-unimportant information like an email address or phone number to gain access to multiple accounts.

An encrypted HTTPS site protects your network from intruders who, once inside, can wreak havoc by stealing private information, sending spam from your email server, hacking into network computers, and more.
From a client’s point of view, they run the risk of putting personal information into the wrong hands when they submit a “free consultation” form or even join a mailing list. You might already promise customers to keep their personal details confidential, but without a secure website, you can’t really fulfill that promise.

Finally, if for no other reason, adding HTTPS to your site will give you better standing with Google. Anyone who’s ever taken a traffic hit from a Google update such as Penguin or Hummingbird understands how important it is to comply with the Internet’s unequivocal gatekeeper.

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