An initial analysis of ‘non-secure’ websites indicates that the lack of a security certificate negatively impacts consumer engagement. When consumers see a ‘Not Secure’ message, they are more likely to leave without taking full advantage of the website experience. Less engagement online means less offline sales. These results highlight the importance of securing your website with a SSL certificate.
In an effort to eliminate ‘non-secure browsing’ Google updated their most popular browser Chrome last month. ‘Chrome 62’ will now show a ‘Not Secure’ message on any page that collects data (such as name, email or search queries) unless that website is encrypted with a SSL certificate. Before the release, there was a lot of concern about potential negative impacts to consumer engagement as a result of the new security updates. This is an important update in the search engine world and Modix has been closely monitoring and preparing for this update. You can read about these preparations in our last blog article “Switch from HTTP to HTTPS” where we highlight the advantages and steps required to convert from HTTP to HTTPS with a SSL certificate.
Now that this update has been live for a month, we can analyze its impact on website performance.
Modix analyzed a large sample of Dealer Websites and Used Vehicle Locators across Europe that do not have sites secured with SSL certificates. We compared traffic from Chrome 62 versus earlier versions of Chrome to specifically assess the impact of the new Chrome 62 warning messages. Through this technique, we could eliminate any other factors, creating a statistically valid test of the impact of the warning message.
The Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration and Page Views per Session were the Key Performance Indicators that were negatively impacted by the lack of a secure website experience. These initial results indicate that users are less likely to take full advantage of the website experience when they see a ‘Not Secure’ message. These results are not surprising – data security is extremely important today. Would you feel comfortable using a website that had a ‘Not Secure’ message?
The bounce rate is the benchmark for visitor quality - the percentage of visitors on your website who immediately navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. It is important that users stay on your website visiting multiple pages, absorbing the content of the website. Our early analysis shows that the bounce rate is 11% higher on the current Chrome 62 without SSL.
Average Session Duration
The average session duration is the average amount of time a user spends on your site, and it is another key factor to assess the performance from your website. Our analysis found that the average duration is 11% lower on the current Chrome 62 without SSL. This suggests that when users see the ‘Not Secure’ message, they leave before learning about your business or your inventory.
Page Views per Session
Page Views per Session is the average number of pages a user visits while on a website. Your website is an important marketing tool and when users visit multiple pages it indicates that they are interested in your business. Users coming to un-secure sites on Chrome 62 viewed 11% fewer pages during their session.
In conclusion, we found that overall consumer engagement was reduced by 11% as a result of the new security warning message introduced by Chrome 62. User engagement on your website is a critical component of your digital strategy and the negative impact of an unsecure user experience should not be ignored. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our customers to immediately upgrade to an SSL certificate with HTTPS if they have not done so already.
In addition to the improved engagement, SSL provides SEO benefits and will help to future-proof your website as the Internet moves toward favoring SSL/HTTPS for all connections.
Would you like to know more about the advantages of an SSL certificate? Please feel free to get in touch with us over our contact form or call us at 0261 200693-330.