Upcoming Chrome Changes and Your Content Marketing
Today we get a little technical about Chrome. In a nutshell, if you don’t already have an SSL Certificate on your website, you’ll want to get it installed ASAP.
Next month — which is to say, next week — Google will release a new version of the Chrome browser that will, by default, return a “not secure” message when a site visitor fills out a form on your website. The message will appear only if your site answers at http rather than https.
SSL Certificates aren’t terribly complicated or expensive. What throws people off is that they used to be required only if you were dealing in PII — personally identifiable information — or doing things like credit card transactions.
Now, Google is trying to encourage us all to make the web a safer place. We have been recommending SSL Certificates for some time as it not only had this change to Chrome been rumored, but Google was also rumored to be considering site security (in the form of SSL) when calculating site rankings.
What Kind of SSL Certificate to Install
Our recommendation is to work through your hosting provider to find a 2-year certificate with a basic level of encryption. (Domain validated, in the parlance.) A paid certificate is the way to go, as the certificates themselves are inexpensive enough that there’s no reason to cut corners. If you will be processing transactions, you may want to consider SSL Certificates that are either Organization Validated or Extended Validation.
If your provider offers automatic renewals, sign up for them — you don’t want the certificate to expire and have your site either not responding when visitors attempt to access it or generating errors that will frighten most cautious visitors away.
Once you’ve addressed these first steps your website itself may need some adjustment in order to handle the change in status. Check with your webmaster or development company. They’ll be able to guide you and are likely the best folks to manage the entire process.
What SSL Certificates Can and Can’t Do
Keep in mind that an SSL Certificate will protect the data that is being transmitted through your site, but doesn’t secure the site itself. You still need to keep coding, modules, and plugins up to date and would be smart to put firewall protection and site monitoring in place, as well.
Finally, be sure to check your SEO — site maps may need to be adjusted as may analytics settings.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")