On Wednesday, Google announced they had made all data in Google Analytics secure, regardless of whether the website is secure or not. This announcement comes as no surprise considering Google’s firm views on internet security and privacy, and their previous efforts to urge webmasters to convert to HTTPS. But how will it affect users of Google Analytics?
What Google Analytics users need to know
Google has explained they are protecting data by using HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to encrypt ‘communication between end users, website, and [our] servers.’ This means that even if you have yet to install an SSL certificate on your website, data will be encrypted.
‘Do I need to do anything?’
Luckily, this change doesn’t make any extra work for webmasters and businesses – you don’t have to add or amend any code on your website!
However, if you don’t already have an SSL certificate installed on your website, now is the time to do so. Google have previously written about how they will rank HTTPS web pages over HTTP ones, meaning your unsecure web page could end up falling in the rankings and losing you organic traffic.
‘Will changing to HTTPS affect my web traffic?’
Installing an SSL certificate can have an effect on traffic to your website and data in Google Analytics. Providing a secure website to your users can have a positive effect on your business as globally people are more aware of internet safety. Knowing that any information passed between them and you is transferred securely can be the deciding factor in buying from you or buying elsewhere.
There is a small chance you will see a dip in traffic in Google Analytics, as traffic encrypted via HTTPS can be slower than unencrypted traffic, with visitors that close a page in under a certain amount of time (Google uses under 1 second as an example) not being counted. This also occurs with unencrypted traffic.
Though a loss in total traffic to a website may seem like a negative, it could arguably lead to better data captured by Google Analytics. Those who leave your website almost immediately cannot be considered genuine traffic or customers, and eliminating them could lead to more realistic conversion and bounce rates.
You can find out more about HTTPS in our previous blog post.
As tech and digital specialists, SpiderGroup can help your website become more secure. We can advise on the right SSL certificate for your needs and install it for you, so get in touch today to make the change from HTTP to HTTPS.
For more information, call us on 0117 933 0570 or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you.