If you want to be the best you need to do what the best is doing and do it better.
The Google Transparency Report on HTTPS usage makes the case that all sites should be served using SSL. The report gives us a visual as to what users want, security and trust.
The charts give us insight into real users on a massive scale. They are broken down into different demographics to tell us what the minimal bar is when it comes to HTTPS.
Take the "Percentage of HTTPS browsing time by Chrome platform". It tells us at 2/3 of the traffic in Chrome for Android is HTTPS. Other platforms are 79% or above.
The "Percentage of pages loaded over HTTPS in Chrome by platform" has similar values. The number of pages loaded via HTTPS is at least 60%.
Consumers Gravitate Toward Secure Sites
These key performance indicators clearly show consumers spend more time on secure sites.
Could it be its because consumers know the site is secure?
Or is it that sites that take the time to implement HTTPS are just better quality?
My opinion is a combination of the two. If you take the time to secure your site you most likely take the time to deliver a higher quality experience.
Here is a health analogy, thin people tend have a more meticulous diet and probably exercise more than obese. The result is they are generally perceived as more attractive. They are certainly healthier.
HTTPS and Search Engine Optimization
HTTPS is just one of those quick signs the site is legitimate. Search engines call factors like HTTPS signals. Google and Bing both use this as a KPI in their search engine ranking algorithms for that very reason.
There are over 200 known signals affecting your search engine rankings. Some are included in this report, like time on page, as proof HTTPS is the way to go.
The key take away from the transparency report is consumers spend more time on sites served via HTTPS. If you want people using your web site you should implement HTTPS sooner rather than later.
I have been examining the top 10-20 results for any search I make in Google and Bing the past month. It is very rare I see a site using insecure HTTP listed.
And when I do I have been make a point to visit those pages to see if they are current or abandoned. My anecdotal observation is 90% qualify as abandoned. No new content in at least 2 years, most have a 3 or more year hiatus.
Personally, I find this is a clear signal to write content on the topic and get the traffic myself.
Don't believe me? Have you seen how many post I have made lately...there is a reason!
People spend their time on the top sites. If these top sites collectively practice certain technical implementations I think we should pay attention to those details and apply them as much as we possibly can to improve our brands.
HTTPS is not difficult to implement. There can be details to your site's data that needs to be updated, like references to resources, internal links, etc should all be updated to HTTPS.
Every journey starts with a single step and that first step is installing an SSL certificate on your server.