Travel websites have been slow to adopt to the (relatively) new secure web browsing format known as HTTPS, potentially causing confusion amongst consumers.
Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox often display warnings in search results against sites that have not switched their pages over to the HTTPS system, meaning there could be many brands that are losing out on business if a user opts for another site.
SearchMetrics analysed the front page results on Google for around 30,000 keyword queries during the first quarter of this year and found that only 23% of travel-related pages are using the HTTPS format.
Whilst there is still a lot of work to do across brands in general, the travel sector is a poor performer alongside media sites (12%).
The “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure” – an encryption note that makes it “harder for unauthorised parties to track what visitors are looking at as well as to intercept personal information such as passwords and credit cards”.
The sectors with the highest returns are finance (46%) and ecommerce retail sites (36%). Health-related sites came in at 24%.
A brand’s position is only slightly improved by opting for a HTTPS format, SearchMetrics CEO Marcus Tober says, but this isn’t the point.
“But if leading web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox are marking your web pages as less secure, this can have a negative impact on your conversion rate, particularly given the growing awareness among consumers about the importance of secure connections.”
NB: Browser image via Pixabay.