A customers’ security first approach is a fundamental condition of any online business activity and the main reason why you need to switch to SSL in your affiliate marketing campaigns. Show people you take care of their privacy, and they might reward you with higher trust and thus – profits.
And the Oscar Goes to… SSL Certificate
We are still in the Oscars mood so let’s stick to the movies and move back to 1992. Remember “The Bodyguard”, Hollywood blockbuster starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner? You should… unless you have lived in a cave for the last 30 years.
Now use your imagination and improvise a bit with the plot for the moment.
Our sulky music star would be a typical old-fashioned HTTP website, vulnerable to the attacks of hackers and any other type of virtual villains, while our title character – an SSL certificate making Whitney safe again with HTTPS protocol security magic tricks.
Although critics didn’t like the movie (I bet they’d love our affiliate’s version), it made $411 million worldwide. We’ll talk about money later.
What’s an SSL Certificate and How Does It Work?
No matter if you’re a pop star, movie tycoon or an affiliate marketer, it’s a quite positive scenario not to have stalkers or hackers on your neck.
In the case of running an online business, it’s impossible to be safe just by hiring a single former Secret Service agent. You need a complex solution, that in one moment will secure the data of your multiple potential customers. You need an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for Security Sockets Layer. Simply put, it’s a technology responsible for establishing a secure (encrypted) connection between a web server and a browser, ensuring that all data passed between them remains private.
Encryption, as explained by Google, a big advocate of switching to SSL, “is a technological implementation of cryptography: information is converted to an unintelligible form – encoded – such that it can only be translated into an understandable form – decoded – with a key.
Encrypted communications traveling across the web may be intercepted, but their contents will be unintelligible”.
Where and Why Is SSL Used?
The first thing that probably comes to your mind in terms of website security is the protection of sensitive data. But what – apart from online payments or registration forms – does sensitive data stand for? Previously the definition was up to the web service owner.
In recent years, the approach to sensitive data and online security has changed significantly. Websites secured with SSL certificates are becoming the standard for big players.
Since July 2018 Google Chrome 68 marks all HTTP websites as not secure. Even earlier (last spring) the same warning was introduced to Safari users on iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4. As of August 2018, Chrome and Google stand for approximately 75% of the market.
What does it mean for affiliate marketers? Since such sites (e.g. landing pages, websites, online shops) are marked as insecure, the user gets alerted that something is wrong and is likely to lose trust, and thus won’t convert.
It’s a matter of time until the rest of the top browsers providers will follow Chrome and Safari footsteps, persuading all websites to use HTTPS by default to protect all online data with encrypted data transfer.
How to Check If a Website Connection Is Secure?
Like we’ve already mentioned, Google and Apple warn their users that a website isn’t secure.
Chrome provides all the necessary information in the security status, easy to find to the left of the web address. Just hover the mouse cursor over the symbol (from a padlock to a warning sign – depending on the site status) and click to learn more about the site security and connection privacy.
There are three types of statuses:
- Secure – the site is using a private connection
- Info/not secure – the site isn’t using a private connection
- Not secure/dangerous – browser suggest avoiding the site
When applicable, you may also see a warning: payment/login not secure. Keep in mind that the level of certificate validation may vary. In some cases, like online banking, you may see a green address bar signal. It’s the best one. It means your money is safe.
Also, Safari shows a similar warning if a website isn’t secure. The browser checks the site certificate and warns if it is expired or illegitimate.
Benefits of Switching to SSL
For you as a performance marketer, the trust of your potential customers is undoubtedly the number one priority. When they trust your moves, they’ll be more eager to convert, making your efforts more profitable.
Here is just a short list of proven benefits of switching to SSL.
Traffic loss prevention: what do you think most people do when they see a warning that landing page with shoes offer they are considering buying is not secure? Do they fill the purchase form with their credit card number or other sensitive data? No, they surf away to your competition that pays attention to data security. Installing an SSL certificate would help you prevent such traffic loss.
Higher data security: your potential customers will only trust you more, acknowledging that you obey up-to-date online security standards. It’s a win-win scenario.
Support of all modern browsers: you may ask yourself how does it affect your campaigns? Well, quite a lot! If you still use HTTP in your campaigns, you may limit your performance on Chrome and Safari. Check one more time the numbers posted above – it’s three out of four of your potential clients.
Less tracking issues to solve: using HTTPS across your funnel will not only improve the security of customers sensitive data but also will help you avoid tracking issues (related to redirections).
No safety warnings: as you already know, top browsers providers inform their users in a firm manner when a website they visit is suspicious, dangerous or not secure. You don’t want to have your landers marked that way, as it may harmfully impact your conversion rates.
Trusted business environment: your customers need to feel safe and confident while buying something online. You can ensure them that you’re doing your best to fulfill their needs by establishing a secure connection to your offers.
Why You Need to Switch to SSL with Zeropark
Basically, because it’s obligatory.
Following modern online security trends and bearing in mind how browser security notifications may affect your campaign, Zeropark adjusted its policy regarding redirect links. Therefore since October 1st, 2018, creating a new campaign in Zeropark is possible only with HTTPS.
How to get an SSL certificate for your domains? We recommend buying it directly from Voluum. It’s easy, quick and supported by dedicated staff.
Still not convinced to HTTPS in your affiliate marketing business? It’s good for your customers and thus – the number of conversions. At the very beginning of this post, we promised to talk more about the money. The time has come to do so. Check out our Case Study:
Protect Your Campaigns at All Times
We started with one famous movie, let’s finish with another one. This time more successful in terms of winning the most prestigious award in the industry.
In 1977 “Rocky” won three Oscars for best picture, best director and best film editing, proving that a good story about underdog warrior from Philadelphia may warm the hearts of viewers and critics from all around the world.
Did you know what the referee probably told Rocky and Apollo before the fight? “Protect yourself at all times”. It’s a standard rule, repeated each time two boxers step into the ring. Usually, it works. At least for… 50% of fighters.
We should do the same in performance marketing, paying more attention to data and money security. Keep your guard up with SSL certificate and protect your campaigns at all times.