Now is the Time to Update Your Hospital Website Encryption to Avoid the Dreaded Chrome 62 ‘Not Secure’ Label
As 2016 came to a close, we published a blog with a title that asked a simple but important question: “Is Your Hospital Website Secure Enough for Google in 2017?”
Now in October 2017, the Chrome SSL Warning question is more relevant than ever. This month, Google is expected to release Chrome 62, which will mark Website pages without TLS/SSL encryption as “Not Secure”.
It’s never too late to get your Website’s security up to spec for Chrome or all other browsers. But because this update may also impact your healthcare search engine optimization (SEO) and digital healthcare marketing results, there is no time like the present to make sure you are compliant for Chrome 62 and beyond.
Is Your Hospital Website ‘Secure’ for Chrome?
First, test your hospital Website’s security on Chrome:
• Open your Chrome browser
• Type in your hospital Website address
• Let the page load
• Look for the icon that appears in the address bar to the left of the URL
Do you see a green lock icon in the address bar?
• Yes! Hooray, your hospital Website is secure!
• No! Sorry, but your Website is not what Chrome considers “secure.”
Chrome 62’s Greatest Threat: Your Conversions and Patient Acquisition for All Web Browsers
It’s no secret that Google wants you to use TLS/SSL security. Along with the implications of its upcoming Chrome 62 update, even as early as 2014, Google has been clear it would give more SEO juice to secured Websites.
There continues to be no hard evidence that not having a secure hospital Website will hurt your Page rank, SERP positions, etc. What is certain is that not having a TLS/SSL will very like hurt your Website conversions—and thus, your patient acquisition rates.
This cuts across all Web browsers, too. There are two reasons for this.
• You Must Respect Chrome’s Popularity: Chrome’s status as the most widely used Web browser (estimated to be used by at least 55 percent of all Internet users) means anything that keeps you from using it for patient acquisition is a major disadvantage.
If your Website is not secure, you are potentially discouraging more than half of your entire Website visitor traffic to complete an online form.
• Poor User Experiences Hurts SEO: If Chrome users suddenly start abandoning your Website because they are scared off by “Not Secure” warnings, sooner or later, it will drag your SEO down—which could result in lower traffic, and thus, lower conversions, regardless of browser.
Patient Confidence: A Lesser Threat, but a Threat All the Same
If you need one more reason to improve your Website security, let it be patient confidence in your brand.
Although Website and internal EMR/EHR data (and their security) are usually two entirely separate things, with growing public awareness about healthcare cybersecurity risks, your visitors and patients may presume that if your Website is not secure, then the rest of your digital medical information isn’t either.
As Sequence Health’s Associate Director of Search Engine Marketing, Susan Gullion is one of our most knowledgeable resources for enhancing our healthcare clients’ search engine marketing strategies with SEO, PPC and social media.
Sequence Health is a cloud-based technology and services company that improves profitability and patient outcomes for hospitals and practices through end-to-end patient engagement solutions backed by clinical and non-clinical teams. Its HIPAA-compliant, SaaS platform improves care team workflows, automates patient communication and tracks patient progress to optimize the patient journey. Since 2004, leading healthcare providers have trusted Sequence Health to help acquire, manage and engage patients through complex episodes of care.