A secure vs. non-secure site can make the difference between a user converting or not converting on your offer. When a URL begins with "https", the page is secure. However, if it begins with "http", it is not secure and exposes users to potential harm when they enter any information on the page.
Differences between secure and non-secure pages
The small addition of the letter "S" makes a big difference in website security. "HTTP" stands for HyperText Transport Protocol and allows for information to be passed between web servers and clients. The "S" stands for secure.
Websites that are secure have an SSL Certificate, meaning any data being passed between web servers and clients is encrypted. If a website is non-secure, any information a user inputs on the page (e.g., name, address, credit card details) are not protected and can be stolen. However, on a secure website, the code is encrypted so any sensitive information cannot be traced.
Google Chrome's treatment of secure vs. non-secure sites
Google is continuously working to make the internet a more secure place. To accomplish this, Chrome browsers on desktop and mobile are making site security settings more and more prominent when users are browsing the web.
Depending on whether the user is on desktop or mobile, Chrome will currently display an icon and/or label in the address bar to convey whether the page is secure or non-secure. Warnings on non-secure pages appear more noticeable and severe when a user types information into a text field, like logins and signup forms.
Google will continue to update how secure and non-secure sites are marked in future Chrome versions, eventually "flagging" all non-secure sites with red warnings in the address bar.
Please refer to Google's project timeline for more details about how Chrome currently distinguishes secure from non-secure pages on desktop and mobile, as well as iterations planned for future versions of their browsers.
Site security and consumer trust
In today’s world, many internet users are mindful of secure vs. non-secure websites. If your offer is secure, your audience will trust that their personal data is safe and be more likely to convert. Warnings that the page they're on is not secure, on the other hand, make many users uneasy and more likely to navigate away from the page.
For example, if you're running an e-commerce offer and your conversion point is a purchase, a user is more likely to input their personal and payment information on a secure page than a non-secure page.
Securing your offer
You can avoid non-secure warnings by ensuring every page in your conversion funnel is secure. This includes all pages, starting with the redirect page (if applicable) to the page after the conversion takes place.
If you do not own your offer, you will need to speak to whoever owns the web page (i.e. your affiliate network) regarding security and the importance of it for the success of your advertising campaigns.
You can learn more about secure vs. non-secure pages and find information about migrating your sites to HTTPS in this Google blog post.