We recently posted about this blog’s switch to SSL. The only difference you’ll notice is the “https” in your browser address bar, but SSL promises greater security, more confident users, and higher search rankings.
There’s one additional benefit to SSL that we thought deserved its own blog post: better analytics.
SSL on its own doesn’t offer any improvement in the website analytics you’re using. Yet if you rely on Google Analytics – and because it’s both powerful and free, you should – activating SSL will enable you to see traffic between your site and other secured sites.
This matters because, if your site isn’t secured with SSL, Google Analytics won’t pass user information from “https” sites that do use SSL (like CarGurus.com).
In other words, if your site isn’t secure, your GA account won’t show traffic from CarGurus.com and other sites, like Cars.com, that also use SSL.
Note that Google’s policy change doesn’t affect custom URLs that have extra characters at the end (e.g., cargurus.com/abc). Traffic from customized URLs on secure sites is still visible in GA, even if your site isn’t SSL-enabled.
What’s behind Google’s hard line on non-SSL traffic? The company utimately wants the internet to be more secure, and this change to GA is one way it’s pushing websites to turn on SSL.
There’s really no workaround – to unlock full traffic-source analytics in GA, the best option is simply to activate SSL on your website. As we talked about last week, it’s not difficult, and your website provider can do most of the work.
SSL has a number of benefits on its own. And if you rely on Google Analytics, you now have one more reason to make the switch.
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