In this age and era where issues of cybersecurity have become pervasive, you must at least have thought of buying an installing SSL certificate for your website. If you haven’t yet, then its time you start thinking about it. SSL was first used by websites that required users to hand in sensitive information. However, with the increase in cybercrimes, it now means that SSL is now more important for any website. To lead the move, major browsers even begun issuing warnings to its users on the insecure HTTP. For instance, in 2018 Google issued a warning indicating chrome would mark all sites that are not encrypted with HTTPS as not “secure”. SSL also affects SEO rankings! Yes, it is that such a big deal for your business. Let’s delve in deeper on the link between SSL and SEO rankings.
What is an SSL Certificate?
In simple terms, an SSL certificate is a piece of code installed on the webserver to offers a secure connection from the client-side to the server-side. It is used to secure credit card transactions, logins, and data transfer from any type of websites. SSL certificates can be purchased by SSL certificate authorities and SSL providers. A good example of an SSL vendor is Comodo which holds about 34% of the SSL market. Once you buy the certificate and successfully install it, the URL you know as HTTP then changes to HTTPS. As you might have guessed, the initial S thus stands for secure.
Features of SSL certificate that impact SEO rankings.
Now that we know what SSL certificates are, we must mention a few of its features to help you understand its relation to higher SEO rankings. Let’s highlight the features of the cheap SSL certificate as a reference. It offers users different packages based on their needs. They have multiple certificates designed as per users’ requirements. The SSL certificate, for example, offers the following:
- Different validation methods
- 2048-bit digital signatures & 256-bit encryption
- Validation of both domain name and company details.
- Unlimited server licenses and issuances
With such features, your website has added privacy and security. It also means that your website will start offering secure connections from a web server to a browser and the data between two ends are secure. These perks that come by installing an SSL certificate of your choice ultimately increase traffic to your site and Google SEO rankings.
Why SSL certificates are important
It would be frustrating to find out that while browsing, your data can be changed without your knowledge, or all the data or information you share if it is not encrypted. Another worst-case scenario is having your customers duped by a malicious target. All these scenarios are possibilities with websites that are not secure. It, therefore, makes sense that Google prefers to work with website owners that provide extra security to its users. Ideally, any data that is sent through HTTPS is protected by a transport layer security protocol, which ensures that your customers are safe.
SSL certificates used as ranking signals
HTTPS was recognized as a ranking signal in 2014. This was a major move by Google to encourage and advocate for a safer internet by giving an SEO ranking boost for sites using SSL certificates. The search engine announced an adjustment on its indexing system by looking for more HTTPS pages. The idea was to start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages. Websites that adapted to the changes would receive a boost in search ranking. Although your website receives a boost from Google, it does not necessarily mean that your site will top the search results immediately you buy the certificate. It is through Google indexing metrics, and the credibility built by the security measure you have adopted that increases your website rank over time.
Secured websites, Customers’ trust. And SEO ranking
Most people if not everyone loves to engage in a secure platform. You tend to avoid sites marked “unprotected’ or “insecure”, because of the fear of losing or sharing personal data with third parties or hackers. Reports indicate a slow transition to HTTPS rate because a large percentage of website owners don’t see the need or are reluctant to take this extra step. Investing in a good SSL certificate thus enhances your customer trust. It shows your clients that you value their safety and they can feel safe engaging with your platform. That extra amplification blows the trumpet for you translating to high traffic and SEO ranking.
Increased visibility and Conversion rates
Any business that can convert one visitor to a client, can be said to heading in the right direction. Investing in a credible SSL certificate increases the trust of people visiting your site. What this does is to increase the visibility of your site in Google search results. Take an example of two competing online stores, one with an SSL certificate and the other that doesn’t. Given that people use credit cards to transact on such platforms, it is easier for a person to opt for the secured online store because he or she considers it safe and not subjected to any threats especially those that can use personal data. Increased visibility translates to higher SEO ranking and increased customers.
Most sites only have SSL installed in third party checkout areas where clients are paying for a transaction. While that is great, but it is not enough. If you are looking for SEO ranking you will need to ensure that the whole site is secured. Ranking boosts will only be applied to the pages that have SSL enabled. As already discussed, it is quite evident that there is a myriad of benefits linked to SSL certificates in relation to SEO. With higher SEO ranking an online business can compete well in the market. All this is possible by taking that first step and moving from HTTP to HTTPS.
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