Website security and user privacy have become crucial for online companies, especially with big brands like Google, pushing for stricter security measures with emphasis on boosting site security. This makes SSL certificate even more important for boosting SEO and search engine rankings. Search engines favor websites that are more secure by providing a boost to them with higher rankings on the SERP. A secure site has become a standard for most companies to survive the competition and boost their brand presence.
Why are SSL certificates essential for your website ranking?
Google made it official in 2018 that they would mark all websites without SSL certificate as “not secure”. This proved useful to inform visitors whether their personal information was safe and secure while navigating sites on the Internet. Thus, websites with SSL certificate display HTTPS on their URL with a padlock symbol displayed on the browser. Visitors want to visit secure sites, and SSL certificates help in building trust and confidence among customers.
Websites use SSL certificates for establishing secure connections between the server and the device. This ensures data communication and transfer remains private and encrypted between your web server and browser. Thus, an SSL certificate can be useful in binding your domain name, location, and the company name. It is recommended for all websites to buy an SSL certificate, especially if they are handling sensitive data or information related to their business or customers.
After analyzing over 11.8 million Google search results, Backlinko came up with some interesting insights about the factors that correlate with improved search engine rankings. Their data and findings suggested that a website’s link authority could be strongly associated with higher rankings. Furthermore, HTTPS showed moderate correlation with higher search engine rankings.
SSL certificate can improve user experience and SEO results
As discussed earlier, visitors trust websites that are secure and have SSL certificate which can help in attracting and engaging the right type of target audience for your brand. On the contrary, sites that lack security provides a poor user experience as visitors do not want to risk in sharing their personal information on insecure sites. This, in turn, poses a huge challenge for websites that do not use SSL certificate as they are unlikely to get high rankings on the SERP.
Apart from the security aspect, there are other benefits, SSL certificate also brings other enhancements to user experience by issuing warnings to website visitors from unsecured websites. Google analyzes such behavior patterns among visitors where they spend less time on such websites which can hurt ecommerce sites that are insecure. However, it is essential to remember that SSL certificate alone cannot determine your website’s search engine rankings as other SEO factors need to be fulfilled as well.
Key benefits of using an SSL certificate for SEO
Enhanced security for websites
Most of the cyber-attacks that occur are targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, which is why Google is enforcing enhanced security measures such as using HTTPS for online businesses. The primary purpose is to ensure that the web is a safe and secure place for users and helps to prevent hacking attacks.
- Improved data integrity
SSL certificate helps to find out if data on your website has tampered at the time of transit. On the other hand, sites that are not secure may prove to be risky as hackers can tamper with the data relayed back from your server to your customers. This can result in loss of valuable information and data which could potentially put your business at risk.
- Helps preserve referral data
If your website is not secured and relies on web analytics service such as Google Analytics, then no referral data will be passed from HTTPS to HTTP pages. On the other hand, on websites that use HTTPS, the source of referral traffic is labelled as direct.
- Helps in data encryption
Data encryption refers to secure communication between the client and server in such a way that others may not intercept the information. This is especially important for ecommerce and finance-based websites as these businesses might be dealing with sensitive personal information.
- Enables the use of sophisticated protocols
HTTPS is much slower when compared to HTTP due to the enhanced security features. On the other hand, HTTPS is key for using some of the recent security and web technologies. HTTPS can also help improve page speed while using protocols such as HTTP/2 and TLS 1.3. In addition to improved user experience, page speed is a lightweight ranking factor like HTTPS.
How to get an SSL certificate?
There are paid and free versions of SSL certificate along with various options provided by leading providers such as SSL2BUY. Secure sites have a greater appeal among website visitors as they get the assurance that any of the information passed through the server shall remain encrypted. Online businesses need to give top priority to the security of their websites and installing SSL certificates on sites can provide peace of mind to website visitors.
There are different options when it comes to buying SSL certificates ranging from wildcard certificates (used for securing base domain along with an unlimited number of subdomains) to extended validation certificate. On the other hand, multi-domain certificates could be useful in securing 100 different domains and subdomains through a single certificate. An EV SSL certificate is the most expensive and highest validation SSL certificate. Depending on the needs of your business, it is necessary to purchase the right type of SSL certificate.
There are numerous benefits of keeping your site secure using HTTPS, especially for growing your business and improving customer confidence. They can be useful in attracting quality traffic to your website and improving your SEO rankings. Regardless of the size of your business, SSL certificate can go a long way in protecting your website from hackers.