In a panic because you have to know all about how https works, lest you get penalised by Google?! SSL certificate ensures greater security for your websites and helps in curbing cybersecurity threats to a great extent. In 2014, Google made a significant announcement that it would be using HTTPS as a key ranking signal.
Ever since significant marketers around the world have started giving more importance to SSL for improving website security. An additional bonus though is that it boosts search engine optimization efforts too.
That’s especially true since the recent announcement from Google, stating that HTTPS will be given significant importance in SERP’s. Source.
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Most websites have weak security and are more prone to attacks from hackers. Thus, having an SSL certificate allows for the secure exchange of data between the users and your website. This happens by assuring people they are dealing with legitimate sites.
Importance of SSL certificates:
SSL refers to Secure Sockets Layer. It is used to create an additional layer of safety for protecting the core information of the users. Thus, SSL technology helps in data encryption to ensure that it stays secure at all times.
With SSL, all types of data right from credit card to email address is protected using this secured mechanism. SSL certificates are issued by Certificate Authority. It is also known as Digital Certificate for authenticating the identity of your website. It assures safety and security to your users, and they are confident that their data is in safe hands. Almost all Search engines consider having an SSL certification as an edge for high SERP ranking.
Different types of SSL certificate are there to fulfil the requirement of different enterprises. This includes multi-domain, wildcard, single domain, organization validation and extended validation. You can go with desire SSL certificate as per the site’s requirement. For example, if you have multiple domains then SAN SSL certificate is an ideal solution for website security.
Google has always assigned top priority to the security of websites.
For example; at the start of your website URL, you are likely to see http:// or https://. This refers to Hypertext Transport Protocol Security. Https indicates that your site has protection through authentication and encryption.
By installing into the web server, SSL certificate helps to activate the padlock and HTTPS protocol. Thus, permitting secure connections through user and site. On the contrary, if your site lacks HTTPS, then users will see a warning about your website not being secure.
How it all started?
In 2014, Google came up with an algorithm update that favored HTTPS websites, but this was significant like compared to other ranking factors such as link building and website optimization. With this new change, sites got a minor increase in rankings.
However, in 2015, Google announced a significant change which makes HTTPS as a key ranking signal for websites. Thus, if your site has the same speed, links, title tags, optimized content like your competitor’s and has HTTPS, but your competitor does not have, then your site would rank higher.
Today, only 1% of the sites are secure, but more than 40% of the search results on the first page do have SSL certificates. Google has encouraged marketers to use HTTPS and rewarding them with higher website rankings.
SSL certificates and their impact on SEO rankings:
For starters, Google uses over 200 ranking factors while ranking websites in the SERP. Search engine optimization makes use of targeted keywords to achieve high page rankings, and they affect organic Search engine optimisation efforts. Thus, it has been observed that those pages with HTTPS URL have higher rankings and according to Moz study in 2017, 50% of all the pages on the search engine’s first page were HTTPS pages.
SSL affects website search engine rankings in the following manner:
• Google has made it clear that secure websites with SSL certificates will be given higher preference compared to other websites which are not secured and lack encryption. This is provided all the additional SEO factors continue to remain the same.
• On the other hand, it may be hard to determine the impact of SSL certificate on the search engine rankings of your website, when it is compared to other sites in the same niche with plenty of powerful backlinks.
• Thus, website owners need to know that just having SSL certificate alone may not allow them to achieve high rankings on the SERP. Also, other ranking factors may have to be considered, as well.
• SSL certificate can help in boosting your site’s rankings and increase your company’s bottom line.
Top benefits of using SSL for SEO
Boost user experience:
SSL certificate can help in giving a considerable boost for enhancing your user experience along with boosting the security of your website.
Today, most browsers would send out warnings to the users while they are visiting unsecured sites that do lacking an SSL certificate. The users on such websites tend to spend less time on those sites and tend to leave them quickly which can have a negative influence on your SEO rankings.
Ecommerce websites that lack SSL certificates seem to be the worst affected as they deal with more sensitive information related to their customers.
Thus, there are fewer chances of users sharing their personal information on such unsecured sites. This can lead to a decrease in sales and reduce profits for such online companies. It makes it vital for companies to consider having an SSL certificate.
Increase in traffic for websites:
There are chances of attracting a higher number of customers with better rankings for your website using SSL encryption. As potential customers click on a site, they may view the secure site as a symbol of trust and security which can lead to higher click through rates. The more popular your site is, the greater the chances of achieving higher rankings.
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Leads to better conversions:
Majority of the customers will not hesitate to abandon your shopping cart if they do not find your site to be secure. Just like in a physical store, you would do everything possible to attract your customers and motivate them to buy your products. In the same way, there is a higher possibility of engaging more online shoppers by providing them with a safe and secure shopping experience.
Choosing the right SSL certificates:
The growing awareness about encryption and security has pushed many companies to invest in buying an SSL certificate for their website. Besides, customers are also mindful about looking out for padlock bars on the browser, and if they are visible, they feel more confident in sharing their personal details on the website. The SSL certificates are usually installed on pages that require to collect sensitive information, including payment details or even passwords.
Generally, SSL certificates may be required in the following cases:
- If you are an online seller selling goods and services.
- Your users are sharing their credentials with your company.
- The website you own is offering login and registration options.
- Your company is offering secure services, including banking or email, which requires greater transparency.
Types of SSL certificates
Extended Validation SSL certificates
The EV certificate provides the highest degree of security and trust as it requires companies to go through a stringent process of vetting and background checks to avail of this validation. On installing this certificate on your website, the address bar of the browsers turns green, which assures the visitors regarding the safety and security of their online transactions.
With this kind of SSL certificate, you can reduce bounce rates for your website and get higher conversions. You can get higher revenue for every transaction and more customer lifetime value. Also, it provides the highest SSL security levels with 2048-bit signatures for the entire certificate and 256-bit as the encryption standard. It also offers protection against phishing scams.
Organization Validated SSL certificates
OV SSL certificates offer a higher level of trust and security to the website visitors. Every SSL certificate has validation of business details including name, address, domain name and other company-related information. On the other hand, OV SSL certificates do not turn the browser green, but it displays the padlock in green. This informs the website visitors that the website is safe to proceed with and securely conduct transactions. Customers can click on the padlock to see verified business details.
Domain Validation certificates
DV SSL certificates are issued after conducting a domain check by using an automated online process. If your site using DV, then it will display HTPPS along with a closed padlock.
In addition to the above types of SSL certificates, there are other ones such as the Single Domain certificate. This enables customers to secure a single domain using a single certificate. On the other hand, wildcard SSL certificates can be useful in allowing to secure a single domain along with multiple first level of sub-domains.
HTTPS can make a drastic difference to your business. It can bring greater confidence among your customers and build trust in them while sharing sensitive personal information. Also, it can help to bolster user experience and provide a safe browsing environment for them.
Companies need to ensure that they are building long term relationship with their key customers. Use secure encryption methods by having SSL certification for their website. Attract targeted traffic to your website and get better SERP rankings for more significant business visibility.