When you plan to launch a website online, you need a web hosting plan that allows you to store your site on a web server. When a user visits your site, information is exchanged between the user’s browser and your web server. Many hackers intercept this information-exchange and steal critical personal or financial information. A Secure Sockets Layer or SSL Certificate allows you to establish secure and encrypted connections between your server and the user’s browser. Any site having an SSL certificate installed will have a padlock sign right next to its URL, and you will be able to access it using the HTTPS protocol. While a lot has been said about the importance of SEO certificates, there has been some chatter about their impact on your website’s SEO. Today, we will be talking about how SSL certificates can affect your site’s SEO and why you might want to consider installing one.
1. Search Engines prefer websites with SSL Certificates installed
A few years ago, the search engine giant Google declared that websites that don’t have an SSL certificate might lose some crucial SEO points. Since there are more than 200 factors used by search engines to determine page ranks of webpages, it is difficult to determine the exact impact of an SSL certificate on the site’s rankings. However, one thing is certain – without an SSL certificate, your site will lose some SEO points. If you are tied with a close competitor for a page rank in the search engine results page (SERP), then having an SSL certificate installed can help your rankings.
2. Better User Experience
Since an SSL certificate encrypts the connection between a visitor’s terminal and your web server, it has a marked impact on the user experience. Since Google’s announcement, its browser, Chrome, started displaying warnings to users visiting websites that do not have an SSL certificate installed. This can deter people from visiting such sites. When search engines see that users are landing on your site and leaving immediately, it will dock some more SEO points.
If you are running a website where visitors input their personal and/or financial information like an eCommerce store, then not having an SSL certificate could mean a huge impact on business. Also, if online users find an eCommerce platform that is not secure, then the word can spread across the online community and lead to a further drop in brand reputation.
Websites that have linked to your site for subject matter expertise might start removing the links if your site is not secure as they wouldn’t want to send their customers to sites that are not secure. This can lead to a loss in SEO points too. So, before you think if your website needs an SSL certificate, look at the benefits it can offer and make an informed decision.
Remember, your website will achieve a higher page rank if it is secure, offers relevant and original information, provides a good user experience, and is preferred by the online community. An SSL certificate offers a range of benefits to websites. It can go a long way in establishing your website as a reliable interface to your business and help boost its SEO.