If you own a website and don’t quite know what an SSL Certificate is or what "https" vs "http" means, then you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re a business owner who runs a website or is looking to start one, you’ve definitely come to the right place. An SSL Certificate is a technology standard in web design which provides security as well as a Google SEO rank boost for websites.
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SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer. A website that is SSL-certified implements this security technology. You can tell if a website you are viewing in your browser is SSL-certified if the “http” is replaced with an “https,” short for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.” Businesses use this SSL security protocol to protect their websites from being hacked, which could cause a disastrous situation such as leaked clientele information. Businesses, such as ones that run Ecommerce websites, may be regularly dealing with transactions that include users’ credit card numbers, social security numbers, or login information.
These pieces of data need to be protected from the outside, and transmitted securely to the specific user. Without SSL, a website’s data is usually sent between browsers and web servers in plain text, which leaves the website at risk for being intercepted by an attacker. Financial and identity theft is a huge concern for a given customer – and for a business that works with several customers, online security is a top priority.
The SSL security protocol works to establish an encrypted link between a server and a client so that all sensitive information is accessible only by the person who needs it and at the time he/she needs it. An SSL Certificate binds together a website domain name and an organization’s identity while working to protect both. So whether it is a user account creation, credit card transaction, login procedure, or sensitive data transfer, the SSL security protocol keeps all that information secure.
With SSL, your business is much more secure against attacks and your customers can trust you – this provides a better environment for desired consumer behavior such as account registrations or Ecommerce website purchases.
There are different purchasable SSL certifications one can apply for and different processes of validating your business as eligible. The process normally involves verifying the physical, operational, and legal status of your entity, the rights to your domain, and matching up your business with official records.
If you are planning to host an Ecommerce website, it's definitely recommended to work with a web developer who has experience integrating a shopping cart, SSL Certificate, shipping modules, and hosting requirements into a seamless online store experience for the customer. If you need assistance with getting any of this set up, we can help you with that.
Google SEO Algorithm
The other big reason to make sure your website is SSL-certified is that it is accounted for in Google’s SEO algorithm. The Google Webmaster Central Blog made a post in 2014 that confirmed https as a ranking signal. This means that if your website is SSL-certified, your site could receive a small web ranking boost against websites who aren’t SSL-certified.
Google values security as a top priority and recognizes https encryption as not only recommended, but necessary to prevent security breaches – especially for websites that deal with personal/secure data.
Google also provided a link to a Qualys Lab tool’s SSL Server Test which you can use to test any given website and receive an https security report.
While it may not amount to as large of a ranking signal as other aspects of SEO, it is still something to consider when trying to rank as high as possible for SEO. Having your website be SSL-certified potentially increases your chances of users finding your website, trusting your website, interacting with your website, and making purchases or other valuable consumer actions.
- Don’t let your search rank, or worse, your website’s security suffer from a lack of https encryption via SSL Certification.
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