Do you have an SSL security certificate on your website?
It’s easy to check.
Type in the name of your website and look at the top left-hand corner. If you see the lock icon, you’re secure. If not, we need to talk.
In 2019, website security — aided by an SSL — is no longer optional, especially for SEO purposes.
In fact, not having security measures can cost you business and literally drive away customers.
Lack of security can prevent you from ranking high on search engines.
It can affect the quality of your pay per click campaigns too.
Also, in today’s landscape of wary users who are worried about their privacy, failing to have a secure website causes people to have a negative view of your brand.
In today’s post, we’ll provide a quick and simple explanation on SSL certificates, give you specifics on why you need them, and provide the best options to resolve the issue asap.
So, What the Heck Is An SSL Certificate?
Think of an SSL like a padlock.
Your website is your home. Your visitors are the guests. The SSL locks the door to keep unwanted visitors from entering.
Your home — website — has many transactions, data, and information flowing back and forth.
SSL certificates were originally made for financial transactions, but they can also be used to create secure connections for other activities like exchanges of personal information, form submissions, and more.
We won’t bog you down with the details, but SSLs ‘encrypt’ — or block — important information from people and hackers with bad intentions.
At a minimum, it makes sense to have a secure website regardless of the specific reasons.
That was the thinking a while back — having an SSL is the sensible (but not required) thing to do.
Now it’s required — if you want your website to succeed that is.
Allow me to explain why.
The #1 End All Be All Reason to Have an SSL
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a minute.
Say they visit your website and glance at the top left corner of the window and see this:
Or, what if they click the top left corner to investigate further and see this:
Your site may or may not be secure.
Your sire may or may not be compromised.
Contrast this impression with another website in your nice that does have a secure website:
Safety, security, and a padlock icon vs. “the website might be secure, but visit at your own risk.”
Visitors are becoming savvier every day. Some even know what an SSL certificate is and won’t trust a site that doesn’t have one.
You need to have a secure website because the trust between you and your customers or potential customers is vital.
If your website isn’t secure right now, it’s likely you’ve lost at least one potential customer because they visited your site and saw it had security issues.
The sad part? Oftentimes the websites without certificates aren’t harmful or malicious in any way. They simply don’t have the right security measures installed. Either way, in the eyes of web browsers your site can be seen in the same category as a potentially malicious site.
You could stop here and decide to get an SSL installed for that reason alone.
Still, there are even more reasons why this security measure is vital.
Google Doesn’t Trust Websites Without SSLs (Anymore)
Google has… a lot of power.
You want Google to like your website for obvious reasons.
Did you know that not having a secure website can affect how well your website ranks on search engines?
How do we know this?
First, let’s start with a message from Google itself. Google is pretty cryptic when it comes to their methods. When they do make an announcement, it’s critical to listen to it.
Here’s their message regarding site security on Google Chrome:
They also shared an announcement back in 2014 stating the inclusion of SSL certificates is now part of their algorithm. Sites with HTTPS are secured with SSLs:
It’s been four years since this announcement. Think of how much more prevalent ideas like privacy and security have become. We’d wager it’s bigger than the “1 percent” of their algorithm they mentioned in the statement above.
Additional Ways Lack of Security Harms Your SEO
Google and other search engines measure a very large number of factors when it decides which websites to rank above others.
Many of these factors involve the way visitors behave on your website.
Not having a secure website can affect some of these important metrics.
Your bounce rate measures the number of times someone visits your website and leaves right away.
This makes sense. If a lot of people come to your site and leave immediately, you might not have the right information or your site provides a bad user experience.
Imagine someone visits your site and sees a message saying “this site might not be secure.”
Having a secure website can help decrease your bounce rate because visitors will trust it more.
Time on Site
Search engines figure the longer people spend on your website, the better and more useful the information.
Bounces have the negative effect of counting as a bounce, but also they decrease the average time spent on your website.
Number of Pages Visited
You’re starting to see the trend. Google and other search engines want to see people visiting your site, staying for a little while, and checking out different pages on the website.
Again, the initial bounce lowers other important metrics. When you get a bounce, you get credit for 1 page visited only, which lowers your average.
The Bottom Line: Security matters for a number of reasons. Fortunately, SSL certificates are affordable and can be installed quickly.
Your Best Security Option
Don’t get bogged down by words like “SSL” and “encryption.”
Your simplest and most effective route for securing your website is simple.
Send us an email or give us a call at 507-281-3490.
We can easily update your website with an SSL certificate at an affordable rate.
Just a click of a button or a dial of a number and you can put your security concerns to bed.