There might be an instance wherein you encountered the message- ‘your connection to the site is not fully secure’ while browsing websites. You would also possibly notice that some URLs start with http:/ while others start with https://. As the owner of your website, you’ll want to ensure that you implement this feature to outrank your competition in search engines. The easiest thing you can do to boost your website’s ranking is by having an SSL certificate.
SSL certificates are designed to help users feel secure while using the internet. As internet security and user privacy have become a daunting concern, huge internet companies like Google have been pushing the initiative to encourage the adoption of SSL certificates on all websites.
What is SSL
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate acts as a website’s security blanket by protecting the information of users and visitors. It secures data as it is being transferred from a server to a browser. This fixed nuts and bolts reassures you that what you can see or access is kept privately intact.
In other words, an SSL certificate works as an electronic password that is intended to protect user’s credentials once they visit and do business on your website.
An SSL certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority that authenticates the website’s identity. It contains the certificate holder’s name, expiration date, serial number, and a copy of the certificate holder’s public key. The certificate enables your users to have data security from hackers and maintain their confidentiality.
For example, if a hacker tries to force their way into your website to get confidential information, the hacker won’t be able to access it because of strong encryption from the SSL certificate. On the other hand, an HTTP site without an SSL certificate, is non-encrypted and is more prone to attacks.
Benefits of SSL
- Improved Security
A study done by the University of Maryland reports that a cyber-attack occurs for every 39 seconds and 43% of those attacks are aimed at small businesses. Clearly, there is a reason why Google is gently pushing for HTTPS and penalising HTTP sites. Because it helps facilitate a safer, more secure internet.
Security should be a priority and for a giant internet authority like Google, it’s appropriate to encourage website owners to strengthen their website’s security.
- Updated Browser Labels
Since the SSL certificate is found within the browsers, there are instances that the browsers will warn a visitor that the page they wanted to look at is not encrypted or is not using HTTP. Browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, Safari and Opera are marking sites without SSL certificates (HTTPs).
When a site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, the “Not Secure” warning will be displayed by Google all over your site to discourage users not to go further on your website. It also means that Google will ostracise your website from your competitors, which will definitely affect your search rankings.
- Increased Conversion Rates
Users trust secure websites more. GlobalSign reported in 2016 that 84% of users immediately abandon a purchase if the data was transmitted to an insecure connection. With all the data breaches that have been happening, they feel confident when a transaction safely takes place. Your potential customers do not want to compromise their private information such as IDs, bank details or card details on a website that doesn’t have proper security measures to store their data.
And as the traffic on your website decreases, it will result in fewer conversions which thus affect your bottom line. Having a trusted SSL certificate would let your customers know that their safety is important to you.
- Increased Customer Confidence
Lastly, a layer of security on your website can show that your website is trustworthy. As customers see that padlock icon and the “secure” label in their browser, it gives them confidence about your website. In the long run, earning customers’ trust means attracting more loyal customers. SSL certificate is a social proof you will provide to your customers for your organic long-term growth.