Website owners, while looking to save money at the cost of their site security, ask this one question “Does not having an SSL impact your SEO?” Well, a simple answer to this is “Yes, it does.” According to a survey done by SSL labs, 32.5% of all website’s security measures are inadequate to protect them from cyberattacks.
Statistics and questions like these don’t show website owners in a good light. This shows that even after witnessing mounting cyberattacks, website owners are least concerned about their security. But what is an SSL certificate anyway? Are they necessary for every website? Well, don’t worry because we have your questioned covered
What are SSL certificates?
An SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate is a security technology used to protect data from getting in the hands of cybercriminals through the encryption process. An SSL encrypts the communication established between two computers and channelizes it over a secure network.
SSL performs the encryption process through symmetric and asymmetric functions, which involve the use of cryptographic keys, namely public, private and sessions. These keys help in verifying the authenticity of the two communicating entities and monitor the data transfer. Credit card/debit card, bank details, emails, phone numbers and login credentials are all getting protection by an SSL certificate.
How do visitors perceive SSL certificates?
Suppose you are a visitor; which website would you like to visit, one with a secure grey padlock or the one that says you are entering a “Not Secure” website? Of course, the one with the grey padlock will be your preference because it guarantees that your information is kept secure and encrypted. Similarly, SSL provides a sense of security to a visitor’s mind; It speaks volumes that the website owner is very particular about customer data security. So, customers would prefer to visit a website that has an SSL installed.
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Does every website need to install an SSL certificate?
Many websites believe that only eCommerce, bank and, financial websites buy SSL certificates; the rest don’t need to. Well, search engines like Google. Bing and Yahoo have already made the use of SSL mandatory to be found on their search results.
Even if you do not collect sensitive information like credit card and bank details, your reputation is still at risk in the absence of an SSL certificate. People won’t recognize you as an authentic source of information due to your website’s “Not Secure” nature, and eventually, you won’t gain traction. So, yes, SSL certificates are mandatory for all websites.
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How do SSL certificates impact SEO rankings?
Search engines have already recognized SSL as a ranking factor in their search results. If you do not have an SSL certificate, people won’t see you because search engines won’t rank you. Moreover, there will be an increase in the bounce rate. Wondering what a bounce rate is?
It is a rate that is calculated based on the number of people who bounced back immediately after visiting your website. The higher the bounce rate, the lower you will sink in the search engine results page. Bounce rate increases when customers see the “Not Secure” sign due to the absence of an SSL certificate.
Benefits of SSL certificate for SEO rankings
1. Security Upgradation
Google and other search engines are very sceptical about their user experience. They want their users to get a safer and profound experience. Websites with an SSL are considered secure and safe, so users prefer to visit them over the ones that are not secure. Since security upgradation plays a big part in search ranking (thanks to Google’s 2014 algorithm update), it is a must-have for a website.
2. SSL encrypted websites experience more traffic
Since SSL is a ranking factor, search engines back SSL encrypted websites; thus, they get more visitors. If you are a business that struggles to get genuine traffic, SSL is the best solution. Moreover, when visitors see that they visit an SSL secured website, they develop a sense of satisfaction and contentment. As a result, they stay on it for longer periods decreasing the overall bounce rate.
3. SSL drives conversions
Well, not directly, but SSL does impact the conversions. When people visit a checkout page and find out that it does not have a green padlock ensuring their transaction safety, they tend to drop the idea of the purchase altogether. No customer wants to purchase from a website that cannot guarantee his/her safety.
Endless studies have been going on to figure out why people bounce back from the checkout page, and they have concluded that SSL stands as a big factor in that. Thus, SSL is necessary to drive conversions.
SEO is an amalgamation of safety and quality UX. While high-quality content plays a crucial role in cementing high search rankings, security has its part to play as well. A non-secure website can certainly dip your search rankings and ignite a sense of fear and insecurity among the visitors.
Installing an SSL would satisfy your visitors and keep you away from the “Not Secure” red zone set by the search engines. Every user wants to visit, purchase and transact from a site that can guarantee his/her data safety. So, install an SSL today and give your visitors optimum experience and search engine a reason to rank you high on SERP.
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