SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s a standard security technology for establishing encrypted connections. Websites utilize SSL technology in the form of an SSL Certificate, a small digital file that serves multiple purposes like:
- Confirms you are connected to the site that you are intending to visit
- Let’s you know if there is insecure data on the page
- Secures the connection between your computer’s web browser and the website stored on a server
When visiting a website, you can tell it has an SSL certificate when you see a green lock symbol and “https” at the beginning of the URL, versus just “http.” In the past, HTTPS was reserved mostly for websites that contained sensitive information, such as eCommerce sites, financial institutions and payment processing sites. However, times are changing to where it is now recommended that all websites have an SSL certificate. This is because an SSL connection ensures all data passed between the website and browser stays private, so information like credit card numbers, social security numbers and other personal information are not left vulnerable on the Internet.
Google is a key player in how things are done online regarding search engine ranking factors. Although the company never fully discloses their search algorithms (factors they use to determine rankings), they often let the public know best practices that website owners and businesses should follow. One of those tips is how HTTPS encryption through an SSL Certificate is going to be a major ranking factor.
Google has long advocated the use of stringent security measures on the Internet. When your site has an SSL certificate, Google views it as secure, and may position your site higher than other sites that don’t have a certificate. It’s important to note that the ranking boost will only apply to pages protected by SSL certificates. Therefore, you should enable HTTPS on all pages of your website.
Even if you don’t sell products online, an SSL certificate will be beneficial for both you and your clients. Most businesses have an online newsletter signup or form of some kind. HTTPS protects the user’s personal information (name, address, phone, email) as it goes between the user and the site. So, you are protecting your customers while increasing their faith in doing business with you online. You are also telling Google that you value the privacy of your web users, thus they may reward you with an extra boost in your ranking.
So what does this mean for you? If your business website does not have an SSL certificate, we highly recommend you get one. Of course this is a process that needs to be followed carefully to make sure the migration is done correctly and as seamlessly as possible. Thankfully, we have experience in adding SSL certificates, so we can handle the entire process for you.
If you have more questions about securing your website with an SSL Certificate, Contact Us. We will be happy to explain the process and get your website set up for a more secure future.