Getting An SSL Certificate Benefits Your SEO Strategy

SSL Certificate Benefits Your SEO Strategy
Whenever you launch a new website into the internet space, one key strategy that tops your agenda is Search Engine Optimization; abbreviated as SEO. This refers to the techniques employed by webmasters to make it to the number one page of organic search engine results. Many SEO tricks have been pointed out as the way to go over the years but one consistent trend that every modern website owner must employ is installing an SSL certificate.

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s a package of data that encrypts the information being exchanged between a web server and a user browser. It makes use of cryptographic keys such that only the sender and intended recipient can be able to access the information being exchanged. When a website has an SSL certificate installed, it changes from HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). A padlock will also be showcased at the left corner of the URL and the whole bar might in some cases turn to green depending on the level of SSL certificate acquired.

To highlight the importance of having SSL certificates installed in websites and its unwavering commitment to internet security; Google in 2014 launched an HTTPS Everywhere Initiative that promised to give an upper hand in search engine ranking to SSL-secured websites. It added more wood to the fire 3 years later in 2017 when it rolled out a plan to label all HTTP sites as non-secure. This now means that if you are yet to acquire an SSL certificate for your website, all major browsers will flag you as Not Secure and trust me all your prospective website visitors will scatter like a plague upon seeing this warning.

Key Benefits of SSL Certificates on SEO

1. Earns You Credibility Online

We are living in heated times filled with rampant cybersecurity threats that strike even the most advanced of websites; ranging from financial and medical institutions to Fortune 500 companies and sensitive government sites. This increase in cyber fraud has led many internet users to be very wary of any website they visit and provide sensitive personally identifiable information like credit card details to. When you acquire a high-quality SSL certificate like an Extended Validation one, you go through rigorous authentication processes from the issuing certificate authority to ascertain that you are indeed who you say you are.

Once an EV SSL certificate is installed on your website, it will have a green URL bar and even indicate your company name and address. This way the prospective client can prove that it is indeed you. This sort of credibility will make you a favorite for many online users soaring you to the top of search engines as well as getting you in the good books of Google and other search engines.

2. Improved Search Engine Rankings

Google is no liar. Coming straight from the leading search engine on the planet, installing an SSL certificate on your website is a sure-fire way to improve your search engine rankings. If for instance, you have two websites with matching keyword optimization, matching content quality, matching user experience and site structure and all that stuff that is vital for SEO, but then one was on HTTP and the other on HTTPS, Google would favor the one with the SSL certificate installed. As simple as that. Having your site marked as secure can also give you an upper hand in search engines because most users prefer security-compliant websites.

3. Increased Conversions

If you are running an eCommerce store, for instance, you need to be aware of the factors that bring about shopping cart abandonment. Most customers do so at the last checkout phase when they are about to enter the payment details and an obvious explanation for this would be security concerns. When you properly install a quality SSL certificate from a reputable certificate authority, all major browsers will mark you as secure and therefore customers can walk freely into your site and shop with peace of mind.

4. Effective Data Tracking

Every website owner knows that having access to your site performance information is very essential to learning what is working for you and the areas that need improvements. One crucial piece of information is being able to discern whether the traffic you are receiving is direct or referral. Information being transported over an HTTP network is easily forgotten and even the referral traffic will appear as direct traffic. However, when you have HTTPS in place, all bits of information will be stored and you can tell the exact kind of traffic you are receiving.

Conclusion

Having an SSL certificate installed on your website is no longer a luxury. It’s simply mandatory. All major browsers are pushing hard for universal encryption and should you fail to comply with this necessary security element, you can kiss your dream of making it to page one of search results goodbye. There are many reputable certificate authorities like Thawte, VeriSign, GoDaddy, RapidSSL, Comodo… among others that will sell you quality and affordable SSL certificates. Movements like Let’s Encrypt can also grant you free certificates. You can then watch as your SEO game leaps upwards.
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