When you own or manage a website, maintaining an SSL certificate is among the most important aspects of keeping your website safe and secure while providing various benefits to your SEO results. SSL certificates are small files of data that bind a type of digital key around the details and information on your website. When in use, these certificates allow for a secure connection between a browser and web server, which means that such communications as credit card transfers and member logins are protected. In the age of data privacy, security is paramount. A lack of strong security measures for your website can result in data breaches that cause you to lose valuable business and customer information, which may erode confidence in your website. If you’re thinking about obtaining an SSL certificate for your website, there are some affordable options that can be purchased from your hosting and domain provider like MediaTemple or GoDaddy. These options typically cost around $75 per year and a low-tier SSL certificate enough to keep your website private and secure. No matter the cost of the SSL certificate that you’re considering, there are a large number of reasons that your website must be equipped with one, the top five of which are detailed in the following:

5. Build Customer Trust

If you want your business to have a proper online presence wherein your company and brand are respected, it’s essential that you have an SSL certificate for your website domain. These certificates will allow you to build customer trust by proving the security and legitimacy of your online business. The modern website user cares about the security of their information and most prospective customers will avoid using your website if they feel as though their user information won’t be secured. Keep in mind that an SSL certificate acts as a visible security signal to your site visitors when they enter your website, which is displayed by a “secure” label next to the URL of your site. When a customer sees this label and knows that you have done your due diligence for keeping the customer’s transactions safe, they will feel more comfortable in knowing that your website is secure and can be viewed as a trusted source.

Bryt Designs secure domain
The green lock represents an SSL “secured” website while unsecured websites may show as “Not Secure”.

If you fail to add an SSL certificate to your website and you suffer from even a small data breach, it can be difficult to restore your reputation. As touched upon in the opener, your domain provider should offer some affordable SSL certificate options that cost as little as $75 per year, which is a small amount to pay for gaining the trust of your customers. By knowing that your website is secure, your website sales conversions may also increase. This fact has been backed up by numerous studies over the past few years, which includes one by Symantec that shows an 18-87 percent increase in eCommerce sales and lead generation conversion rates with SSL.

Another case study that was handled by Comodo found that a specific website had an 11 percent increase in customer conversions after implementing an SSL certificate. With so much online competition in practically every field and industry related to eCommerce, you need to do everything you can to make sure that customers choose your website over other options, which is just one reason as to why an SSL certificate is worth it.

4. Build Brand Power

While building customer trust with an SSL certificate is essential if you want to keep your website from failing, these certificates also allow you to build brand power, which is an equally important step that can aid your business plans for years to come. Securing your website and protecting the privacy of each of your customers shows that your brand cares about the privacy of its customers, which will invariably increase brand loyalty. While it’s sometimes difficult to measure a behavioral pattern such as brand loyalty, this pattern is what can turn a moderately successful company into a business that flourishes atop its competitors. Loyal customers are typically going to be repeat customers, which allows you to continue boosting your profits and building your brand power through a loyal customer base acting as your business’s own sales force as they refer your business on to other new customers.

Companies such as Apple and Disney have an extensive amount of brand loyalty that they are able to tap into constantly, which allows them to be extremely successful when releasing highly sought after products. However, the power of brand loyalty is also displayed by what happens when something goes wrong. Whether you’ve released a mediocre product or suffered from an entire day of downtime on your website, durable brand loyalty means that you can more effectively weather the issues that occur with your website and brand as a whole. While implementing an SSL certificate onto your website isn’t the only thing that you need to do if you want to build brand power, it is a wonderful addition to your business strategy.

3. Secure User Data Privacy

Among the most important reasons that your website needs an SSL certificate is because it will allow you to secure user data privacy. When your site does not have an active SSL certificate, the user’s browser will temporarily block the website and provide the user with a warning, which is a bright red screen that warns about phishing sites. Even if your website is legitimate and your brand well respected outside of the website, this type of warning will automatically scare away potential customers and make it appear as though you don’t care about the security of your website.

The user privacy warning for non-SSL secured sites.

Nearly every user who sees the phishing site warning has heard an awful story or two about computer viruses or stolen information, which will immediately come to mind when the user is provided with that warning. From then on, your website will be associated with unreliability in the mind of the visitor, which is something that can be very damaging to your reputation among online consumers.

When you implement an SSL certificate into your website, this certificate works in a variety of ways to protect and secure the privacy of user data. Any login information that the site visitor enters onto your website will be protected, which means that they won’t need to change passwords on a constant basis when visiting your site. All of their information will also be encrypted with this certificate, which will prevent any and all unauthorized access of this data. The user data that can be protected by an SSL certificate includes the user’s credit card information and similar info that the user wants to keep protected.

2. Benefits to Your SEO Results

While it’s not immediately noticeable when obtaining an SSL certificate, these certificates will also provide you with benefits to your SEO results! As you likely know, websites that properly implement search engine optimization will rank higher on search engines like Google, which means that a higher number of potential customers will see your website among search results and eventually visit your business online. While most of the search engine optimization that you can perform with your website pertains to manipulating website code and the content on your site, adding an SSL certificate has also proven to be a fantastic way to optimize your website for search engines.

For instance, HTTPS is a Google algorithm ranking signal, of which Google has listed more than 200. A ranking signal is any aspect of a website that search engines like Google consider within their ranking algorithms. A larger number of ranking signals being included in your website strategy means that you’ll likely have a better chance of ranking on search engine results related to your brand or the product you offer. HTTPS is the term that appears at the beginning of your URL once you have obtained an SSL certificate. The URL for a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate will begin with HTTP.

When you have a trusted domain that is considered to be secure, this means that other reputable sites will feel more comfortable in linking back to your website, which is another invaluable method of driving traffic and increasing customer conversion rates. There are a wide range of effective methods that you can use to increase the number of inbound links that lead to your website. However, these methods may prove to be fruitless if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Without this certificate, other websites may not feel secure in linking back to your website since they also have a reputation to uphold with their customers.

1. Securing E-Commerce Transactions

If your website is an eCommerce site, you’ll want to do everything possible to secure the transactions of your customers, which is something that an SSL certificate will help you do. While there are a variety of tools and techniques that you can use to make these transactions secure, an SSL certificate is the most important tool for doing so. These certificates will secure all of your customer data and any eCommerce transactions that occur on your website. These transactions typically include credit card information as well as pertinent details about the customer and where they live, which is why it’s paramount that you keep this information secure. Without an SSL certificate, it’s often difficult to properly secure these transactions, which means that hackers will readily obtain the information of anyone who actually purchases something off your site when it doesn’t include a certificate.

An SSL certificate offers an array of benefits to eCommerce websites, the primary of which is that your customer will have a safe shopping experience and may eventually return to purchase more. Having customers return to your website in the future is the only way for your eCommerce site to be successful. An SSL certificate is also the strongest type of encryption that can be used to secure the credit card transactions that occur during a purchase, which means that there’s no way for a hacker to get this information. Customers may choose to use a blog site or non-eCommerce site that does not include an SSL certificate since they won’t need to enter any personal data. However, many customers will not want to use an eCommerce site that doesn’t have this certificate since they would need to enter private information such as their credit card numbers, residence, and more.

Conclusion

If your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate — get one, now. Not only will you be investing in your online presence by securing your customer’s data and transaction information, but you’ll provide your website with numerous benefits including SEO benefits for faster results and increased organic search traffic! Contact us today if you have any questions about the process or would like a hand with obtaining your website’s SSL certificate!

Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is currently attending the fully-employed MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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