SSL & SEO – Are they Connected?
Over the years, we have heard a lot of factors that impact ranking on search engines. For instance, user experience, page speed, high-quality content, mobile-first, and other SEO practices.
While these facets will certainly help you move forward on the SERPs. One more underrated element that must be considered for improving your SEO efforts is SSL Certificate.
SSL and SEO are joint forces. These two terms are closely associated even though they are quite distinctive. On 6th August 2014, Google declared that websites with an SSL certificate would have the edge over websites with no SSL certificate.
Ever since the statement, marketers have debated a lot on SEO & SSL, but they could not wrap their minds around the idea of an SSL certificate for websites and whether it is beneficial.
We know you are as curious as other individuals are! Thus, to end your curiosity, we will explore does SSL help SEO and how it can impact your business.
What is SSL?
SSL, technically referred to as Secure Socket Layers, is a standard protocol followed by website owners in order to secure their websites from malicious attacks. Simply speaking, SSL is like an added layer of security encrypting communications, ensuring privacy and data integrity.
Upon buying an SSL certificate, it adds an HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) extension to your URL. The S in HTTPS means Secure. Users visiting your site can see the extension and authenticate that your website is secure for any activity.
What are the Benefits of an SSL Certificate?
1. Protection of Information
The foremost and most apparent benefit of an SSL certificate is information protection. It helps in encrypting communication between you and your users. They can add passwords, transact, or submit personal details freely when your site has an SSL certificate.
All the sensitive information, such as passwords, bank or card details, social security numbers, etc, transmits from the user’s device to the web servers. This communication is extremely secure. Therefore you don’t have to worry about cyber threats, malicious attacks, or data loss.
In case of unauthorized access or data breach, the attacker won’t be able to decrypt the information as the encryption level is highly tough and complex.
2. Empowers your Identity
Security has always been a primary concern for users. A total of $6 trillion were marked in 2022 by cyberattacks. This frightening statistic is raising a wave of terror among online users worldwide which wavers them in visiting and taking action on a site.
However, upon having an SSL certificate winning trust among people becomes easy. Your site is verified when purchasing the certificate. This verification eliminates security risks and warning alerts that other unprotected sites may display.
In fact, it displays a padlock system on your address bar, increasing credibility and brand reputation among web users.
This also shows users that you care about them and that their priceless information will never be compromised.
3. PCI DSS Compliant
PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance is a mandatory practice that is followed to ensure all the payment information of users is in safe hands. This pointer is specifically crucial for website owners collecting payment information.
SSL certificates are already PCI compliant. It can transmit sensitive information securely and safeguard them from external vulnerabilities. All in all, installing it on your website can enhance user data safety and build trust in the payment ecosystem.
The above information might have given you a clear understanding of the SSL certificate and how it benefits your site. Next, we shall discuss SEO.
Also Read: 10 Ways To Secure Your E-Commerce Website
What is SEO?
SEO, widely known as Search Engine Optimization, is a rapidly growing factor followed by every website owner to appear at the top of SERPS, gain visibility or attain a desired goal.
However, reaching and staying at the top is not an easy job. You have to follow best SEO practices, form a comprehensive strategy, and enhance user experience to increase visitors to your site.
➢ How do Search Engine Rank Websites?
In SEO, you don’t focus on just one aspect for ranking. You have to consider multiple aspects to slide to the top in the rankings.
Google says search algorithms pay attention to numerous factors and signals, such as meaning, relevance, quality, usability, and context. If you have all these 5 factors on your site, you are closest to gaining traffic and visibility on your site.
When it comes to meaning, the intent of solving user queries should be clear. The content should be relevant, adding meaning to the user’s search query. It should have the right number of keywords with a balanced ratio. The quality of the content should be top-notch, with zero grammatical or punctuation errors. Ensure it is plagiarism free.
In the end, usability is all about user experience. Your website should be mobile-friendly with a well-defined structure. Visuals should have high resolution without being too heavy for an immersive experience. Ensure they are not too heavy, as it may impact the site speed.
The website layout should be intuitive, with relevant and detailed information on the particular page. Don’t forget about the security of your website. Website security also plays a major role in enhancing user experience.
The turnaround time of your site should be as quick as possible because slow website speed can frustrate users leading to site abandonment. Focusing on internal and external links is also a great idea.
There are deeper aspects of SEO that we discussed in our other blog. We recommend you check out effective SEO strategies for a new website for more information.
SSL and SEO: Do They Have a Relationship?
A Million Dollar Question!
Yes! SSL and SEO have a strong relationship with each other. Besides following the best SEO practices, considering an SSL certificate for your website is also vital to accelerate your SEO growth.
HTTPS in a URL is more important than you may think. A site with cybersecurity indicates it is verified and safe from unwanted attacks.
Search engines and users trust such sites as they will privately transmit information between the web browser and web server.
Users’ information, such as passwords, personal data, or any information, will never be intercepted by hackers. This grows trust among users, and they would frequently visit your site, boosting SEO growth.
Many might not know this, but an SSL certificate can also help reduce the bounce rate of a site. SSL certificates are evidence for users.
The HTTPS in the URL and a padlock icon on the address bar mean the communication between the web browser and web server is absolutely secure and protected. This fundamental step can lead to credibility and increased traffic, eventually lowering your bounce rate.
While other factors are also considered for ranking on search engines, installing an SSL certificate is a win-win for you in every aspect!
Also Read: What To Do When Your Website Is Hacked
➢ Does Google Prefer SSL?
Yes, Google does prefer sites with SSL certificates. Google will always be security biased. If your site has an SSL certificate, it will eventually incline towards indexing and showcasing your site among relevant users.
Since your site has high-end security and is also approved by Google, users will start approaching and trusting your site, leading to increased visibility and traffic.
➢ Does SSL Negatively Impact your Business?
Absolutely not! On the other hand, an SSL certificate can thrive your online business.
This cryptographic key, in conjunction with the SSL certificate, keeps end-to-end data encryption, increases credibility, safeguards the site and information from cyber threats and human errors, and, lastly, promotes SEO growth.
Better Safe than Sorry!
If you are still confused about buying an SSL certificate for your online website, we recommend you don’t think too much and get it today! An SSL certificate is like an investment that protects your reputation and improves credibility. On top of that, it contributes to your growth on search engines.