Website owners who are willing to learn what SSL certificate really is, are in for a pleasant treat. Don’t get me wrong, though; I am not trying to sell you something.
However, I will be sharing how vital a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is for your site’s success, especially in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, your website ranking, web traffic, conversions, and cash flow.
Let’s get started.
What is SSL on a Website?
SSL, also known as Secure Sockets Layer, is a web protocol used to implement encrypted and authenticated links between a network of computers (this may also include the use of a public key and private key).
SSL is commonly used to provide a secured website browsing through the HTTPS protocol, also known as “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure,” which mainly prevents your site from becoming a malware target.
Typically, a website that has SSL contains HTTPS on the URL or address bar, such as the photo above, and can assure their site visitors that the communication they have with the site owner is secured…
…and the information given by the buyers to their vendors online is SSL encrypted, thereby providing no way for hackers to acquire private and critical details, such as financial information (e.g., credit card, debit card, social security number, and other bank details).
This is the primary reason why search engines, especially Google, favors indexing and ranking websites that have SSL—making it extremely beneficial for SEO.
HTTPS as a Ranking Signal
Since 2014, Google announced that security is their top priority—the leading search engine worldwide has been investing in an SSL with a strong certificate authority to make sure that the services they provide, such as Google search, Google Drive, and Gmail are safe to use, and that an excellent SSL secures the users’ information.
With this purpose, Google, as the #1 search engine globally, is doing its best to create a better and safer Internet by making sure that the websites they present to their users on the search engine results pages (SERPs) are secured.
“…we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”
Take a look at the top-ranking search results on the first page of Google for the keyword “pet food delivery service”.
Now, when we visit each website, you will see that each one has the HTTPS or SSL security:
And here’s more information when you click on the lock icon beside the HTTPS:
A Secure Website Gets More Organic Web Traffic Than Unsecured Sites
Apparently, better SERP rankings lead to higher organic web traffic—something you do not have to pay just so your target market sees your site on the search results, click on them, and give your website a shot.
Basically, the more your target audience sees your web pages on the SERPs; the more people will visit your site.
Let’s compare the top-ranking results on the first page of Google again and see the web traffic difference on a monthly basis (you can use a Google Chrome extension, such as SurferSEO to take an instant peak on the monthly traffic that goes to a website):
As you can see, the search results on the first page of Google for the keyword “pet food delivery service” show that the SSL secured site in rank zero (the one with the coveted featured snippet), has the monstrous monthly web traffic of 241,805,549.
While the website in rank #1, which is also SSL secured, has the monthly web traffic of 31,175,119 with 210,630,430 traffic difference to the site in rank zero—that’s a massive difference!
On the other hand, another SSL secured site in rank#2 acquires 16,685,430 web traffic a month with 14,489,689 difference to the site in rank #1. Still, a HUGE difference.
This goes to show that having a secured website can really pay dividends.
A Secure Site Helps Increase Your Conversions
You see, your SEO efforts should not just focus on ranking on top of the search engine results pages or getting the lion’s share in organic web traffic. One of your search engine optimization goals must be increasing your conversions. After all, what you really need is getting more customers and having abundant cash flow.
Needless to say, website visitors and online shoppers trust only secure connections. When you implement good security on your site, you are giving your prospective clients or customers a positive user experience, which helps big time in converting them from being mere site visitors to your raving, paying, fans.
On the contrary, according to a study conducted by GlobalSign, 84% of online shoppers will abandon their shopping carts if their data is NOT sent via a secure web server. In comparison, 82% of consumers won’t even dare to browse an unsecured site (when they see HTTP and not HTTPS on the address bar).
Here’s an example:
Having strong layer security for your site, such as an extended validation SSL certificate, is imperative if you want to boost not only your SEO but also your conversions and cash flow.
SSLs don’t only allow you to manually provide a private key or public key when necessary, but they also help you send a signal to both search engines and site users (also known as your potential clients or customers), that your site is safe and secure for transactions, thereby it deserves to be indexed and ranked better than your competitors, and that your site visitors have nothing to worry about when it comes to data protection.
Now, if your site does not have an SSL certificate or if you think that it needs a more reliable SSL, I encourage you to learn more about SSL and TLS certificates (Transport Layer Security, an advanced version of SSL certificate).
Trust me; it’s all worth it.