The Importance of SSL Certificates in Your SEO Rankings

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Every business is going digital these days to grow beyond the physical location and provide better facilities to the customers. It has resulted in high competition to increase the brand’s visibility in the online space. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become the top priority for businesses to reach more people online. You may do everything to boost SEO ranking, such as creating a user-friendly website, publishing high-quality and SEO-friendly content, and using internal and external links, yet your website may not perform on the SEO front. Do you know why? Google has taken a strict stance to protect the privacy of visitors. Search engines rank websites with SSL certificates higher as it protects users’ data. Besides that, there are many other benefits of these digital certificates. Let’s find out the importance of SSL certificates in SEO ranking and how you can get them.

What is an SSL certificate?

A Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificate is a digital certificate that confirms a website’s security and builds an encrypted connection between the visitor’s browser and the web server. It is a security protocol that locks the customers’ input and prevents miscreants from accessing the information exchanged between a user and the website.

Businesses and other organizations install SSL certificates on their websites to protect customers’ personal and sensitive details. A website with SSL shows a padlock and HTTPS before the URL on the users’ browser, which is essential for building trust among your customers. 

SSL was introduced in 1990, but there were some flaws in it. The developers revamped it and launched a new version, namely TLS (Transport Layer Security), which we know as SSL, and businesses are using it to protect their websites. However, everyone still uses the old name SSL even now. 

How do SSL certificates help in improving the SEO ranking of your website?

Search engines like Google rank sites with an SSL certificate higher than the ones without it, when they are at par in other parameters. An SSL certificate improves a website’s rankings in different ways.

1. SSL certificate boosts security which improves search engine rankings

Google considers various factors when it provides ranking to websites. It takes the security of websites seriously as it directly affects visitors. A website with an SSL certificate has added advantages over another site that does not have it provided the other parameters of SEO ranking remain the same. However, it is not easy to measure the impact of an SSL certificate on the SEO ranking. Many factors contribute to the ranking of a website. For example, a website without SSL but has multiple backlinks might get a higher rank than a website with an SSL certificate and no backlink. 

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Business owners have to understand that getting an SSL certificate does not mean it will magically improve the rank of the website. However, if you take care of other factors of the website such as quality content, easy navigation, high loading speed, etc., and install an SSL certificate; it will boost the SEO ranking. Your website can rank better than the sites that don’t install an SSL certificate.

3. Better SEO ranking by improving user experience

User experience is a key matrix for SEO. Websites that offer excellent user experience rank better on search engines. SSL certificates significantly improve user experience. When you try to access a website without an SSL certificate, Google warns and displays warnings saying the connection is not private or the connection is not secure. Imagine a visitor sees this warning when they open your website. Will the user continue to access your website? Certainly not; they will leave your website instantly. Nobody wants to stay on an unsecured website as it may jeopardize their privacy and security. 

Google Chrome warns users about unencrypted websites. They do not like to share their personal or credit card information on such sites. It affects users’ experience. Google tracks these things and uses them while ranking your site. The sites offering poor user experience can’t rank at the top consistently. Moreover, search engines may demote a website that does not use an SSL certificate. When you install these certificates, customers won’t see these warnings while accessing your website. It will improve users’ experience and increase the traffic to your website. 

4. SSL is mandatory for creating Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

With easy access to data, the number of people using the Internet on mobile phones has been growing. According to a Statista report, more than 55 percent of the total web traffic accesses the Internet on a mobile device. The percentage of mobile Internet users in Asia and Africa is much higher. The trend is likely to go up in the coming years. If you own a business, you should focus on making your website friendly to mobile phone users. Creating mobile-friendly web pages will help you reach more people and expand your business, but for that, you need Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Search engines like Google give a better ranking to websites that are friendly to mobile phones. Are you aware that you can’t build AMP without an SSL? Yes, it is mandatory for creating websites that are friendly to mobile phones. It is another way an SSL certificate helps in SEO ranking for your website. 

5. A website with SSL certificates loads faster

Website loading speed is another crucial factor for SEO ranking. Even though it does not affect the SEO ranking, it improves user experience which leads to better SEO ranking. HTTPS websites load faster than HTTP websites as it does not show any warning when a user tries to access the website. Google offers first choice to websites that load quicker. When you install an SSL certificate on your website, it shows HTTPS before the URL on the browser. It will result in a better user experience and improve the SEO ranking of a website.

Other benefits of SSL certificates for your business

Many businessmen have doubts about whether they should use an SSL on their website. Well, it’s as important as fastening the seatbelt while driving. Just like you do not drive without wearing a seatbelt, you should not leave your website unprotected. An SSL certificate plays a crucial role in protecting your business. Here are the major benefits of using an SSL on your website.

1. SSL confirms your identity

Identity verification is crucial for every business as it helps in building credibility. SSL certificates provide authentication to a website. As incidents of data theft are increasing, companies must affirm their authenticity to build trust among the customers. SSL certificate providers verify you and your organization’s identity. Once Certificate Authority (CA) verifies that, they provide you with a digital certificate. It ensures no imposter can create a fake website and pretend to be your company. You can protect your customers from fraud and damage your reputation. Besides that, once you install SSL on your website, it shows a padlock and HTTPS before the URL, which builds trust among your users. 

2. Encrypt data

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The primary function of SSL certificates is to protect data. When you install an SSL certificate on your website, it encrypts every bit of the data. When a user enters some information on the website, SSL encrypts it, and only the intended user can unlock that. When you venture online, you may need to collect shoppers’ details. Installing an SSL is essential as it protects usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data on the website. It creates a secure connection between the browser and the website server by converting data into an unreadable form so no third party can decipher it. 

3. SSL helps businesses comply with PCI/DSS requirements

If you are running a business online, you may require to collect payment details from your customers. It includes bank account, credit or debit card number, PIN, and other information. To receive payment online, you must ensure your website is PCI/DSS compliant. If you collect payment without using an SSL certificate on the website, you may face legal action. When you get an SSL certificate will help you comply with the rules set by the payment card industry (PCI), and it is essential no matter whether you want it or not.

4. SSL Improves Customer Trust

Customer trust is paramount for every business, especially if you run your business online. Your customers can’t see the products, making it more difficult to earn their trust. They rely on other users’ input and information available online. SSL certificates play a crucial role in boosting consumers’ trust. Shoppers are becoming aware of the security threats online, and they don’t feel comfortable providing their details on an unverified site. Installing an SSL certificate will boost the security of your business website. Users can shop and make payments online without the fear of their privacy getting breached. 

Type of SSL certificates and which one you should install for your website

There are three major types of SSL certificates according to the purpose of websites. Let’s understand the different types and see which is suitable for your website.

1. Domain validated SSL (DV SSL)

These types of SSL certificates are useful for blogs and informational websites. When you install a DV SSL certificate, it keeps user activity private. DV SSL is the basic type of SSL certificate, you can get within a few hours. You usually need a domain name and email address to get these certificates. 

2. Organization Validation SSL (OV SSL)

OV SSL is the SSL certificates with the second-highest level of authenticity. Certificate authorities issue them after rigorous organization checks; they verify the organization’s physical address, phone number, and owners’ details before issuing these certificates. These types of SSL certificates are suitable for websites with login pages and forms where users put their details. Additionally, if you have a website with subdomains you can go with the OV Wildcard SSL options as well.

3. Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL)

Websites with EV SSL certificates provide the highest level of security. You have to submit your organization and personal details to certificate authorities to get these certificates. They verify every detail before issuing these certificates. Businesses that collect sensitive details like credit cards, debit cards, bank account numbers, and personal identification numbers should use these SSL certificates. They protect users’ sensitive details to ensure no third party can access them.

How to get an SSL certificate?

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Getting an SSL certificate is easier than you might be thinking. There are multiple SSL certificate providers available online. You can apply for it with the required documents according to the type of SSL you need. Once you submit the documents, they will verify them. On successful validation of the documents, you will get the certificate. An SSL certificate contains your domain name, type of certificate, and the name of the issuing authority. It also comes with instructions on how to install it on your computer.

Conclusion

SSL Certificates play a crucial role in securing your website. By encrypting personal and sensitive information, SSL makes your website reliable. It also makes your website load faster and improves the overall user experience. SSL helps in many ways to get a better SEO ranking. You can’t ignore it if you want to bring more traffic to your website. If you are yet to install these certificates, get them at the earliest, or you might lose out to your competitors.

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