SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is essential to the security of your website, as it allows a secure connection between your server and a browser. This connection permits the secure transmission of information, between your website and your client as an example. Google is now flagging all website, not just e-commerce sites, that don’t have SSL certificates in place.
If you haven’t paid much attention to your website’s security, you’re not alone. Many do not think about it until their website is hacked.
Here are our top 5 reasons why an SSL Certificate is important for your business:
1. Google will flag your site as “Not Secure” which may prompt some to leave your site. People trust Google, and if Google is warning them, they’re going to leave your site and go to a competitor.
2. A sense of security – we’ve already seen security breaches this year, where sensitive information has been compromised. SSL encrypts information making the information you collect useless for anyone who doesn’t have the encryption key. When your prospects see your site is secure, it builds trust in your brand.
3. Permits online payments – whether you’re planning on accepting payments online now, or sometime in the future, an SSL certificate is essential.
4. If you collect any information from website visitors (search bars, contact forms), then you are a target for cyber-criminals. Be proactive and protect visitors to your site.
5. Although it’s unconfirmed, there is a suggestion that Google will penalize non-secure sites regarding their SEO ranking. Whether or not this is built into Google’s algorithms, a visitor to a non-secure site may spend less time there, decreasing search rankings. Either way, it’s important.
Not sure where to start?
1. Check with your website hosting company. There is an annual fee, but some companies may provide an SSL Certificate complimentary as a part of their hosting package.
2. Google does not sell SSL certificates. Any third-party provider that claims this is not reputable.