Does your website need an SSL?
An SSL certificate is a crucial element for every modern website.
It is because you need an SSL certificate in order to:
- Secure your website’s visitors and data.
- Establish your reputation and status.
- Improve your online presence and search engine results rankings.
As a result, getting an SSL certificate helps you steer clear of sensitive data leaks, enhances your site’s reputation, and also improves your site’s rankings over the search engines.
When put together, these benefits make it critical for your website to use an SSL certificate and make the move from HTTP to HTTPS.
To help you understand these requirements in a detailed manner, here’s an overview of each of these benefits and why they are important for your website.
Encrypt your website’s data
The first and foremost advantage of an SSL certificate is how it encrypts your website’s data and secures the information of your website’s visitors. This includes private information such as passwords, financially-sensitive details such as payment or credit card information, as well as personally-identifiable details such as full name, phone numbers, and billing or shipping addresses.
If your website gets targeted by a malicious party and doesn’t have an SSL certificate, these bad actors can intercept the data being exchanged between your website’s server and its visitors. This causes your visitors’ information to be compromised and puts them at risk.
However, this not only puts your visitors’ privacy and safety in jeopardy, but also exposes you to potential financial and reputational losses. The reason is simple: In case the data breach is significant, it can lead you to legal troubles such as lawsuits and settlements.
Even if you only obtain details such as email addresses from your website’s visitors, it is imperative that you encrypt such information after learning how to get an SSL certificate and moving your website to HTTPS.
But this often brings you to ask if you need this encryption feature even if your website doesn’t exchange any payment or sensitive details with your clients. Once again, the answer is yes (it’s becoming a running theme, but for good reason!).
Establish your authenticity
Apart from helping you secure your visitor’s data, an SSL certificate verifies the authenticity of your website. This helps when other websites such as search engines are trying to determine the legitimacy of your website. If you have an SSL certificate that is signed by a certificate authority (CA), these websites steer clear of slapping warnings next to your domain name.
With the growing talk about the importance of cyber security, many users now know what safety red flags they should look out for while interacting with a website. Even if the respective website visitor is not aware of these facts, their web browsers can now warn them about websites with an expired SSL certification or with no such certification on it. This appears in the form of a “Not Secure” warning or an open/marked padlock icon next to the address field of the browser window.
Besides making your website’s visitors apprehensive about their visit to your domain, this can have drastic effects on the web traffic that you obtain through search engines or even direct traffic that you get through emails, newsletters, or customer referrals.
Since SSL certificates are not difficult to install, this gives you all the more reason to go ahead with the installation and establish your website’s authenticity over the web. But the benefits of getting an SSL certificate do not end here by any means and continue to offer even more perks.
Improve your site’s search engine presence
Moving your website to HTTPS through SSL certificate also provides you with the ability to enhance your search engine rankings and online presence. It is because Google considers HTTPS as a ranking factor. In fact, the world’s largest search engine confirmed its growing preference for HTTPS websites publicly, all the way back in 2014.
This means that if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed on it, it can get a hit on its rankings and drown out your presence to potential visitors. This can affect your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and prevent you from making the most out of your outreach activities. In turn, you may not attain your goals for elevating your visibility despite your best efforts.
On the other hand, if you have an SSL certificate on your website, it can work as a ranking factor for search engine presence and help improve the keyword rankings of your website. This ensures that you are leaving no stones unturned in your pursuit to obtain higher visibility over the web. This also boosts any SEO activities that you are performing for your website and lets you attain maximum benefits from them.