If you currently manage or own a website and you don't have an URL that starts with HTTPS, then you've got a problem. Ultimately, today's businesses and users alike are demanding more security than ever online, and one of the best ways to prove that you take safety seriously is to equip your website with an SSL certificate.
Your SSL certificate transforms your website from an HTTP site into an HTTPS, adding extra protection to your content, and improving your credibility instantly. Here are 7 reasons your site needs an SSL certificate.
1. Google Prefers HTTPS
The most pressing reason that you need your site to have an SSL certificate is that it will help you to stay on Google's good side. The recent algorithm update for Google means that if you don't have an SSL certificate on your website, you won't be able to get the same amount of traffic as your more secure competitors.
What's more, Google even warns people away from your website by displaying that your site is "Not Secure" in the chrome browser bar. This could mean that you risk losing potential sales.
2. Better Visitor Confidence
It's crucial for your website to attract as many people as possible online. However, it takes more than the right keywords and a well-designed website to convince people to convert when they arrive on your website. Your customers are going to want to know that they can trust you to deliver a secure shopping experience. After all, no-one wants to risk having their credit or debit card details stolen. Your HTTPS URL will put your customers' minds at ease. Many people take a moment to check that the website they're thinking of buying something on has the HTTPS safety ranking before they get their credit or debit cards out.
3. Protect against Phishing
Phishing attacks are a common security concern in the digital world. They appear in your emails pretending to be messages from a professional company or financial institution, then one click on a link will take you to a site that impersonates the website you think you know. A good way to help your customers avoid these attacks is to use an SSL to show them that your website is authentic. With the HTTPS URL, they'll be able to tell the difference.
4. Defend Against Information Theft
When a customer submits information to a website, that data goes through numerous channels before it reaches an intended party. The chances of your data being stolen along the way are much higher if you don't have SSL to guide the data. SSL encrypts all of your information so that it's only readable for the party that you wanted to receive the data in the first place. The system works by adding extra characters to your information that are removed with the use of a specialist encryption key.
5. It's Safer!
There's a reason why the search engines are so avid about recommending the use of SSL encryption. HTTPS is much safer when it comes to protecting your data. Even if you're not running the kind of website that accepts a lot of payments or transactions, you'll still need to encrypt valuable information that you collect on landing pages forms and subscription pages. HTTPS protects you from man-in-the-middle attacks and unwanted eavesdropping.
6. You'll be Future Proof
Security online is constantly evolving. Although SSL certificates aren't the ultimate protection against any form of attack, they are a good way to start giving your website the defense it needs. Gradually, the system is being upgraded to Transport Layer Security or TLS, but if you have an SSL certificate, you'll be on your way to TLS, making it easier to maintain a secure experience for yourself and your users in the long-term.
7. You'll Improve SEO
Finally, secure sites with an SSL certificate have a better chance of ranking higher in the search engine results pages. This isn't just because Google and other search engines prefer secure websites with an HTTPS URL, it's also because you're more likely to convince people to click on your page and stay on your website when you can promise them that their browsing experience will be safe. Your SSL certificate essentially tells both the search engines and your customers that they can trust you to keep data secure on your website. This means that you don't have to work quite as hard to out-shine your competitors online.