Have you ever noticed that some websites have a lock symbol next to their URL while others don’t? are you unsure what that means and if it’s crucial for your website? Get ready to dive into the world of SSL certificates and SEO.
In today’s digital landscape, online security is vital for protecting your website and boosting your search engine rankings. So, buckle up and explore why SSL certificates are essential in SEO!
Are SSL Certificates Important for SEO?
The short answer is “Yes.” An SSL IS important for SEO, not only for SEO but for your website visitors, the user experience and the safety of data on your website.
Will Google or Bing happily redirect users to a website they know is not 100% secure? They would not.
If a user enters a search term in Google and your website appears in the search results, which they then click and are taken to a security warning page, do you think they will continue to your website? No! They will move on to your competitor’s website, which is secure.
If you do not have an active SSL on your website, it is going to have a negative impact on your SEO, your visitors, your website’s security and user experience.
What is SSL?
What is SSL, and why does it matter for your website’s SEO? Well, let me break it down for you. SSL is a digital certificate that establishes an encrypted connection between the server hosting your website and the user’s browser. It ensures that data transmitted between these two points remains private and secure.
When a website has an SSL certificate, you’ll notice that its URL starts with “https” instead of just “http”. The ‘s’ stands for secure, indicating that the site has implemented SSL encryption. This small but significant change can make all the difference in building trust with your audience and improving your search engine rankings.
Google recognises the importance of online security and has clarified that having an SSL certificate benefits SEO. They have been encouraging website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS by giving a slight ranking boost to sites with secure connections.
You need an SSL certificate on your website to ensure you’re getting all the benefits both in terms of security and SEO. Hackers or identity thieves could intercept sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details without encryption. Additionally, without HTTPS protocol, Google may mark your site as “Not Secure,” deterring visitors from accessing it altogether.
If you find yourself in a situation where your website’s SSL isn’t working properly or showing errors, don’t panic! There are steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. First, check for mixed content warnings – some elements on your page are loaded via insecure HTTP instead of HTTPS. Fixing these diverse content issues should help resolve the most common problems.
In some cases where more technical expertise is required or if you need clarification on tackling these issues yourself, reaching out to web developers or contacting customer support from your hosting provider might be necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of your SSL certificate.
What is HTTPS
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol to transfer data between a website and its users. With HTTPS, all communication between your web browser and the website you are visiting is encrypted, making it more secure.
When you visit a website that uses HTTPS, you will see a padlock icon in your browser’s address bar. This indicates that the connection between your device and the website is secure. HTTPS helps protect sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card details, and personal data from being intercepted by hackers.
In addition to providing enhanced security for users, having an HTTPS-enabled website can also benefit your SEO efforts. Google has stated that they consider HTTPS a ranking signal, meaning websites with SSL certificates may receive a slight boost in search engine rankings.
Does Google Encourage Website Owners to Have an SSL on Their Website?
Google strongly encourages website owners to have an SSL certificate on their websites. They have made it clear that having a secure website is one of the ranking factors for search engine optimisation (SEO). An SSL certificate is crucial if you want your website to rank higher in Google’s search results.
An SSL certificate ensures that the data transmitted between your website and visitors is encrypted and secure. This helps protect sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, and personal data from being intercepted by hackers or malicious individuals.
When a website has an SSL certificate installed, it will display the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP in the URL. Visitors can quickly identify a secure site by looking at this indicator. And let’s face it, people are more likely to trust and engage with safe websites.
Moreover, having an SSL certificate can also improve user experience on your website. With recent updates in web browsers like Google Chrome labelling non-secure sites with warnings, users might be deterred from accessing your site if it needs proper security measures.
Google’s encouragement for websites to have an SSL certificate goes beyond just improving security; it also impacts SEO rankings and user experience. If you haven’t already done so, consider getting an SSL certificate for your website today!
What Happens if My Website Does Not Have an SSL?
If your website does not have an SSL certificate, it can pose several risks and consequences. Without an SSL, your website will be marked as “Not Secure” by web browsers, which can deter visitors from trusting your site and potentially lead to a high bounce rate.
Search engines like Google also prioritise websites that have implemented SSL certificates in their search rankings. So, having an SSL is crucial to improve your SEO and increase visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Another potential issue is the security of user data transmitted through your website. Without an SSL, hackers could intercept sensitive information like passwords or credit card details when users submit forms or make online purchases on your site.
Moreover, certain features may not work correctly on non-SSL websites. For example, some payment gateways require secure connections for smooth transactions. Not having an SSL can negatively impact functionality if you’re running an e-commerce store or collecting personal information from users.
My Website’s SSL is Not Working. What Should I Do?
If you find that your website’s SSL certificate is not working, there are a few steps you can take to resolve the issue. First, check if the SSL certificate has expired or installed incorrectly. If either is the case, contact your hosting provider or SSL certificate issuer for assistance.
It’s also essential to ensure that all elements on your website are served over HTTPS. This includes images, scripts, and any external resources. Check for mixed content warnings in your browser console and update any insecure links to secure ones.
Sometimes, issues with SSL certificates may be caused by conflicts with plugins or themes on your website. Try temporarily turning off any recently installed plugins or reverting to a default theme to see if this resolves the problem.
If none of these steps work, consider contacting a professional web developer specialising in SSL certificates and security. They will have the expertise to diagnose and fix any underlying issues preventing your SSL certificate from functioning correctly.
So don’t delay – make sure your website is protected with an SSL certificate today!