Organizations like Google have been working to make the web a safer by encouraging website owners to use the HTTPS protocol that ensures the data sent from your computer to the site you're browsing is encrypted and securely transmitted. Starting in July of 2018 Google started marketing websites that haven’t adopted HTTPS as not secure. All others continue to be displayed with green https letters in the URL, which means they are secured by an SSL certificate.
We will explain why SSL certificates are important to this process their benefits for your small business website.
What is an SSL Certificate?
When you visit a website and the “http” is followed by an “s,” this means that the website consists of a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and ensures that the sensitive data of your website's visitors will be transferred over a secure network. Think of it as the groundwork for all internet security: it protects your information as it travels throughout internet space and beyond. Therefore, it is no longer an option but a necessity to assure the quality and security of your business site
Let’s dive into the importance of having an SSL certificate:
Protects Users’ Personal Information
Due to the new-age complications with hackers, identity thefts, and credit card fraud, it is imperative to protect personal information. Having an SSL does just that. It will encrypt personal information, such as personal IDs, passwords, and credit card numbers so hackers do not have access to personal data. When using an SSL, these numbers and letters become virtually jumbled and unreadable so no one can access them.
When your website is secured, web browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox give visual clues to users to indicate that the website is secured. Google took the lead in 2018 and made the decision to “flag” websites that do not have SSL certificates installed and many others are following in suit. It is also a possibility in the near future that all unsecured websites will be blocked and not able to be viewed at all. If a website is not SSL certified, one might be turned away and question if your website is one of the millions created for the sole purpose of scamming users. As a business, this is the last thing you want to do; trust is the forefront of obtaining business and you don’t want consumers steered away at first glance.
Increases Web Traffic
Not only does an SSL certificate confirm safety and validity, but it can also drive more users to your website. For example, when Google calculates the order in which your website appears in searches, their algorithm gives websites that have an SSL certificate the upper hand. Although this calculation is unseen, it's true and testable: search for something on Google and check to see if the top results have “https” at the beginning of their URL.
Despite this important component of SSL, many organizations have delayed adoption due to the price of the certificates and the complexity of implementation. However today, getting an SSL certificate is much easier .
If you find yourself wondering, “Do I need an SSL certificate for my website?” The answer is a definitive yes on all accounts. Obtaining one easy. We at Ellie Brands can help get it done or you can contact your domain provider to add one to your website. At Ellie Brands, we work with small businesses where search is critical for them to securely build awareness and drive leads. Given the opportunity to rank higher for simply making a site secure with an SSL certificate is a no brainer.