These days you’re probably used to looking for that all-important padlock icon when you’re shopping online. You wouldn’t enter your credit card number and personal information without making sure the site is secure. But, if you aren’t an eCommerce business, do you need security features on your website, like SSL? The short answer is – yes. And, here’s why.
If your website has fallen off the first page of search engine results, it could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe your site isn’t mobile friendly, maybe it doesn’t load quickly enough, or more recently, it could be because it’s lacking security features. Google prioritizes search engine results based on a number of factors. These factors continue to evolve over time. The engineers at Google are constantly modifying their algorithm to show more relevant results, but also to avoid sending their users to websites with technical issues or security problems. This year Google is putting a huge focus on security. If your website doesn’t have SSL, now is the time to add it in order to conform to today’s industry standards.
“We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connection to your website, regardless of the content on the site.” – Google
We recommend investing in the addition of HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and SSL/TLS protocol (Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security) to come up to the standards Google requires in order to be a “Secure” website. You must either purchase your certificate from a Certificate Authority or hire a technical administrator to install a limited alternative. A Certificate Authority verifies that your web address actually belongs to your organization. There are several types of SSL, single, multi-domain and wildcard certificate. Choosing the correct one is important.
Once the certificate is installed on your site you aren’t quite done yet. You have to redirect website traffic to the new, secure version of your website. Once that is complete, it doesn’t hurt to submit a sitemap or Fetch as Google to make sure it’s easily found and crawled by search engines.