An SSL certificate didn’t use to matter when it came to your SEO ranking. However, that changed with an announcement from Google stating that an SSL certificate could boost search rankings. When this announcement came out, marketers were going nuts trying to get SSL certificates for their websites.
Full Website Security
SSL certificates make your website secure and give it the “HTTPS” stamp. This gives you the ability to process data without the issues a non-secure site come with. In addition, some browsers will label your site as “not secure” in the address bar.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. It’s a protocol used to help encrypt communications between the web server, user and browser. With an SSL certificate it’s impossible for anybody to see the data getting transferred from the website to the server.
Usually, these certificates are used to keep hackers at bay. Now, they are also an important way to help boost ranking on search engines.
Become More Competitive
If your competition is using an SSL certificate and you’re not, it’s a great way to level the playing field. By securing your website, you won’t have to worry about getting outranked due to security. Instead, you may hop over those competitors will lesser SEO if you add this additional feature to your website.
Immediate SEO Benefits
Google made it clear in the announcement, if you comply by getting an SSL certificate for your website, you will enjoy immediate SEO benefits. They are not doing this because they are in the business of forcing security certificates on your website, but because they are trying to make the World Wide Web a safer place.
Do you Need an SSL Certificate?
You can still rank high in Google without an SSL certificate, but it’s easier with one. While many marketers didn’t do anything when this announcement came out, some have taken action and enjoy higher rankings because of it. If you want to make SEO easier, get an SSL certificate for your website.
You can buy an SSL certificate from your hosting company. Some have actually given them away free of charge and still do. However, the expense compared to the benefits, even if you have to pay for an SSL certificate, give it plenty of value.
While an SSL certificate is a very easy way to gain some of Google’s love, it’s only one of more than 200 factors used for ranking your website. A large percentage of the highest ranking websites still don’t use the HTTPS because it’s just one very small ranking signal. You won’t get an SSL certificate and all of the sudden hop up to the first page of Google.
However, if your competition isn’t using HTTPS, you can gain an advantage. Research has also shown that the highest ranking domains on Google do have the HTTPS instead of just HTTP. It can help you rank higher, but it’s by no means some magic solution.
You can skip getting an SSL certificate and work on other SEO signals from Google, but this one is so easy. All you have to do is buy the certificate from your hosting company and that’s one less ranking signal you have to worry about.