Secure Socket Layer…yep sounds boring right? OK, it’s geek boring…but it’s important for your website and getting new customers!
As the name suggests, SSL creates an additional layer of safety that protects the information visitors choose to share with a website. When your site is live it is hosted on a web server. The issue here is that there are some folk who want to hack your website and harm you and your site visitors by getting in between your site and the web server.
A major function of SSL certificates is to keep your and your site visitors' personal data safe and secure- this data can be anything from email addresses to credit and bank information. This extra security layer is why Google will push sites higher in search results- they are safer sites!
How does SSL work?
SSL protocol encrypts the link between a web server and a browser meaning any data passing through it is safe and secure, and your visitors know they are on a safe site (hence the padlock icon displayed on the top of a web browser to show it has an SSL encryption). If a site does not use SSL it will be labelled "not secure" by the main web browsers, strongly discouraging people from visiting your site.
If Google sees that people are leaving your site almost as quickly as they clicked on it, it will take note and push your site lower and lower down, meaning fewer site visitors for your business and loss of potential customers.
So how does it work? SSL certificates have two different randomly-generated keys: the Public Key and the Private key. The Public Key encrypts the connection and the Private Key decrypts the connection. In order to gain access to your information, a hacker would need both keys which are significantly more difficult, which is why encryption and SSL certificates make your website safe and secure.
Does SSL Improve SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO is what helps your site rank in Google search results. Does having an SSL improve SEO performance and where you appear in search results? The straightforward answer is definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, YES! The simple reason is that Google will push sites higher in search results that have SSL encryption as they are safer sites.
Google has over 200 major search engine ranking factors that it actively considers before ranking any website in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and it has confirmed that websites with an SSL certificate would get an advantage in the SERPs- ranking higher than sites without.
Google specifically said that if two similar websites are identical in every way, the website with an SSL certificate will have an edge over the other site that does not have a certificate.
In other words, search engines implicitly penalise hazardous websites in their results pages. Warning pop-ups will drive users away, reducing traffic, brand trust, conversion rate, and engagement rate- which is not something anyone wants.
Why is SSL Certificate Important?
When a visitor accesses a HTTPS:// website, the SSL certificate assures that any information given will not be disclosed to third parties. The encrypted connection safeguards the data.
It is critical for website owners to understand that obtaining an SSL certificate will not immediately increase your site's results and propel you to the top. However, if you are taking care of the other search engine ranking variables and doing everything else correctly, having an SSL certificate will provide the much-needed push to overcome other websites in a difficult and competitive sector.
There is no question that an SSL certificate (a safe and secure website) enhances the user experience tremendously. If a user visits an unsafe website, they will notice visible indicators that the site is not secure and that they should leave it.
Websites that are not encrypted provide a lousy user experience and will never continuously rank at the top of the SERPs.
The indirect consequence of having an unsecured and unencrypted website eventually leads to a drop in search engine rankings. The domino effect drives it down even more.
Fewer traffic views imply fewer potential for backlinks, viral traffic, a greater engagement rate, and so on.
How to Get an SSL On My Website?
You may have heard that we are Webflow experts. With all the benefits that come with this, SSL included as a standard is one of them.
SSL is a big advantage for all Paddle Creative-hosted websites! All sites built and hosted with Paddle Creative come with SSL as standard, meaning your website is safe with us.
You have the option of hosting your website on your own server or on a third-party server, but why would you? Paddle Creative's Webflow website hosting is built on AWS (Amazon Web Servers), making it one of the best in the world; it uses SSL and is extremely fast and safe.
There are a few different types of SSL certificates so it’s important you have a basic understanding of what SSL is if you’re going in alone and sorting SSL yourself. If you have any questions feel free to ask us- we’re always happy to help!