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The Importance of an SSL Certificate

Kaitlyn Thul Posted by Kaitlyn Thul on April 2, 2018

SSL certificate

SSL certificates are ubiquitous in the online world of today, so much so that you may find people within your firm questioning whether you need to continue paying for one on your website(s). So how do you answer that question?  Surely, everyone likes (and benefits from) security online, right? Our team have pooled all their best thoughts on the topic and today, we’re bringing you three reasons SSL certificates hold incredible value for your organization.

What is SSL?

First things first, let’s be sure we are all on the same page about what an SSL certificate actually is. A secure connection between your server and your clients’ computers is established via the secure sockets layer (SSL). Using this protocol, your website is able to receive information from your customers in a secure, reliable fashion. You can generally tell a website is using SSL with a valid certification because the web address will start with HTTPS rather than just HTTP; similarly, most browsers show a secure connection with a key or padlock icon at the left edge of the address bar.

By providing a valid SSL certificate, your site broadcasts a subtle message to all your clients and visitors that you value security and have made sure your web-based interactions with them are encoded. Valid SSL certificates are usually available for users to inspect by clicking the little icon that appears in the address bar and choosing the “view certificates” option from the resulting menu. While not all website users will care about something like this, many online shoppers are reluctant to proceed to checkout without a valid SSL certificate for their session – as many as 85 percent of those surveyed by Global Sign, an SSL provider, said they’d avoid shopping on a site without the certification.

Why Do We Need SSL?

With a firmer understanding of what SSL does for your website, and your customers, it’s possible that you still need clarity as to why your company needs and SSL certificate. The most tangible benefit for companies considering SSL certification is improved security for online transactions – making an SSL certificate an essential piece of a great site for anyone doing ecommerce.

However, there are multiple reasons to have a valid SSL certificate for your site, and some of them might not apply to your business. For example, if you don’t offer any products or services for sale online, you might be thinking that SSL is unnecessary for your site. However, there are other perks to having valid SSL certificates that benefit most businesses. Among these are:

  • Better Google Search Rank: since 2014, when Google launched their “https everywhere” initiative aimed at improving online security and trust for all, companies whose websites have valid SSL certification enjoy more favorable ranking on the search engine results page. If you’re about to undertake a massive optimization campaign to bolster your search ranking, you’d be foolish to overlook the importance of SSL;
  • More Time Spent: there’s little point in developing a lush online experience for your clients if they don’t feel comfortable enjoying it. Plenty of evidence out there shows that people who feel “safe” spend more in various online arenas – whether for business, entertainment, or educational purposes. And the longer someone is there absorbing your message, the more likely you are to convert their interest into cold hard cash somewhere along the way; and,
  • Stay Compliant: for many industries, the regulations surrounding control over personal information are complicated, and failure to remain in compliance can be met with harsh penalties. Keeping a valid SSL certificate for your website can help keep your entire firm from facing severe repercussions because user data will be stored, sent, and received securely.

As you can see, there’s plenty SSL has to offer businesses beyond secure online sales. Whether you’re hoping to increase visitor retention, improve sales, boost your site on the search engine results page, or simply rest easy knowing you’ve made the best site you can for your clients, an SSL certificate has a vital role to play.

Topics: Website Design

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