Why All Websites Should Start Using SSL Certificates

8th November 2018

It goes without saying that the internet is continuously evolving at a rapid rate. So much so that it can be hard to keep up with.

It is paramount to keep your website as secure as possible, for not only your business but also for your website visitors who are becoming savvier than ever before at spotting which websites are protecting them and which are not; particularly now with the help of Google in naming and shaming the businesses without the standard protection.

This is where the SSL certificate comes in…

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL (secure socket layer) certificate is a digital certificate that validates the identity of a secure website.

The protocol in which data is sent between your browser and the website you are connected to is HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol). And when it is combined with SSL it becomes HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) meaning that the data being sent is secured.

The way that HTTPS/SSL secures data is by encrypting all communications between the browser and the website.

Why is it important to have an SSL certificate?

Having an SSL certificate is important for your website’s security as mentioned earlier. However, despite the obvious benefits, many businesses still haven’t acquired an SSL certificate.

This is quite surprising due to the fact that 74% of businesses say that cyber security is a high priority.

There are several significant advantages of having an SSL certificate on your business’s website:

1.     SSL protects data

Having an SSL certificate is paramount for all businesses, even more so for businesses that keep important customer data such as payment details. You as a business are responsible for protecting your visitors’ data, whether it’s their name, payment details, or personal preferences etc.

According to the GOV.UK Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 43% of UK businesses have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. This statistic just goes to show why website security should be taken seriously.

Fortunately, an SSL certificate can protect your data as every bit of information is encrypted so that only the intended receiver can unlock and have access to this information.

A screenshot to show the importance of cyber security in businesses and charities

2.     SSL provides authentication

The internet can be a very misleading place, with fraudulent websites getting more and more cunning. However, SSL certificates are helping to battle this by providing authentication to real, trustworthy websites.

To be able to obtain an SSL certificate, you first have to go through a validation process to verify your identity using a third-party CA (certificate authority).

The identity verification process ensures your protection from impersonation, so no one creates a fake website pretending to be yours. Not only are you protecting yourself, but you are also saving website visitors from frauds which will consequently enhance your reputation.

3.     Better SEO

Everyone wants their business’s website and its pages to rank as high as possible in the search engine results page, so working on improving your SEO is necessary to get there.

Changes in Google’s algorithm has focused on the security and authentication of websites. In fact, Google has recently introduced HTTPS as a ranking factor, therefore giving HTTPS-enabled websites the advantage over competitors without a secure website. And although the ranking boost may not be substantial, it’s still one step closer to where you want to be in the results page.

Google has recognised that secure websites deserve the upper hand, and by having an SSL certificate, you will be a secure website reaping this SEO benefit.

An example of how Google will now show websites that are not secure compared to previously
An example of how Google will show websites that are not secure compared to previously

4.     Enhances customer trust

One of the most significant benefits of having an SSL certificate is that it helps build and retain customer trust. Website visitors want to know that your website is safe for them to use.

So how will visitors know that your website is secured by an SSL certificate? The answer is trust indicators. Google has started labelling websites without SSL certificates ‘not secure’ to warn users of the risks in the browser bar on the top left-hand side. And websites that are secure show ‘https’ in the URL with a padlock icon, which means they are secure.

No matter how big and credible your business is, if you were to experience some kind of data breach in which your website visitors’ information was at risk, this could well damage your reputation.

5.     Improves conversion rates 

Another great benefit of getting an SSL certificate is that it helps improve your conversion rate. This goes hand-in-hand with the point that having an SSL certificate builds customers trust; a visitor is far more likely to convert into a customer if they trust you.

It’s not rocket science understanding that a site clearly labelled ‘not secure’ will deter visitors from giving you their personal information or making a purchase.

Ultimately, once a visitor knows that you’re legitimate and you can be trusted, they’re far more likely to do business with you and even revisit your site.

Secure your website

We hope this article has given you insight into the importance of having an SSL certificate for your website. Why not check your businesses website? Just check for the ‘not secure’ or padlock icon in the URL. Check the Rebixit website to see how it should be and compare it to your own website.

Did you know? We provide the SSL certificate for free, as part of our hosting package, enquire here to find out more.

When choosing what the right level and type of SSL certificate you should use for your website, there are a few factors you need to consider. This includes how you use your website, how many domains you want to secure, your location and whether you can install the SSL certificate yourself.

If you are interested in working with a team of digital experts to help keep your website secure to be able to achieve the benefits mentioned in this article, contact us here.

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