You may be hearing the term “SSL Certificate” more often than ever. A lot of web-based companies and hosting providers, like GoDaddy and Network Solutions, are making big pushes to sell them. So what is it and why do you need it?
Having an SSL Certificate for your website, in short, can help your website rank higher in Google, it adds a layer of security to your website, and creates trust for customers when visiting your site. More importantly, soon Google Chrome web-browser will put a “not secure” message next to websites that do not have an SSL Certificate. Meaning even if you’re website is “safe” people may get the impression that it is not.
So, what is an SSL Certificate?
You’ve probably visited a website that has the green lock icon in the address bar and next to that it says, “Secure”. You’ll also notice that instead of the website being at http://www.example.com, it is instead at https://www.example.com. What both the green lock, secure, and https elements mean is that the website has extra layers of security on top of it and that the website is now being served to visitors in a more secure way.
In years past, an SSL Certificate was really only necessary if you were selling online – because you needed to secure peoples credit card information that they entered on your website. Today, it’s becoming a multi-purpose, multi-benefit add-on to your website.
So, what are the benefits?
- Increase Your Google Ranking: Last year I was at PubCon, a national conference for Digital Marketing, where I met Gary Illyes who is the head of Search Trends at Google. He confirmed to me, and later in a keynote to all attendees, that Google does in fact give a higher ranking to websites that have an SSL certificate. This is probably one of the larger benefits to opting for adding an SSL Certificate to your website. The higher ranking you have, the more visitors your site gets, which in turn results in more customers.
- Added Security to Your Website: An SSL Certificate adds 2048-bit encryption to protect sensitive data – which is techy talk for super secure. Whether it’s patient information, credit card numbers, or sensitive data – it’s virtually uncrackable by hackers. For our medical professionals, this also means HIPAA compliance.
- Create Trust: Customers visiting your website that see a green lock icon and the word “secure” in their address bar are going to feel very comfortable and safe using your website. Even more important, they will feel ok with sharing sensitive data on your website.
- Avoid the “Not Secure” warning: Soon Google Chrome web-browser will put a “not secure” message next to websites that do not have an SSL Certificate. Meaning even if you’re website is “safe” people may get the impression that it is not. Make sure that your customers aren’t leary of your website because they see a “not secure” warning when visiting, by adding an SSL Certificate.
If you’d like to add an SSL Certificate to your website – and get all of the benefits that we’ve talked about above – then simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – and we can add it to your website right away! You don’t have to do a thing; we take care of it for you in the matter of a couple hours.