In this short article we will be explaining the importance of using SSL, TLS & HTTPS in a website and its effects on the ranking when adopting and optimizing successful SEO strategies.
SSL, TLS & HTTPS – A SEO Perspective: Introduction
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
SSL technology maintains online connections secure and it safeguard sensitive data. These can be credit card details, telephone numbers, addresses, names, etc.. It achieves this by protecting all data transferred between users and websites; for this purpose, it takes advantage of complex encryption algorithms in order to encode the information in transit. The main types of SSL certificates are the following: Domain Validation, Organization Validation, Extended Validation.
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
TLS technology is just an updated and more secure version of SSL Certificates.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
HTTPS indicates the text that appears in the URL when an SSL certificate secures a website. By simply clicking on the ‘padlock’ on the left side of the browser bar you can check and verify all the details of the SSL certificate installed.
SSL, TLS & HTTPS: A SEO Perspective
SSL, TLS & HTTPS: A Factor of Trust
In accordance to Google’s algorithms, an SSL certificate is considered still nowadays a crucial factor of trust. In fact, SSL certificates are considered relevant when planning effective SEO strategies. On the other hand, it’s not recommended to rely only on this certificate in order to successfully improve the organic performance in the search engines. For this purpose, you need also to adopt other essential SEO tactics such as On-Page, Off-Page Optimization, content marketing etc…That being said, in comparison with other competitors, having an SSL certificate could significantly improve your ranking in the results pages. In reality, calculating the precise impact of this certificate on a site’s rankings in not an easy task either. For instance, it would be challenging to evaluate the actual impact of an SSL certificate on a site’s search engine rankings when compared with other websites with more backlinks.
SSL, TLS & HTTPS: A Conversion Factor
To be honest, an SSL certificate is far more relevant for another essential factor: it helps improving the conversion rate. There is no doubt that this certificate positively influence the overall user experience as well. If a person opens an unsafe website, he would notice a message showing that the site is not secure. By explicitly pointing out unencrypted websites, web browsers are strengthening the awareness about internet security. For this reason, users are nowadays much more hesitant in visiting websites without SSL Certificates.
The more trust your customers have in your website, the more likely the website will increase its conversion rate. Trust is one of the main factors when users decide where and whether to shop. A website well defended from cyber risks, especially when personal or payment information is needed, can make a great difference in a customer’s purchasing decisions.
On the other hand, it’s also important to remember that – from a conversion rate perspective – the level of your SSL certificate is unlikely to have a huge impact on customer’s decisions. To the average user, the difference between the levels of verification is unnoticeable. Additionally, very few visitors actually click on the locker to see the details of the certificate.
SSL, TLS & HTTPS – A SEO Perspective: Conclusion
In conclusion, we highly recommend installing an SSL certificate on your website. It helps building and strengthening your customer trust. The more comfortable your visitors are with your website security, the more likely they’ll be to make purchases. On the other hand, an SSL certificate alone won’t be sufficient to have a huge impact on your SEO strategy. At this point, it’s evident that SSL certificates are still relevant as one of the several SEO variables to consider. This represents an excellent way to improve the conversion rate of your website.