Today, Google has over 200 search engine ranking factors that help determine the visibility of your website? From title tags and headings to content quality and domain authority, there is a lot that goes into optimising your website for Search Engine.
More often than not, these are the factors we put most of our time into optimising, but did you know that there is one that many website owners neglect that can give your SEO and rankings a boost? SSL certificates.
Google confirmed that a website with an SSL certificate (https://) are given an added advantage in the SERPS. But the question remains – how do SSL Certificates Affect SEO?
What is an SSL Certificate?
When it comes to browsing the internet, safety and data security are of the utmost importance to both client and server. SSL refers to Secure Socket Layer certificates and is an important part of website security.
Websites with an SSL certificate can be accessed through the HTTPS protocol and is characterised by the padlock sign beside the URL. This means that websites with and HTTPS as a part of their URL are secure keeping transferred data safe and secure by creating an encrypted connection between the user and the website. This ensures that whatever information is shared cannot be leaked or accessed.
How Do SSL Certificates Affect SEO?
We live in an era where the internet plays an incredibly important role in our everyday lives. It is where we shop, communicate, learn, teach and more. As such, there is no denying the importance of a visible website presence. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps us achieve this, and gives us the opportunity to share our service, business and brand with users who need it.
However, many users have begun to place more and more importance on protecting their data and personal information. The internet is a vast space that holds countless malicious agents who are constantly looking to steal and distribute our data. Owing to this, users are more likely to visit and explore a site that is safe and protected, than one that is not. But how does this affect visibility in the SERPS?
Google is a company that is committed to providing its users with the best experience possible when searching for content and information online. This includes ensuring they feel safe and comfortable to do so.
In 2014, Google rolled out an update that favoured HTTPS websites. They stated that it would help serve as a determining factor if the quality signals of two websites were equal in everything else. Put simply, this means that if you and your competitor are equal in terms of speed, title tags, content and other SEO signals, but your competitor has an HTTPS website where yours isn’t they are more likely to rank theirs ahead of yours.
Today, 40% of Google results are on the first-page feature and HTTPS website. While other SEO factors cannot be ignored or neglected, the importance of SSL cannot be underestimated. It could mean the difference between a number on ranking or none at all!
Google has implemented visual indicators that tell a user that a website is not secure, creating awareness about internet security among users and making them more hesitant about visiting unencrypted websites, no matter how trusted the brand is.
According to Google, user experience is an important ranking factor for your website and behaviour such as how long a user stays on your site and whether they immediately click away all give Google an idea about the experience of your website. As such, users who are met with a security warning will immediately click away. The indirect effect of an unencrypted website will lead to a decrease in rankings and visibility on the SERPS.
Ensuring Your Website Is Safe, Secure & Visibile
If you want your website to be successful in today’s digital landscape you need to ensure that it is secure and encrypted with an SSL Certificate. This will help you retain customers and give them an optimal user experience, as well as help your website remain visible in the SERPS.
Make sure your website is secure and visible with Digital Nomads HQ. We are a leading Digital Marketing company with years of experience and hundreds of clients under our belts, we have helped countless websites grow and achieve their SEO goals. Whether you need help with your website design, social media, content creation, digital marketing or anything in between, we are here to help. Get In touch today!