SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a technology that makes an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser; it ensures sensitive information is transmitted securely over the internet and is used when collecting credit card numbers or other personal data. But SSL can also play an important role in your website’s SEO performance. This article explores why SSL is important for SEO and how to make sure your site has the necessary certificate installed correctly.
Let’s get started.
An Overview of SSL
SSL/TLS is a digital encryption system to secure web communication; It helps establish an encrypted link between two devices, commonly referred to as a “tunnel”, and helps protect the data exchanged between them. This means that any information sent through this tunnel is safely secured from hackers or other malicious third parties.
In addition to providing an extra level of security for website visitors, SSL considered a Security Measure for Website’s SEO. Google has indicated that they use HTTPS as a ranking signal in their algorithms, meaning sites with an SSL certificate will qualify for higher rankings than those without one.
How SSL Certificate Affects your Website’s SEO Performance?
Increases User Protection
Having SSL Certificate on a website ensures the communication with that website is protected and secure for the users; it encrypts all data transmitted between servers so that any third parties cannot access it. This is especially important in e-commerce sites, where customers’ payment information is stored. The SSL encryption in the website server will give users peace of mind when visiting your website and be more likely to complete transactions or provide personal information.
Improves Search Engine Rankings
Google has publicly announced that an SSL certificate is a factor in its search engine rankings. This means if all other ranking signals are equal, but one website has installed an SSL certificate, and the other hasn’t, the secured website will be rewarded with a better ranking position in SERP results.
While this might not seem like an incentive to change your security protocol, consider that even minor changes can make all the difference regarding web traffic and conversion rates.
An SSL certificate is a sign of trustworthiness; if your website has an SSL certificate, you are serious about protecting customer data and their privacy. This creates a positive impression, increasing user trust and leading to more conversions and higher search engine rankings. The presence of an SSL certificate also encourages users to share information on your site, as they know their data will be secure.
Prevents Content Duplication
Having an SSL Certificate on your website prevents content duplication issues that can arise when a web crawler reads and indexes both the HTTP version of your page. This can be a significant issue for SEO as it is difficult for search engines to determine which page should be ranked higher or if both should appear in their results.
Implementing SSL in Your Website to Improve SEO
- Change the URL Structure
You may need to change your website’s URL structure when implementing an SSL certificate. If you already have a website, you’re likely using http:// (hypertext transfer protocol) in its URL. To implement SSL, you’ll need to switch to https://. When making this switch, there are several important considerations:
- Redirects: You must create redirects from all existing http:// pages to your website’s new https:// pages.
- Backlinks: Make sure to update backlinks pointing to your website with the new https:// URLs.
- URL Parameters: Some of your pages may have URL parameters that need to be updated as well.
- Canonical Tags: Your canonical tags should also be updated with the new https:// URLs, so search engines understand which version is preferred.
- Updates for Internal Links and External Resources
As Google is considering SSL security as a ranking factor in their SERP, so having an SSL certificate can help boost your website’s SEO ranking. An SSL helps protect the privacy of visitors to your website by encrypting the data they send and receive on your web pages; it also provides a secure connection between the server hosting your website and any visitor to the site.
- Monitor Your HTTPS Performance
Monitoring your HTTPS performance over time is essential for ensuring that all the changes you’ve made to implement SSL are working as expected. The best way to do this is by regularly checking your website’s security score. Additionally, monitoring any changes in organic search visibility can also indicate how well your site is performing about HTTPS implementation.
Now, when you thought about purchasing and install SSL Certificate on your website, you need to make sure that the SSL must be from a verified SSL Certificate Brands such as Comodo, Sectigo, Certera, etc. as Google Chrome only consider valid SSL as the ranking signal.
The Bottom Line
SSL and SEO are closely related. To ensure that search engines index a website, securing it with an SSL certificate as SSL-secured website offers users a more secure browsing experience, which can increase trust on the website and its content. Furthermore, having an SSL helps websites rank higher in search engine results pages which leads to increased organic traffic & better conversion rates.