SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is used by websites to establish a secure connection between the host and the visitor. All data transferred through an SSL connection remains private and integral. Websites with an SSL certificate can be accessed through HTTPS. Lately, SSL certificates have become popular and widely used – but people still wonder if having an SSL certificate affects SEO. First off, we’ll tell you the benefits of having an SSL certificate and why you should get one:
Benefits of Having An SSL Certificate
1. They are affordable
Buying an SSL certificate won’t cost you much. You are left with hundreds of options and a lot of them are affordable. Hosting services offer SSL certificates at discounted prices and you can choose from different brands and types.
2. Your website will be more secure
Every connection is secured and all the data transferred through it can’t be accessed by a random third party. Your visitors will trust your website more if they see a secure HTTPS connection.
3. SSL certificate provides authentication
When visiting a website, especially when submitting information or files through the server, the SSL makes sure that it’s the right website and it goes to the right server. SSLs act as a proof that this is indeed your website and not some imitation. This will help you against phishing sites that are trying to exactly imitate your website’s design and look in order to obtain sensitive information.
4. They are easy to install
You don’t have to be a technical guru to install an SSL certificate. You can install the certificate through most control panels with a few clicks and some hosting companies offer 24/7 managed support that can install the certificate for you.
How SSL certificates affect SEO?
Since it’s easy and recommended to install an SSL certificate, the final question is whether or not it affects SEO. Here are a few ways of how SSL certificates affect SEO:
1. Google prefers HTTPS
Google officially announced that having an SSL certificate positively impacts your rankings and it’s considered a ranking signal. The reason that Google themselves have stated that it does affect SEO, is a valid enough reason for you to switch to HTTPS and increase your rankings on search engines.
2. You have more referrer data
With an HTTP connection, some of your referral data get lost and you won’t even notice it. In such cases, your website traffic that originates from certain sources will be shown as “Direct”. If you use an HTTPS connection, you’ll see all your referral data and where it comes from.
3. Websites with HTTPS already rank higher
A number of research studies have been done by Moz, Ahrefs and Brian Dean where they analyzed top websites ranking on Google and have come to the conclusion that HTTPS websites already rank higher then non-HTTPS ones.
4. Users prefer websites with HTTPS
Based on analytical data from different websites. When searching for something, people are prone to click a secure HTTPS website rather than a non-secure one. So if your website has HTTPS and ranks with other non-HTTPS websites on the same SERP, the user is most likely going to visit your website.
Based on all the reasons listed in this article, we recommend that you buy an SSL certificate and increase your search rankings if you haven’t already done so.