You’ve registered a domain name for your Custom Website, the layout looks fantastic and all your products and services are being showcased to the best of their ability. Great work, it sounds as though your Website is well on the way to helping grow and strengthen your Small Business.
But now that you’ve got your beautiful new Website, you need to make sure it’s protected with an SSL Certificate. You may be familiar with this term, or else see it as technical jargon, but having an SSL Certificate is now crucial for every Small Business Website.
If you have a Website and are unsure of whether you need an SSL Certificate, or know nothing about this vital security encryption, then read on. We’ll give you everything you need to know about SSL and why you should absolutely use it on your own Website or Ecommerce Store.
What Exactly Is SSL?
Before we take a look at the benefits, let’s take a deep dive into what SSL actually is. SSL, or a Secured Locket System, may sound complicated and highly technical, but the concept is quite simple: it is a small data file which digitally binds a Business’s details through a cryptographic key.
This ‘key’ is displayed via the ‘https’ presented at the beginning of a Website’s domain name and secures all data being transferred between the site and the user who is accessing it. Essentially, it’s how Small Businesses communicate with customers that they can browse, buy products or services, and share information safely with you online. This could include anything from their credit card details to personal information on a Contact Form.
While many small Businesses are embracing SSL, others have yet to jump on board, meaning all the information contained and shared with their Website is insecure. This can pose a huge array of issues, not just for the privacy of your customers, but also for your own Business.
Keep reading to find out exactly why you need to have SSL and the https prefix on your site to avoid getting left behind.
Google Rewards SSL Certification
While SSL has been around for a long time, the Online World is a fast-moving and constantly changing entity. This means that Search Engines moguls, such as Google, are constantly looking at ways to improve the user experience.
This has made SSL increasingly important, as Google has stated that it prioritises Websites that have the https certification. Google not only wants to help users find what they are looking for, but also to give them the freedom to browse safely and securely. Https is a way in which Google can recognise that any data being passed between a Website and user has an extra level of security.
Furthermore, as of 2017, Google is warning users when a Website is not SSL certified, which will definitely act as a deterrent to your potential customers. All internet users want to browse safely and will be suspicious of any Website that Google deems as potentially unsecure.
By embracing SSL for your Website or Ecommerce Store, you’ll be giving your Business the best chance of better Google rankings and appear as more trustworthy to your potential customers.
It Makes Your Customers Feel Secure
With rates of cybercrime and hacking rapidly on the rise, internet users are increasingly becoming more aware of online security, making them more cautious than ever.
SSL Certification can be easily identified, typically with a small padlock in the user’s search bar. This allows browsers to decide for themselves whether or not they want to access a site and potentially run the risk of their personal information being stolen.Without the SSL padlock symbol, your potential customers could be wary and apprehensive about accessing your Website and purchasing your products or services.
Increased Business Credibility
It doesn’t matter how professional your layout or content is, if you don’t have an SSL certificate on your Website you’re jeopardising your Business’s authority and brand reputation.
Having the https prefix for your Website will make you appear as a credible and trustworthy source to Search Engines, potential customers and other Businesses. This will help you gain and strengthen trust with these entities, which could aid in increasing sales as they are more likely to do Business with you.
SSL Protects Your Business Information
As well as protecting your customers, SSL certification will protect your own Business information if any of your pages are password protected. This is particularly relevant for database-driven sites, such as WordPress, which have a login page for the administrator.
Unfortunately, the web has become an increasingly risky place, with nasty bots and hackers lurking about, seeking out poorly protected Websites from which they can steal your private Business information and data.
While being under cyber-attack may sound like something out of a Si-Fi movie, it can pose a very real and significant threat to Small Businesses. By ensuring you have an SSL Certificate you will be able to prevent any illegal activity, thus protecting your Business information as well as your customers.
It Allows You to Accept Payment Securely
This is perhaps one of the most significant reasons to encrypt your site with SSL, and is particularly relevant to Small Business Owners with an Ecommerce Store. If you plan to take credit card details, you’ll likely need a merchant account, most of which require you to use an SSL certificate.
An SSL Certificate enables the encryption of sensitive data during online transactions so it remains protected. This means that when a customer enters their credit card details into your Website when they are about to purchase, they can be safe in the knowledge that this information will be kept safe and secure.
There is a certain duty as a goods and services provider that requires you to protect your customers private information, and if you fail to do this the results could be disastrous. If a customer finds out their card details have been stolen from your Website, your Business can suffer severely. Not only are they unlikely ever to purchase from you again, but they will probably tell everyone they know about their negative experience with you. Remember, it is your duty as a Business owner to ensure the safety of your customer’s sensitive information.
Ultimately, SSL Certification will not just help to protect your customer base and your own private Business information, but will also increase your Business’s credibility and authority, making you more appealing to Google’s ranking algorithm. If you still haven’t encrypted your site with https, our team of professionals at Sites n Stores can help! Our trusted team can ensure your Website is SSL Certified, meaning you’ll be keeping your Business safe and secure.