Does your website have an SSL certificate?
Because it NEEDS one.
Before you panic, thinking, “I don’t know! Does it?! What even is that??!” — go visit your site and take a quick look at the URL field.
Do you see a little 🔒 lock icon next to your URL? If so, you’re good.
If not… well, you’re not so good.
Here’s what that little lock icon means — and why it’s so crucial to have one.
What Is an SSL Certificate?
You may have noticed that some URLs start with http:// and some start with https:// — so what’s the difference?
That cute little “s” on the end means the website has an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which basically means that any information you input into that site (like your name and email address on a free download, or your debit card information when making a purchase) is encrypted and therefore harder for would-be hackers to access.
“But I don’t sell anything through my site or collect any user information, so I don’t need that, right?”
First, if you don’t have a freebie for folks to download in exchange for their email address, you’re missing out on a serious list-building opportunity… but that’s a topic for another email.
But even if you’re really not collecting any user information on your site, you should still have an SSL. Here’s why.
4 Reasons You Really Need an SSL
1. It Improves Your User Experience
Google wants to provide its users with a good experience, so they keep coming back and using Google for their searches.
Part of a “good user experience” on the internet these days is feeling like you’re browsing securely, so Google 100% prioritizes sites with an SSL.
So, how can you go about encouraging your customers to leave a review?
2. It Boosts Your Site Speed
Having an SSL can give your site loading speed a little boost.
In fact, some browsers (like Chrome, the browser preferred by over 50% of internet users in the U.S. as of September 2021) won’t even open http:// sites without first showing a scary warning dialogue box, where users have to force the browser to proceed to the site.
If your site doesn’t have an SSL, you need to open a new tab and do that now, before you spend another futile second working on your SEO.
3. It’s Free
It’s almost always free and easy to set up an SSL certificate on your site. (If it’s not, your site host is a crook, and you should switch.)
4. It Makes You Look “With It”
Nothing screams, “THIS SITE HASN’T BEEN UPDATED SINCE THE EARLY 2000S!” like a URL with http://.
People just aren’t willing to deal with outdated site design anymore, especially on mobile devices, which accounted for more than 60% of Google searches in 2021.
Making sure your site has an SSL is step one to improving your search performance and organic traffic.
It’s the easiest, most no-brainer, no-research-required part of the whole SEO process.
So, yeah, you should do it. 😉
We’ve been on an SEO kick lately, and for good reason — it’s one of the best ways you can grow your business (and it’s free!). Get more easy tips on improving your SEO here.