Everyone knows that there are plenty of things you need to have in order to maintain a solid SEO strategy. Google’s SEO guide is 32 pages long. That’s right – 32 pages. That’s almost as long as the menu at Cheesecake Factory. It’s filled with talk of header tags, alt tags, keywords, and readability scores.

But that only scratches the surface of what Google looks at when they grade a site’s SEO. There are many more technical ingredients necessary if you want your website to be looked upon favorably by the almighty Google.

One of the newest updates to Google’s SEO score is also one of the most simple. It’s something that you can take care of rather quickly on your site’s backend, and it has become even more important very recently: an SSL certificate.

What Is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL certificate is a simple data file that attaches itself to an organization’s web data. This allows for a more secure connection between a website’s server and a user’s browser.

After a certificate is installed on a company’s server, all data transferred between that server and a user’s browser is then considered secure, which is indicated by a simple ‘s’ located in the URL. This ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.

SSL Certificate Secure

When the Google robots crawl your site to index it, they will see this secure connection and reward your site for being safer for users that input personal information.

Why Does My Site Need an SSL Certificate?

Well, you don’t need an SSL certificate per se. If you’re fine with Google penalizing your site, allowing competitors with an SSL certificate to out rank you.

But for most businesses concerned with improving their site’s SEO, an SSL certificate has just become more than just a letter ‘s’. As of October 1, 2017, Google began penalizing websites without an SSL certificate even more harshly than before. Instead of allowing users access to forms and payment information screens without an SSL certificate, Google Chrome will now be marking these sites with the dreaded ‘not secure’ tag.

SSL Certificate Not Secure

Ouch. That hurts just looking at it, doesn’t it? SSL certificates do a lot of things. First, They increase your Google rankings. They also improve security on your site. They also build trust between your customers and your business. What’s more important than that?

Do you want a customer to go to your site to input sensitive information and see a big, bright ‘not secure’ up on the top of the web page? Would you input your credit card number into a site if you knew it wasn’t secure? We definitely wouldn’t.

Adding an SSL certificate to your site’s credentials is an easy step to take, and it can help you – and your business – increase your SEO rankings, increase your site’s security, and increase your customer’s satisfaction.

If you’re ready to bring your SEO to the next level but aren’t sure where to begin, adding an SSL certificate to your site’s server is a great place to start, and our experienced team is ready to help you. Contact us today and see how we can improve your site’s SEO, increase its Google rankings, and make sure you’re ready for any changes that come in the future.