Although you might not think it, having a secure website is essential for long term success. Without the right security in place, your site could suffer all manner of ills, such as a reduction in traffic, loss of ranking, and disgruntled users who, for security reasons, cannot access your site.
Why You Need An SSL Certificate
SSL Certificates are a type of unique and trusted identifier for your organisation’s website. They’re what tell people visiting your site that they are viewing the real thing, and not just a fake copy somebody else has made.
SSL Certificates have two essential functions. The first thing that they do is make sure that all of the data sent between your computer and the website server (and back again) is encrypted. Encryption scrambles the data as it travels over the internet preventing anyone from collecting in en route, deciphering it, and then capturing it for their own nefarious purposes.
The second purpose is to reassure people that they are not submitting personally identifiable information, like passwords and email addresses, to fake websites.
Most browsers will tell users if they try to attempt to access a website without an SSL Certificate, warning them that it is either invalid, out-of-date or does not exist. When users see this, they instinctively return to search and avoid your website – not something you want.
Trust And Google Rankings
Most website users know about the little padlock symbol in the top left-hand corner of their web browser’s URL bar. The padlock means that the website is secure, that all data is encrypted, and that it has a valid SSL Certificate. Users who see this symbol will automatically trust your site, especially when submitting sensitive information, like email addresses, telephone numbers, and passwords.
Data suggest that more than 82 per cent of users will stop browsing a site if they see evidence that it’s not secure.
Poor website security can also take its toll on your social media marketing and Google ranking. Facebook, for instance, will not allow its users to follow links to unsecured sites, meaning that you won’t get traffic from your Facebook page to your site.
Likewise, Google is on a mission to make the internet a safe place for all and has started to penalise websites that do not have valid SSL certificates. Sites that do not prove that they are encrypting data will fall in the rankings and lose out.
This should make it clear why it’s so important to have a secure website. Not only does having a secure site protect your visitors, but it also helps your organisation too. Businesses that do not have secure websites could suffer a loss of organic traffic and be forced to rely more on paid advertising. In extreme circumstances, companies could lose valuable revenue and have to scale back operations. The consequences of not having a secure website are real and felt quickly.
What to do next
If you’re unsure whether your website is secure, please get in touch with us and we’ll take care of everything. We’re experts in website design in Gloucestershire, and will ensure your website is doing everything it should and providing your business with maximum return on investment.