Does Your Website Need an SSL Security Certificate?

Does your website need an SSL security Certificate? The short answer is yes, for the security of your site visitors and your search engine ranking.

What is an SSL Certificate?

In simple terms, an SSL certificate changes the prefix of your website from http to https. It identifies your website as secure.

In technical terms, an SSL layer encrypts individual user activity on your website between the hosting server and your site. It serves to avoid third party interception of that user activity data.

Why is SSL important?

four colored locks communicating the importance of ssl certificate website security and An SSL layer (or certificate, as issued by your hosting provider), is important for several reasons. As mentioned above, it encrypts visitor activity on your website between your site and the hosting server. For example, when someone is filling out a Contact form or making a purchase on your site, they want to be reassured that their personal data will not be compromised.

An equally important reason for having an SSL certificate is that Google is now boosting the SEO ranking for SSL-encrypted sites. Which means that SSL has become a higher priority ranking factor (in addition to mobile-friendliness and site speed) in search results. Sites that don’t begin with https risk dropping in search engine rankings.

Does SSL prevent your site from being hacked?

Yes and no. An SSL layer encrypts the data of your site visitors on a higher level, to protect it from being abused. It’s a positive step, but it can’t do the job alone.

You still need to keep your WordPress (or other web platform) core software and Plugins updated on a regular basis to protect from malware and corruption.

How to get an SSL Certificate?

If your site is not yet https, you can obtain or purchase an SSL certificate from your hosting provider. Prices for an SSL Certificate start at $0 and go up to $500+ depending on the hosting provider and how much security your company requires.

Simply do a web search for “[name of your hosting provider] SSL Certificate” and the search results should lead you to the info you need to purchase and get it set up through your hosting provider.

How can you tell if your website is secure?

To tell if your site has an SSL Certificate, look at the URL in your browser toolbar. Here’s an example of my site before the SSL Certificate was added (when the address was still http):

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alternative health marketing website shows http before ssl certificate applied

And here’s what my site looks like now, after the SSL Certificate has been applied (now https):

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alternative health marketing website after https ssl security certificate applied

In Summary

Does your website need an SSL security Certificate? Yes. Not only does this protect the privacy of visitors to your website, it can also boost your visibility in search results because Google has recently designated SSL as a high-priority ranking factor. 

To tell if your site is secure, look to see if the URL says http or https. Https signifies that an SSL Certificate has been added. In order to get an SSL Certificate, contact your hosting provider for pricing and setup instructions.

Taking the simple steps to obtain and apply an SSL Certificate will communicate to your website visitors that you care about their privacy and security. And it may just help your SEO rankings in the process.

Need help with your SEO? Let’s chat.

This is an original article from Alternative Health Marketing. If you’d like to republish this article on your blog or print publication, you may do so freely with the acknowledgement, “This article is republished with permission from Alternative Health Marketing,” and provide a link back to the original article. It would also be great if you could email us and let us know where it’s being published. 

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Alternative Health Marketing is committed to helping holistic practitioners and conscious business owners attract more ideal clients with targeted brand messaging, a professionally designed website and impactful marketing materials. Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation to learn how we can help you reach your practice goals. 

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