People always want their websites to rank high in Google searches. While many swear by their own bag of tricks, the truth is that a lot of search engine optimization is guesswork.
However, we have good news. Google openly acknowledges that it prioritizes sites using HTTPS in search results.
In this article, we’ll explore how adding an SSL certificate can boost your SEO and bring more customers to your website. With HTTPS, your site rankings can go sky high!
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It’s an internet communication protocol that encrypts data so that it cannot be intercepted and exploited by a third party.
HTTPS sites utilize SSL or TLS protocols to secure data transfer and ensure that it has not been altered or corrupted along the way.
You know you’re on a website using this encryption because the URL will display HTTPS in the browser address bar rather than just HTTP. You should also see a padlock icon.
If you go to a secured website using a regular HTTP address, the site should automatically redirect you to the secure version.
How Does HTTPS Work?
In order to add HTTPS to your website, you need to purchase a security certificate (SSL) from a vendor such as Namecheap. The vendor then submits your information to a Certificate Authority (CA) like Comodo or Symantec. In turn, these CAs issue a “certificate,” which is a cryptographic key that protects the data.
It’s important to note that there are different levels of SSLs. While they all provide the HTTPS prefix, they don’t offer equal protections for your site.
We recommend Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates. These are the highest and most secure certificates, and are ideal for all sites that require the transmission of private data.
EV SSLs verify that the site owner is the legal owner of the business and the domain. In turn this reassures visitors that they are on the legitimate website for the business. EV certificates also turn the address bar green and add a site seal to further verify the website.
Google provides a great article that explains HTTPS and SSL Certificates in more detail as well as a helpful video presentation on HTTPS.
How do SSL Certificates Help with SEO?
In addition to securing website transactions and instilling confidence among your customers, SSL certificates also boost your search engine optimization, or SEO.
Google in particular has openly acknowledged that it favors site URLs that begin with HTTPS, which is only possible with an SSL certificate. As of December 2015, Google prioritizes HTTPS links over HTTP, giving a boost to sites that utilize SSL certificates over those that do not.
In other words, sites that verify ownership and protect users’ privacy and transactions will rank higher on Google than those that do not.
How Can You Get Started with HTTPS?
When you’re ready to take your website to the next level to secure your users’ data and transactions, Namecheap has you covered. With Namecheap, you can choose from different levels of security, depending on your website’s needs.
Not sure which one to purchase? We’d love to help. Check out our explanation of our different SSL certificates. We also offer 24/7 customer support to help you through the SSL purchase, installation, and validation process.
And best of all? Right now we’re offering Extended Validation SSLs for a sweet price! Grab one today and protect all site transactions at a great discount.
Jackie Dana is the Senior Content Manager at Namecheap.com, and an advocate of internet privacy, civil liberties, and free speech around the world.