Do you need a website security certificate? What’s an SSL certificate?

Written by Grant

Website security certificates might seem complicated - but do you even need one?

Ever visited a website and had Google advise you ‘back to safety’ because of a missing website security certificate? Or that attackers might be ‘trying to steal your information’?

Unless you were very keen to visit that page, if you were confronted with that message, you would probably click away from it wouldn’t you?

Might as well hop on over to the next site.

Better safe than sorry and all that.

Warning message returned on Google Chrome when visiting a site without a website security certificate (SSL certificate) [img source: https://badssl.com/]

This ‘privacy error’ message can act as an excellent deterrent for potential customers.

Imagine that: your customers have put in the right search times, gone through a whole bunch of different websites, moved on to yours and then they’re deterred from visiting because of this message.

Most websites – the ones that are ranked the highest on Google – have obtained certification that ensures you do not receive this message.

The URL for these sites will begin with ‘https:// rather than ‘http://’.

This is because they have an SSL certificate installed.


What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate tells your user’s browser, operating system, or mobile device that your website is safe to use. When you install one on your web server, it ensures a reliable connection between your server and your end users’ browser. 

You user is then provided with the knowledge that their credit card transactions, data transfer and logins are all secure

So on your customer’s end, an SSL certificate enhances their trust in your website.

This means they are less likely to bounce away from your site and more likely to use your services.

Google is encouraging its webmasters to obtain SSL certification. It wants websites people visit whilst browsing to be secure. In exchange for installing an SSL certificate, Google will boost your ranking slightly, as it can see you are making an effort to offer your user the best experience possible.

I want to make it to the first page of Google and I know I need a website security certificate. Where can I get one?

SSL Certificates need to be selected and bought from a trusted Certificate Authority.

Essentially, if a Certificate Authority is ’trusted’ this means its Root has been embedded into many browsers, operating systems and mobile devices. The more it has been embedded into, the more trusted the authority.

There are a couple of steps you’ll need to take first before you’re able to acquire an SSL certificate though.

Your domain name will need to be registered using a site like GoDaddy.

Then you will need to decide on the trust level you require. 

If you want more information on this process, check out global sign’s step-by-step guide here.

Once you have obtained your website security certificate (SSL certificate) voila! You’ve just taken another step on your journey of climbing Google’s rankings.

Of course if this all seems a bit much for you; or you just don’t have the time; or you just simply don’t want to exert the effort – we can do it for you!

We love fixing and building websites for trades. We’re good at it and we can explain each step of the process simply, breaking down the tech talk for you.

Need some help? Want to know what else you can do to improve your SEO, and so your rankings? Get in touch! We’re friendly and we love a chat.

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