Why Every Site Needs an SSL Certificate

It’s been almost four years since Google first told everyone they should make the switch to HTTPS. In their passionate plea to website owners to create a more secure internet, they used a rallying cry that would surely go straight to the heart of everyone: HTTPS would become a ranking signal.


If you sell things on your website, there’s not even a debate. An SSL certificate is not optional. Since most payment gateways don’t even work properly without an SSL, we don’t need to convince the ecommerce folks out there to get one. So this is mostly for you lead generation and small business owner folks.

Remember back when a lot of businesses said they didn’t need a website? And then they all said they didn’t need a mobile-friendly website? Well, any business that’s worth a grain of anything has a website now, and the ones who aren’t mobile friendly are trailing far behind. The same thing is going to happen very soon with HTTPS. The websites that don’t have it will fall behind the competition. Search engines, users, and even browsers will soon heavily favor secure websites. It all comes down to security and trust. Customers won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you, and your website must be secure for your users to trust you.


Google isn’t going to stop pushing HTTPS. Since making the original announcement in 2014, Google has pushed HTTPS harder and harder. It is now a legitimate ranking factor Originally used only as a tie-breaker when all other things were equal, it’s now widely believed that SSL means more. In the search results below for “minneapolis web design,” the first six results are all HTTPS. Could that company down in position seven move up with an SSL certificate? That’s certainly a possibility, and it’s definitely a logical step in their SEO efforts.

Doing things for search is nice, but search engines don’t help you pay the bills. Your customers do. Everything you do should ultimately be for the benefit of your customers. How does HTTPS help your customers? It tells them that your website is secure and that any information they share with you on that website will be secure.

In other words, having an SSL certificate builds trust. Unsurprising fact of the day: when your customers trust you, they’re far more likely to buy from you or use your services.

Chrome, the most popular browser in the world, now tells your customers when your site is HTTPS or just plain old HTTP. At the moment, this doesn’t mean all that much since the “warning” is fairly innocuous. But later this year, Chrome is going to warn all users when a website is not using HTTPS with this scary message:

That’s right. If your website isn’t HTTPS, Chrome will immediately call attention to the fact that your site isn’t secure. Over half your website visitors are going to see this message. What impact do you think this is going to have on your customers? Hint: it’s going to cost you a lot of sales.


If you’re doubting whether or not you actually need an SSL for your business website, consider whether or not your website allows customers to do any of these things:

Make a purchase or submit credit card information
Create an account
Submit a contact form
Sign up for a newsletter
Search for something on your website

If you have a website
There are no more excuses now. If you have a website and you want people to trust it, you have to be secure.

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IMAD SCOTLAND Website Design - Website Updating - Internet Marketing Part of the IMAD Scotland Group http://www.imadscotlandgroup.com