Should I upgrade my site for SEO purposes? Probably!
A few years ago, Google called for HTTPS everywhere on the web. HTTPS means that a webpage is secure using Transport Layer Security (TLS) or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Most people in the digital marketing world have probably used the terminology “SSL” in the past, even interchangeably with the understanding of wanting to secure their webpage. It is really common practice to purchase an SSL certificate when building an e-commerce webpage, or any webpage handling personal data, but should you purchase a cert to increase your rankings on Google? We think so.
When HTTPS is active, there is usually a lovely green “Secure” indication next to the URL. This gives professionalism and the sense of security for any web visitor:
Google also looks for webpages with this signal to determine it’s rankings. The Google algorithm takes in to account many aspects of a site – including mobile-ready responsiveness and high-quality content, and Google has indicated that SSL/TLS sites will for now be only a “very lightweight signal – affecting fewer than 1% of global queries.” For most sites, this won’t have an impact…for now, but likely in the future, secure sites will have a heavier signal on Google rankings. Here are some more technical details about how Google indexes SSL pages.
Depending on the type of certificate, the cost is about $100 per year, or you can find yourself a free certificate here. Installation of free or paid certificates aren’t too difficult to do yourself, but to ensure safety for all, we recommend installation by professionals. We know a team or two who could take care of this for you!
If you don’t already have an SSL certificate on your site, it’s time to start budgeting this cost into your digital marketing budget!