6 immediate benefits using an SSL-Certificate has on a site

by George Cleanthous - Get more articles like this sent to your email here

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Perhaps one of the most underrated simple improvements you can do to your website is to make it HTTPS. And while it’s certainly more valuable for an eCommerce website where financial information is accepted, even the most basic of websites and blogs can benefit from implementing an SSL certificate.


Certainly there is the fact that Google and other web browser providers have already announced that there will be ongoing increases regarding the level of highlighting secure websites, and alerts for unsecure websites, to their users in the near future.

But there are both search performance and user experience implications that can impact your bottom line even today.

Visible security signals for your visitors
Increase your website’s conversion rate
Increase your website’s average transaction value
HTTPS is a Google algorithm ranking signal
HTTPS alerts by Google Search Console
Browsers increasing their alerts for non-secure sites
There is no reason not to have one

Visible security signals for your visitors

Security is one of the biggest concerns your visitors have, preventing many of them from converting online. One of the key benefits of having an SSL certificate is the sign that you can display on your website indicating that it’s secure.

Over 60% of participants in a 2011 survey indicated they had not purchased something because one of these trust logos was not visible on the page. In addition to this, over 75% claimed not to have purchased something because they did not recognize any of the trust logos displayed.

It’s certainly clear that for purchases at least security has always been a key factor on checkouts and for most eCommerce websites this is already a must.

But even before the forms, security starts on the front end.

Many eCommerce websites have secure checkouts but the main interface of the website, where the products and categories and content are listed, remain on the non-secure HTTP URLs with no visible signs of security.

Don’t fall into this category.

48% of online shoppers do not trust a website without a valid trust seal. Security is massive, and users are becoming more and more aware of security signals in their browsers – don’t give them the opportunity to doubt the security of your website at any stage of the interaction. And for a lead generation website asking for private or personal information, with identity theft on the rise users are increasingly conscious of the dangers of providing any personal details online.

Avoid abandonment by ensuring that your SSL certificates are valid and your trust logos are visible across the entire website.

Increase your website’s conversion rate

One case study showed that having an SSL certificate can increase a conversion rate of 11 – 42% for an eCommerce website, while another study by Symantec showed anywhere from 18-87% across both eCommerce and lead generation websites.


Increase your website’s average transaction value

In addition to the increase in conversion rate, for an eCommerce website there is often the additional KPI of the average value of each sale. With online purchases, much of the concern users have with security can impact the amount being paid. The higher the transaction amount, the greater the fear of being scammed.

An SSL certificate installed on a beauty product website was shown to increase the average value per transaction by 23%. This makes sense, since a customer that trusts you is more willing to spend higher amounts of money in each transaction with less or no fear of losing that value.

HTTPS is a Google algorithm ranking signal

Google has already stated publicly that a strong HTTPS encryption by default for a website is a factor within their search algorithm. While initially a lower correlation according to their announcement and earlier studies, more recent studies and notable ranking updates have demonstrated the increasing value of SSL certificates within Google’s algorithm.


I won’t do a complete analysis of the SEO benefits of using an SSL certificate, because there are many other resources online that do this in greater detail specific to SEO. The consensus, however, is that while it is still minimal in significance towards top rankings, there is a definitive correlation between having a HTTPS website and rankings in the top 10 of Google.


For anyone that does SEO on a regular basis, we know that any edge at all can be huge in the search game. And considering how easy and cost effective it is to implement, there is simply no reason not to do it.

HTTPS alerts by Google Search Console

Further to the announcements, we know that Google has now begun sending notices to webmasters via Search Console if a login page or any page collecting a password is not secured over HTTPS. Anything reported in Search Console should be considered important in the eyes of Google and their algorithms – while it may not have an immediate impact, it is a sign of a quality website if you do not have issues in Search Console and this can impact your rankings (if not now, then in the near future).

Browsers increasing their alerts for non-secure sites

As of January 2017, Google is now providing security warnings in Chrome for users if no valid SSL certificate is found on pages with sensitive information requested. Firefox and other browsers are following suit, and Google has already sent out a proposal for all web browsers (‘user agents’) to begin marking websites on HTTP only as ‘non-secure’.

There is no reason not to have one

The only issues experienced with SSL certificates occur when they expire or when implementation is incorrect. So keep your subscriptions active and be sure to update the primary domain for your website to force the https version. That is, whether www or non-www (pick your preference), all other versions should both 301-redirect to and point to the https version with any canonical tags. As long as this redirect and canonicalisation can be done, there is simply no reason not to get this live today and see what difference it makes for your site.

To help, the following page is a list of the most common SSL certificate providers, including overall usage statistics and market share worldwide.  All of the providers have substantial documentation for correct installations on your website, whatever platform or hosting provider you use.

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George Cleanthous

Formerly of EY and Alcatel, George has extensive experience in many facets of online marketing and has developed an expert analytics skill set. Specialising in Search, George helps drive innovation and the application of our search engine optimisation strategy.

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3 responses to “6 immediate benefits using an SSL-Certificate has on a site”

  1. Martin says:

    Great post – I’ve started recommending SSL certificates to all of my clients at SilkStart. Very interesting information regarding the most commonly used SSL certificate providers!

  2. kavinhyni says:

    Thanks for the post, it’s really helpful for the beginners who want to know more. Keep Sharing…

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