I just want you to reflect on your online shopping behaviour!
When you are on a website, what makes you convert your interest into a sale?
Is it a promotion? Or is it the reviews? Or perhaps just an impulse purchse?
Maybe it could be, that the website is secured with a TSL/SSL certificate?
This could be because, you are entering your sensitive information online and you want this data the remain encrypted.
Therefore, I would like to introduce these digital certificates that enable your website to keep your customer's personal data safe and secure.
Thereby, the SSL protocol (Secure Sockets Layer) and the TLS protocol (Transport Layer Security) are the aforementioned digital certificates that keep your website safe.
From utilising these mechanisms, a public key can be allocated by another party.
In addition, a subsequent certificate can contain information in regards to identity that pertains to the owner of the public key.
On the flip side, still shockingly unknown to a lot of website owners, Google implemented a policy and set a deadline a year ago this month. This policy started to penalise websites that were unencrypted and did not yield a HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) website.
Many websites started seeing their Google rankings slip and organic traffic decrease as a direct result of this.
With the introduction to TSL and SSL out of the way, lets divulge further into why these digital certificates are imperative to digital marketing and the success of your website.
#1 – A TSL/SSL SECURE WEBSITE SAFEGUARDS DELICATE INFORMATION FROM PRYING EYES
If you have an ecommerce website then data is naturally going to pass between the customer and yourself. It is transferred from one computer to another.
Thus meaning, it moves from server to server until it resides in your website.
While on its journey to your website, the data stops that it visits can be intercepted by a scammer or a hacker.
As such, the hijacker can easily copy this data and use it for their own gain.
Customer's place a high amount of trust on you when they purchase something online.
Therefore, they are expecting you to safeguard their data from prying eyes.
Believe it or not, there is little you can do to prevent this.
However, the installation of a TSL or a SSL certificate on your website certainly is the most effective way to safeguard sesitive data.
The HTTPS encrypts data that is being passed to your website thus making it unrecognisable to somebody who wishes to intercept this data.
Once it reaches its destination securely, the information can be decoded, ready for use.
#2 – ENCRYPTION PROVIDES AUTHENTICATION FOR USERS
Have you ever received a text or an email that seem convincing enough to be your bank or a company you have recently purchased from?
Well, what if I told you that identity thieves can obtain information through establishing malicious website and pretend to be you?
These thieves can without a doubt build a website that pretty identical to yours, from the colour scheme, to the design and even a similar domain name.
Your would-be customer has no idea that this website is a fake and are about to expose their information to criminals.
Nevertheless, a HTTPS designation within your URL tells your customer that you have been verified as authentic.
Google shows this in a visual representation as a padlock. This demonstrates that the website is SSL secure.
#3 – PCI COMPLIANCE REQUIRES YOU TO HAVE AN SSL SECURE WEBSITE
Does your website or physical store process debit/credit cards in return for a product/service?
Then you will be required to have encryption.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to all companies, online or not, that accept credit card payments.
For an online business, this compliance means you must have an SSL secure website.
No legitimate e-commerce site can operate without procuring a SSL certificate.
The only ‘out’ is if you go through a third-party payment processor such as Paypal. In such a case, Paypal accepts responsibility for the handling of your customer’s financial information.
Having an SSL secure site allows you to manage your own financial transactions.
Third-party services such as Paypal can be expensive and can cost you in the region of 5% in transaction fees.
Keep in mind that the free SSL certificates won’t work for e-commerce.
Instead, you need to contact your web host or web design agency and demand one that is appropriate for your application.
For my website, I use 123 Reg as my web host. I procured a SSL certificate from them for as little as £30 for an annual subscription.
#4 – AVOID BROWSER ALERTS AND BOUNCE RATES
For a little while now, the Google Chrom browser has been announcing to its user that a website is unsecure.
As such, the user is hit with a warning and will not load a site without an appropiate digital certificate if the website requests sensitive information.
Other internet browsers are suddenly follwing suit.
Google posted this awhile ago...
From the end of January with Chrome 56, Chrome will mark HTTP sites that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure. Enabling HTTPS on your whole site is important, but if your site collects passwords, payment info, or any other personal information, it’s critical to use HTTPS. Without HTTPS, bad actors can steal this confidential data.
Having an SSL secure website ensures that your custoemrss don’t lose trust in your company.
There is nothing worse than having a “this is not a trusted site” message flashing before their eyes as they move to complete a transaction.
This is going to be brand damaging.
#5 – YOUR GOOGLE RANKING WILL IMPROVE WITH AN SSL SECURE WEBSITE
As I noted previously, Google is penalising websites without the correct encryption.
The flip side of that is that they are giving preference to websites in search engine results pages (SERPs) who do have a TSL/SSL certificate.
Enhancing your digital marketing strategies through SERPs positioning aids brand awareness and can lead to increased organic traffic.
Increased traffic provides your website with the ability to turn leads into conversions.
All of this finally culminates in increased sales.
So you'd be an idiot not to provide your website with a TSL/SSL certificate.
So what does a TSL/SSL certificate look like?
It is very easy to discover a website that has a valid certificate and if you are using a secure connection.
All you need to do is to look at the address bar (similar in all major browsers).
You'd see something similar as you can see below...
The green lock and the HTTPS protocol (https://) stipulates that the connection to the web server is encrypted and secure.
It is also easy to decipher a non-secured website. There is no green lock and there is no mention of HTTPS.
As seen below...