We have been barking on about SSL Certificates for some time now, but today I wanted to explain to you in simple terms what an SSL Certificate is and why not upgrading your site to include one is harmful to your Google ranking.

Simply, by not having an SSL Certificate running on your website today, you’re risking your Google ranking as the push to give priority to sites that are secure continues.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate encrypts data from two computers, meaning hackers are prevented from stealing data. Traditionally these were only used if credit card details were transferred online however now Google is making the internet a more enjoyable experience for its users and has begun the push to protect users details.

How do I know if a site has an SSL Certificate?

You can tell if a site has an SSL Certificate by looking to see if there is a padlock icon in the browser and also if URL starts with https://, you can be assured the site has an SSL Certificate.

SSL certificate

Next time you are on a website looking to purchase something, ensure the site has a security certificate. If not, it is not recommended to make an online transaction.

Why do I need an SSL Certificate for my website?

Having an SSL Certificate on your website ensures that all of your customer’s sensitive information is protected.  ie. credit card information, email addresses, names.  This, in turn, gives customers peace of mind when sharing their information with you on your site.  These days Google is giving preference to sites that have SSL Certificates, making it an integral element of good SEO. Some browsers also show a warning screen when sites are not secure which leads to a large drop in visitors as their browser marks the site as untrustworthy.

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How do I get an SSL Certificate for my website?

To get an SSL Certificate placed on your website you need to contact your website host.  From there they can place the certificate on your site.  If you’re a Made Neat client and have your website hosted by us we will be able to quickly get this sorted out for you. If you are not an existing Made Neat customer we will include a free security certificate with your hosting until the end of May.

So what do I need to do?

You need to stay ahead of the Google update and invest in a security certificate. It is much easier and cheaper to do this than to try and pull your Google ranking up after being penalised. Don’t risk your customers clicking off your website because the browser has marked it as potentially untrustworthy.


Luke Humble