“Security is a top priority at Google,” says their recent transparency report. We are living in an age where a hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds. Hence, taking measures to secure our website is of utmost importance.
The risks are even more in the case of eCommerce websites. An eCommerce website involves the sharing and storing of a lot of information. The transactions involve the exchange of sensitive information. Apart from shipping addresses, the information may also include credit cards.
So, do you think Google will consider ranking the websites that are not secure?
Of course, not!
One of the main and basic aspects of website security is an SSL certificate. Using an SSL certificate gets your website the HTTPS URL.
An HTTPS on your website ensures encrypting all the data shared between your website and the customer’s browser. Encrypted data requires a secret key to decrypt the actual data. Without the key, hackers would find it difficult to attack your website.
Let’s look at some reasons why SSL/HTTPs are super-important for your eCommerce website. And also about how it can affect your search engine rankings.
Google is very particular about website security. Google wants its users to be happy. If Google starts ranking websites that are not secure, users will stop trusting it.
Hence, since 2014 Google has been stressing “strong HTTPS encryption.” And over the years, the algorithms have become even more stringent. The SSL certificate was initially a tie-breaker. But later on, it has become a necessity in the eyes of Google.
SSL certificate is one of the 200 ranking factors set by Google. So, if you don’t have one, Google will not rank your eCommerce website well. It is as simple as that. And, as an online store owner, you definitely cannot afford that.
Without eCommerce SEO, your online store will not gain visibility. So you cannot reach far with your business. Search engine reach is very important to build a successful eCommerce brand. And, an SSL certificate is a tiny price to pay for that.
Suppose that you try hard and drive traffic to your eCommerce website.
Without an HTTPS, you will instantly drive them away. All your lead generation efforts would go down the drain. Why? Because Chrome will throw them a warning saying, “This site might not be secure.” You do not want that!
Apart from this, Chrome will also display an alert when a user shares some data or passwords. Such a warning is instantly going to break your customers’ trust.
For any eCommerce business, the foundation of success is trust. eCommerce involves a lot of transactions that require trust. Right from the moment any user lands on your site till he/she makes the final purchase. Every single step needs trust-building.
SSL certificate is crucial. Without SSL, users won’t even bother browsing through your products. Let alone make it till the final transaction page.
Consumers today are quite aware of cybersecurity standards. Most consumers understand that a simple HTTP is a huge warning sign. Users don’t need to be a techie to understand these basic security measures.
Even without a Chrome warning, users would perceive your site to be a scam. In short, without an SSL certificate, you cannot go long on your eCommerce journey.
The HTTPS protocol uses data encryption. In simple words, encryption is the process of protecting any electronic information. It involves translating electronic data into an unintelligible form. You need a secret key to convert it back. Only with the secret key, you can convert it to an understandable format.
In short, HTTPS encrypts data into an unreadable format. Customers share sensitive information with eCommerce websites. It includes passwords, payment information, and card numbers. When a customer shares sensitive information, it won’t get compromised.
When the user’s browser connects with your eCommerce site, the customer data gets encrypted. Any hacker will have a pretty hard time trying to decode that data. They cannot do it without the secret key.
Without an HTTPS, frauds will easily gain access to all these customer data. You know what happens next. Credit card thefts, illegal data mining, the list goes on.
More than half of the searches made today come from mobile devices. Especially eCommerce websites. People shop and look for online products on their mobile devices. That is why Google came up with AMP.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is an open-source framework. They use it to enhance mobile websites. By using AMP, you can deliver the best mobile experience to your users.
Using techniques such as caching, AMP can help in optimizing your mobile web pages. By implementing AMP, your web pages will appear more prominent on mobile Google searches.
Are you considering using AMP for your eCommerce website? Then, an SSL certificate is a must. It is a mandatory requirement for enabling AMP for your website. Hence, if you skip using SSL, you’ll miss out on this enhanced mobile experience for your users.
More than encryption, an SSL certificate also provides trust. Identity frauds are a major concern for many eCommerce businesses today.
Hackers will attempt phishing attacks. The main purpose of a phishing attack would be to clone a web page or your entire website.
Using imposter websites, hackers can pretend to be you and steal customer data. If you have a good customer base, then you should be careful and prevent such attacks. If you didn’t prevent it, then it may lead to massive monetary losses.
Not to mention the fact that such mistakes can tarnish your brand’s reputation badly. Such a bad reputation can even lead to the permanent downfall of your business. Your customers will never trust you again, no matter what. Also, on the other side, reputation plays a major role in SEO. So, this will affect your score on eCommerce SEO.
By including an SSL certificate, it would be impossible to clone your eCommerce website. Hence, you can prevent imposter websites from stealing customer information. You can stop them from misusing it.
Moreover, identity frauds can also occur the other way round. An HTTPS is also necessary to protect online retailers from customer identity thefts. An SSL certificate would ensure that all the payment transactions on your site come from the right person.
Google prioritizes user experience. That’s why they use UX signals as a ranking factor. User Experience (UX) signals tell Google about how users experience any website. UX factors include dwelling time, click-through rate, and bounce rate.
Google considers the bounce rate as one of the most important ranking factors. A user “bounces” when he/she leaves a website without taking any action.
An increased bounce rate for your eCommerce store would mean that the users are leaving your website. They are not browsing your products or engaging with content.
How is the bounce rate linked to HTTPS? Without an HTTPS, the user’s browser will show the “Not secure” message. There will also be a red-colored distinct warning sign beside it. Such a warning will make your users bounce instantly.
It means that without an SSL certificate for your eCommerce site, the bounce rate will be very high. Dwell time or the time spent on your online store will be very low.
All these UX signals will indicate to Google that you are not providing a good experience to your users. In this way, HTTPS, again, affects your eCommerce website’s SEO.
Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance has an established set of Data Security Standards (DSS). These are universal standards that businesses follow to protect sensitive customer information. Especially eCommerce websites that involve the exchange of data such as payment details.
Any website that involves card payment transactions needs to be PCI compliant. And one of the major factors that determine PCI compliance is an SSL certificate. To accept payment information on your website, you need to pass certain PCI audits. One of the major requirements of PCI compliance is an SSL certificate.
There is no point in having an eCommerce website that does not partake in payment transactions. Hence, this is another reason why an SSL certificate is a must for your eCommerce website.
You want to lead your eCommerce website to success. And, the success of any online store massively depends on eCommerce SEO. Without proper search engine rankings, your business won’t reach its maximum potential.
Also, another important factor for the growth of any eCommerce business is trust. The customer has to trust you along every touchpoint. Trust doesn’t come automatically. You need to add trust-building elements to your eCommerce website. And the foundation of building trust would be an HTTPS-enabled website.
In short, we can say that, without an HTTPS, it is impossible to run a successful eCommerce business. Over the coming years, this article probably won’t be relevant anymore. The reason is that everyone would understand how important it is to have an SSL certificate. You wouldn’t need to read about it.
To summarize this post, we can say that HTTPS is one of Google’s important ranking factors. Hence, a lack of SSL will affect your website rankings. Moreover, HTTPS helps to save your website from phishing attacks. It also helps you to provide the best possible experience for your customers.
It is essential to have an SSL certificate for running your eCommerce website. So, go get one today if you haven’t already.
Are you looking to protect your eCommerce business from hackers? Or Are you looking for eCommerce SEO services? Then, drop your details here to get started.
Naomi Wilson has been in the digital marketing industry for more than seven years. She has helped companies such as Kellogg, Best buy, Honeywell to improve their online presence. She is an expert in writing high-converting content, especially for ecommerce sites.
He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.
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