Despite sounding a little complicated by name, a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is actually quite simple.
It is a small data file which digitally binds an organisation’s details through a cryptographic key.
This ensures that the business’ website activity, from its own sensitive information to that of its browsers, is secure. This is especially important if the business is involved in handling online financial transactions.
An SSL certificate can help your business in a number of important ways, including business credibility, increased business traffic or sales, and the protection of your business information.
Your website and business look professional because it needs to go through a governing authority. One that performs several identity checks to validate the business in order to have the certificate issued in the first place, which offers it an air of authenticity. Moreover, an SSL certificate helps you to gain the trust of clients or customers. Once people know that their information is protected, they are more likely to do business with that company.
Increased business traffic or sales
Once your potential client base trusts your site, they are more likely to do business with you. Particularly when you are receiving online transactions, an SSL certificate is key.
Without it, you will lose sales. Knowing that all of their financial information is secure at checkout – since any site that accepts financial transactions is required to have a PCI compliance, which in turn requires an SSL certificate – helps to ‘seal the deal’ and avoid abandonment.
However, there are visual cues that you need to incorporate which identify that your site is SSL certified. Without them, browsers could abandon before ever getting near the checkout.
This includes the padlock encryption icon in front of the URL, normally a green highlighted domain bar, and a trust seal. These indicators alone can influence a client or customer’s trust of your site before they even look through it.
Another way that traffic can actually be increased by an SSL certificate is search engine ranking of your business.
Back in 2014 Google announced that it will be incorporating HTTPS (‘s’ identifying SSL secure certification) as a ranking signal.
This means that if your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it will not show up in a good ranking position on Google’s search engine to attract a high level of web traffic.
Put more simply, your site will receive less traffic because it will be too far from the front page of results to get people to click on it.
Protection of your business information
Aside from protecting your clients and customers, an SSL certificate actually protects your business and any of its sensitive information, as well as online activity. Because the encrypted information that you are sending also requires authentication, you can be sure that your sensitive information only goes to the intended recipient and is not intercepted by a third party.
Since businesses can take a huge hit when they become victims to a cyber-attack, doing whatever you can to prevent criminal activity will not only protect your business information and your customers, but will protect your market share and your business brand’s reputation.
One of the most common threats that SSL certificates help to safeguard against is email phishing scams.
An SSL certificate ensures that every avenue of communication that you send and receive is secure in order to eliminate the risk of phishing scams.
Not only can a phishing scam attached to your company hurt your client base, but it can ruin your company’s reputation as well.
An SSL certified site can never be completely duplicated, which makes your site and your clients less susceptible to phishing schemes.
Ultimately, the reason your company needs an SSL encrypted website is because it will help to protect you, to safeguard your client and customer base, and will impact how your company is interacted with perceived, as they are far more likely to do business with a company that they can trust.