If you run a business, it must have a website. And if you’ve got a website, it must get it secured. And when we talk of secured websites, the discussion begins from SSL certificates. And why not - after all, they’re of utmost importance in the current cybersecurity scenario. We hear about attacks on websites now and then, which boosts their importance. But cybersecurity is not the only benefit of SSL certificates. They also come with some additional benefits for website owners, which we’ll try to explore in this article. What Is An SSL Certificate? SSL certificate is a standard security protocol used to secure your website. They shift your site from unsecured HTTP protocol to secure HTTPS protocol, which secures the data of your visitors by encrypting it before transit. It also ensures that the data is sent to your web server only, and not to any other web server that may be trying to pretend to be your server (yep, that’s possible). That way SSL certificates and HTTPS protocol protect your visitors from the evil intentions of hackers. Now let’s look at all the major benefits of SSL certificates for your business. Security Of Visitors: Of course, the first benefit of having an SSL secured website is the security of your visitors, as I told above. With HTTPS the data that your visitors send to you doesn’t go anywhere except your web server or read by any third party. [caption id="attachment_4042" align="aligncenter" width="679"] https:\/\/www.peoplesbank-wa.com\/online-security\/[\/caption] Whether it’s usernames, passwords, credit card data or something else - if your website is secured with an SSL certificate, the data that your users submit on it will come to you only in an encrypted way and no one can decode it. SSL reduces chances of MITM (main-in-the middle) attack. On the other hand, the same can’t be said about your site if it doesn’t use an SSL certificate. In that case, attackers can steal the data being sent by your visitors while it’s in transit. Changed Browser Labels: If your website is not secured with SSL, many browsers will warn the users about it through a “Not Secure” label. You can see this label below: [caption id="attachment_4043" align="aligncenter" width="633"] https:\/\/www.howtogeek.com\/359298\/why-does-google-chrome-say-websites-are-%E2%80%9Cnot-secure%E2%80%9D\/[\/caption] This gives visitors the impression that something is wrong with your website because many of your visitors are not so tech-savvy that they can understand why this label is being shown. However, if you’ve got your website secured with an SSL certificate, things look something like this: This change of labels leads to increased confidence among your visitors, which is essential for any business in today’s world of deceit and distrust. Easier Compliance: Securing your website with SSL also makes it easy for you to comply with several norms laid out in various data security standards. For example, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ISO 270001 - all require your website to be secured with SSL. [caption id="attachment_4044" align="aligncenter" width="595"] https:\/\/www.pcicomplianceguide.org\/new-more-a-first-look-at-the-pci-dss-3-0-saqs\/[\/caption] So, if you secure it with an SSL certificate today, it will help you comply with any of these compliance requirements in the future by ticking off one item from your list. Improved Search Rankings: You may not believe it, but Google penalizes those websites in search results that do not use SSL certificates. It has been declared by the search giant a long time ago that it uses HTTPS as a ranking signal, so if you’re not using it already I can bet that you’re missing out on search traffic. [caption id="attachment_4045" align="aligncenter" width="509"] https:\/\/www.littlehotelier.com\/r\/hotel-marketing-tips\/elevate-your-bb-websites-search-rank-with-these-essentials\/[\/caption] By installing an SSL certificate on your web server, you can fix this thing too, which will lead to an improvement in your search rankings. Higher Conversions: When your visitors will see a “Secured” label before your website URL in their browsers, trust me, it will leave an impact on your conversion rate too. Trust is very important in business, and as I said above in point #2, not having your website on HTTPS causes people to lose trust in your company. They feel that something is wrong with your site, which drives them away. Getting rid of that “Not Secured” label is one of the most important things that you can do to boost your conversion rate. Conclusion So, these were the 5 major benefits of SSL certificates and HTTPS protocol for any website. No wonder why the discussion of website security begins with them. There are many other benefits too, but these are the biggest ones among them. In addition to these benefits, HTTPS has also become so well-adopted across the world wide web that more than 78% of all pages loaded in Chrome are over HTTPS now. In such a situation it’s very important for you to not look shady because there’s a good chance that your competitors may also be using SSL. So, without delaying this affordable and easy thing get your SSL certificate installed on the server today!