The quick answer: Yes. You should consider upgrading your website to have an SSL certificate.
The Digital Services Team is always looking for opportunities to improve our offering to clients. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this includes staying on top of Google’s latest ranking factors and determining the best way of implementing those strategies into our clients’ SEO campaigns.
A few months ago, you might remember that one of our clients was suspiciously contacted by a potential phishing scam masked as a legitimate company. This made our already sensitive spidey-senses tingle and we knew we had to take the next step in protecting our clients (you!) as well as your potential customers.
That said, MYM will be upgrading all of our client’s sites that we host to include an SSL Certificate.
Why we’ve decided to do this:
- We highly value the security of our clients
- This is a move that can help your SEO Rankings
Wondering what the heck SSL is? You’re not alone. We’ve done our best to answer the questions that you might have below.
What is SSL?
An SSL (short for Secure Sockets Layer), is the most globally used form of internet security. It takes care of securing and encrypting personal information that is sent on a website, keeping consumers safe when doing business or submitting their personal information on a website.
Why do I need my site to be SSL?
The majority of our remodeling and contractor clients don’t do much in the realm of e-commerce or collecting credit card information directly from their website. However, 99.9999% of our clients do collect personal information on their lead forms. (Name, Address, Telephone Numbers…etc.) This is all personal and confidential information that put in the wrong hands (Phishers!) can cause a lot of damage.
Google knows what the Phishers are doing. They hate it.
SSL gives your website an extra level of consumer protection and shows your potential customers that you care about their security.
What does this mean for me?
If MYM hosts your website, then this means that we are offering you the option to upgrade your site’s security to SSL at a reduced cost.
If MYM does NOT host your website, we suggest you check with your website host to see what your options are for upgrading your website to an SSL. You can feel free to give me a call, and I can help you get in touch with the right people at your hosting company.
Why didn’t you make this change sooner?
Although, it has come up in many of our meetings and is almost always on our Quarterly SEO Review agenda, we honestly didn’t see the need to make this upgrade up until now.
One of the things that goes along with the SEO world is filtering out the noise. In a world where everyone is a “guru” “expert” or “enthusiast” about SEO, it’s hard to know who to trust and what to believe.
We do our best to mute the noise and only bring you things that will help you grow.
It’s our job to figure out what strategies are best, test them out, and then pass the ones that are valuable onto our clients. We put the others on the back burner until it makes the most sense to implement them.
SSL is being brought up from the back burner. It’s time.
Is this upgrade optional?
As of right now, upgrading your website to an SSL is optional. However, it’s only a matter of time before it’s required and Google starts penalizing sites for not having an SSL certificate. We highly recommend that you make the transition to an SSL website as soon as possible.
What happens if I decide not to upgrade my website to an SSL? // Will not upgrading negatively affect my SEO?
Not getting an SSL Certificate will not negatively impact your SEO – that is, you won’t be at risk for a manual penalty. Yet.
However, it also won’t help your SEO. Google has been saying for quite some time that they use SSL as a ranking factor for Search Engine Optimization.
Here’s what Google had to say back in 2014 about SSL as a ranking factor:
For now [SSL is] only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high quality content— while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
“Lightweight Signal” back in 2014… and it’s only gotten stronger over the past 2 years where online commerce has become so commonplace.
How will this affect my ranking / how quickly will I see results?
Google openly admits that they rank sites higher who have an SSL Certificate.
As far as how quickly you’ll see results – within a few days.
The immediate results you’ll see are:
– a change to the beginning of your web address. It will go from ‘http’ to ‘https’. The ‘s’ is for ‘secure’
– a lock icon will show up next to your web address in the search bar
The results you’ll see over time are:
– an increase of your SEO Ranking
– an increase of your click through rate (CTR). When searchers see that your website is secure, they’re more likely to click on your website over an unsecured one.
Will I experience any website downtime?
Nope! We’ve already tested this on our own website and we experienced zero downtime.
How much will this upgrade cost?
If you are on a premium SEO plan with Monopolize Your Marketplace, we will be absorbing the cost of this for you by exchanging 1-2 pieces of content in your monthly SEO Package.
If you are getting the basic level of SEO that is included with your bundle package with MYM, we will still offer you the discounted price, but we will not be able to substitute content to cover the fee.
Why? In order to cover the fee for obtaining the SSL Certificate, we’d have to eliminate 100% of your content for 3 months. This would be detrimental to your SEO, and you will see negative ranking results from this.
We only do SEO that works. This strategy would not work.
If you are one of our bundle SEO clients and want to upgrade, give us a call. We’ll get you taken care of.
Why do I have to pay for this upgrade? Shouldn’t MYM cover this fee?
We wish upgrading was free.
Every single hosting site charges for an SSL upgrade. We did negotiate a lower price for our clients and we’re happy to be able to pass that savings down to you.
In a day in age where internet security is on the top of consumers’ priority lists when browsing the web, Google has made it all but required that you have an SSL Certificate on your site. As of right now, this is optional. However, it’s only a matter of time before it’s required.
If you have any other questions about upgrading your website to an SSL, or any aspect of SEO, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here.
We are thrilled to be able to continue to help you grow your business.