You've heard the clock ticking... the time has come to get onboard with SSL!
Google is making good on its long-held pledge to make SSL mandatory for websites.
What does mandatory mean? What is SSL? And why are small businesses worried about it?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, an online security system typically used for e-commerce sites. Since 2014, Google has been working towards an SSL mandate for all websites. However, because it’s only one of many search engines in the world, Google first had to ensure it’s own browser achieved online dominance.
Now that more than 60% of internet users access the web via Google Chrome, the mandate is official. Since the Chrome update
released on July 24, 2018, users now get an alarming message any time they visit a website that is not secured by SSL
"THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE."
Chrome users can ignore the message and proceed to the site. But let’s face it, who’s likely to do that? The idea that most of your viewers might see an alert that your site is not secure, is worrisome. Another reason that small business owners are concerned about this is that SSL isn't free. Even for do-it-yourself website owners, it can be a major hassle to install and manage. Here are your SSL options:
The price of SSL
Thankfully, there is good news for you - the price of SSL and installation is reasonably inexpensive. SSL certificates are $50 to $150 a year, and installation may cost $40 to $100.
But here's the really good news: many website owners already have SSL, but don’t realize it. Numerous hosting companies have been adding it, more or less by default (since Google has been recommending it for years), to their customers' accounts - so there's a good chance the SSL mandate may be a non-issue for your business.
How do you determine whether you have SSL installed? Simple. Search your website's name in Google and see if a warning pops up. Alternatively, you can plug your site into this Quick SSL Checker.
No worries if either check results in an alarming warning. In the grand scheme of running a business website, adding SSL is a minor detail. If you need help, contact your webmaster, or free feel to reach out to us, as we’d be more than happy to assist you in the most efficient, cost-effective way.
Now It’s Time to do a Check Up on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Performance
Once your website is fully secure, take the time to check out its performance. Think of it as an annual checkup. Here's another element that may keep website owners up at night worrying: SEO.
While some small business owners tend to tune out when internet geeks start talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), all they’re really talking about is your website achieving the highest “ranking” on searches online. The algorithms Google and other search engines use to decide a website's search ranking change frequently and keeping up can be a nightmare. But here's the “smile-worthy” news: the goal of the algorithms are to ensure the most helpful, useful websites get top billing. The question is: how does your website rank?
The bottom line for SEO is to make sure your site is being found in top ranking by those searching for your type of business and expertise. Two simple, effective ways to achieve this, is to perform a local keyword search to see what your potential clients and customers are searching for and insert those keywords into your website content. Secondly, back link your site to sites that have well-established online authority, such as directories and/or blogs relating to your industry.
How is Your Site Currently Performing?
Understanding and addressing both SSL and SEO is good for the overall health of your business online.
And, once you’re confident your site is secure and ranked at the top, you'll be ready to tackle top ranking on the coveted Google Maps 3-Pack. Lucky for you, we’ve cracked the code on that as well. So when those leads start rolling in, I hope you’re smiling again!
Compass Crossing Marketing Agency has helped hundreds of businesses achieve greater success in the past 12 years. Our team of digital marketing experts collectively contribute 25+ years of marketing experience and digital expertise. For a complimentary audit, fill in the free report form at https://compasscrossing.com or call (888) 399-5582.