Why SSL is important for small business websites and lead generation

Have you ever noticed some website addresses start with “http://” while others start with “https://”?

What does that extra “s” mean and why is it so important?

To put it simply, that “s” means your connection with that website is secure and encrypted. In other words, any data you enter is safely shared with that website and nobody else.

The technology that powers that little “s” is called “SSL”, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

http secure

SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Which ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remains private.

When you land on a website page that has a form and you hit ‘submit’, the information you just entered can be intercepted by a hacker on an unsecure website.

This isn’t the plot to some Hollywood B-movie, this is the reality of the world we live in. Hackers are everywhere and constantly trying to steal data. But that little “s” helps lock things down and makes it almost impossible for those hackers to grab your information.

This is one of the reasons Optimized Marketing has made every effort to ensure our client sites are all secured with SSL.

It took a lot of work to get that little extra “s” added to our all client sites, but it was well worth the effort.
You wouldn’t think one little letter would take so much effort to add, but that little “s” can be a major undertaking.

Each site had to be handled individually, there was no quick easy way to set this up for everyone all at once. In some cases we had to contact domain registrars, retrieve information from clients and work one on one with web hosts to insure the certificates were approved and installed correctly.

For some clients we went the extra step and moved their sites to brand new servers, specially designed to make security and performance a number one priority.

Extra Benefits

There are benefits beyond just making life difficult for hackers.

Google is giving preferential rankings to pages that are secured by SSL. They’ve even gone so far as to start marking pages with forms and no SSL and with a big “UNSECURED” warning in their browser. Recently Firefox started doing the same thing and in the near future we can expect other web browsers to follow the trend.

Gartner research has shown that 70 percent of people shopping online have canceled an order because they didn’t trust the website. Furthermore, 64 percent of those shoppers said they would have finished the transaction had the website had a trust mark or SSL certificate.

By adding SSL to our client sites we help create a sense of trust. When people trust your website they’re more likely to fill out a form, become a lead, and do business with you.

Relationships built on trust are an important competitive advantage because trust is so valuable and so rare. The level of trust you build with your customers affect their perceptions of your company’s products, services, honesty and integrity.

So that little “s” does a lot more than protect your visitor data, it helps create that sense of trust between you and your customers.

In our opinion, that little “s” really stands for something “spectacular”. Every bit of trust helps convert more visitors to inquiries and ultimately new customers for you, so we hope you agree adding that little “s” to your website was well worth it.