Improving your website security is a constant task for everyone who wants to run an online business. Nowadays, users not only look for a reliable source of information but wants to feel safe with the personal data and the activity around your website. In today’s entry, you’ll learn why and how to get web security matters right and how it can improve your search engine ranking. Let’s start.
How Your Online Security Can Affect Customer Experience and Search Engine Ranking
When so much time, effort, and investment is exerted to launch a business online, you want to make sure new visitors understand your values, hear what you have to say, access your content and even buy products or services.
Even if you’re confident in your site and have website stats to back it up, you should always avoid putting up hurdles which could eliminate trust in your brand, or spoil the overall customer experience.
With Google’s ever-changing algorithm penalizing websites that are not safe, secure, and trustworthy, getting caught out could drastically affect your search engine ranking in the long run, meaning it’s entirely worth investing in strong website security. But let’s be clear: as a business, if you want to know how to improve SEO, first you need to understand how search engines work to know the implications of your work.
If you are launching a new business website, or plan to upgrade and adapt to be more security compliant, here are some simple steps to ensure your website is safe for visitors, and understand how this will bring trust and loyalty to your brand.
Use SSL and HTTPS
Provided you use a reputable web developer or well-established online site builder, your website browser should be secured with either SSL and/or HTTPS, which you can enable in your site settings.
SSL, or secure sockets layer, is a protocol enabling secure online communication. Without getting too technical, websites with SSL have proven, authentic credentials through a security certificate, so they’ve been validated online. Just make sure there are no SSL certificate errors.
HTTPS, or hypertext transfer protocol secure, is a more secure version of the same HTTP component used at the start of a domain name. If you have your website both SSL and HTTPS-enabled, this adds a dual layer of security and demonstrates that your website and content is trustworthy, the owner is credible, and any information or data is transferred securely. This is crucial for maintaining proper website security.
It’s advised that you keep admin sign-in details secure and only shared with those who actually need them in your business. Make sure you use strong admin passwords, with multi-factor authentication where possible, and ensure any software for your website builder and host is kept up to date, including logins for your website analytics.
Businesses with many busy social media accounts sometimes use software tools and apps to not only update blogs but schedule posts across social media. Make sure you’re using trusted, reputable software for this, such as Hootsuite and Buffer. Some lesser-known third-party apps perform spam-like activity which could negatively impact your social media accounts or even your brand perception.
With the scope to attract significant website traffic from social media, it’s important to apply best practices from the outset.
Maintaining good website security around the admin side of your site also limits the chances of being hacked, which in turn can be a security threat for your customers and website visitors.
Professional Look and Design
This goes without saying, but you should ensure your website is professional and looks credible. We’ve all seen websites that look cheap, poorly designed, or ugly. When you see a website like this, would you want to work with them, or buy products from them?
Beyond a clean layout and clear breadcrumb navigation, style is subjective and will always depend on the voice and tone of your business. For example, the website for a disruptive start-up will probably look different compared to a corporate organization, considering everything from layout and color palette to language and content, but it should always be professionally designed and formatted.
Also, make sure your website is fully responsive across different devices to benefit from mobile SEO. With the majority of global online traffic known to come from mobile and tablet devices, avoid turning off potential customers who may be browsing your website on the move.
Continuing the point of looking professional, thoroughly check copy to ensure there are no spelling mistakes or formatting errors, anything which could detract from users trusting your website and content, or doubting website security.
If you quote statements or statistics, make sure these are properly fact-checked and quote or link to sources that will cement trust in the claims you are making. As well as using internal links to improve SEO, if your site becomes a reliable source of reference and receives backlinks over time, this metric is also rewarded in search engine ranking, which will be reflected in your website analytics.
Remember, if your business is a YMYL website – meaning Your Money or Your Life – which can impact somebody’s health, happiness, safety or financial stability, your content may fall under stricter guidelines.
Show Reviews and Testimonials
Nothing demonstrates trust like real reviews or testimonials. Listing positive quotes or incorporating online marketplace reviews from the likes of Amazon and TrustPilot shows transparency and legitimacy.
These are invaluable on social media and, by incorporating snapshots of leading reviews into your imagery and content, it makes your social posts even more compelling. So, get savvy around both customer reviews and client testimonials, and encourage each branch to rate and review which will, in turn, boost confidence in your website security.
Build Trust to Improve SEO
Of course, this is just one piece of the larger puzzle in how you can improve SEO and even SEO for mobile-optimized websites. It’s clear that establishing and proving website security plays a key role in not only building trust with your customers but will see you be rewarded by search engines which will, in turn, elevate your website analytics and improve SEO as you move forward in your business.
If you’d like professional help to verify and improve your website security and align with your business objectives to improve SEO, including mobile SEO optimization, get in touch for a free consultation.