In today's digital age, businesses need to ensure the security of their website. Nowadays, customers are more cautious about sharing sensitive information online, and rightly so. No one wants to risk compromising their personal data to cyber threats or breaches.

Before customers input their card details or any other sensitive information, they need assurance that their data will be safeguarded. This is where the importance of website security, particularly through SSL certificates, comes into play.

While SSL certificates are essential for securing websites, their significance goes beyond mere protection. Did you know that they also play a crucial role in influencing your website's SEO performance?

In this article, we will discuss everything about SSL certificates, including what they are, how they can impact your website's SEO, and how to choose the best one. 

What is an SSL Certificate?

Before delving into the core aspects of SSL certificates, let’s discuss what is an SSL certificate for a website first. It’s important to understand what they are and how they can impact your business’s SEO rankings. 

SSL works like a digital passport for your website. This small data file adds an extra layer of security to your website. Implementing an SSL certificate on your website means creating a secure link between the web browser and the website server

This is of utmost importance, as an SSL will keep any sensitive information like address, name, and credit card number private. A website with an SSL certificate will have a padlock icon, and the address will begin with “https://”, not “http://”.

what is an SSL certificate padlock 1

This indicates that the website is entirely safe and capable of protecting your personal information and data from unauthorized access. Websites with SSL certificates showcase their trustworthiness and can keep the data safe. 

How do SSL Certificates work?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are digital credentials that facilitate secure communication between web browsers and servers. When a user visits a website with an SSL certificate, their browser and the server perform an SSL handshake to establish a secure connection. During this process, they agree on encryption methods and exchange public keys to encrypt data transmitted between them.

Authentication is a key aspect of SSL certificates. The certificate contains information about the website's identity, such as its domain name and the organization that owns it. The browser verifies the authenticity of the SSL certificate by checking its digital signature against trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs). If the certificate is valid and issued by a trusted CA, the browser proceeds with a secure connection.

Once the SSL certificate is validated, the browser and server exchange encryption keys and begin encrypting data. This encryption ensures that sensitive information, like login credentials or payment details, remains protected from interception or tampering by malicious parties.

The transition from HTTP to HTTPS protocol signifies the establishment of a secure connection. HTTPS web address encrypts all data exchanged between the browser and server, safeguarding it from unauthorized access.

Different types of SSL Certificates

Whether you’re planning to install SSL certificates or your current one is about to expire, you must ensure you’re choosing the right one. As per Netcraft, over 90% of SSL certifications are domain validation.

Before you decide which SSL certificate to buy, you should know what types are available on the market. This is the only way to make the most data-driven decisions. Below are a few different SSL certificates you need to know about. 

Currently, there are six primary types of SSL certificates you can choose from:

  • Organization Validation certificates (OV)
  • Extended Validation certificates (EV)
  • Domain Validated certificates (DV)
  • Wildcard SSL certificates
  • Multi-domain certificates (MDC)
  • Unified Communications Certificates (UCC)

If you don't know what is an SSL certificate, you may not have adequate knowledge regarding the different types of certificates. Let’s learn about them. 

1. Organization Validation certificates

The OV certificates offer a moderate level of assurance regarding the legitimacy and authenticity of the website holder. During the validation SSL certificate issuance process, the CA verifies the organization's legal existence, physical address, and domain ownership

The CA confirms that the entity applying for the certificate is a legally registered organization with control over the domain name for which the certificate is requested. The CA will verify the organization's telephone number and other contact information.

2. Extended Validation certificates

Extended Validation (EV) certificates are another type of TLS certificate used to secure websites and establish encrypted connections between web servers and browsers. These certificates provide a higher level of assurance to website visitors.

The distinguishing feature of EV SSL certificates is the rigorous verification process the CAs perform before issuing them.  

3. Domain Validated certificates

Domain Validated (DV) certificates are the most standard SSL certificate or TLS certificate type. DV certificates offer the lowest level of assurance regarding the legitimacy and authenticity of the website holder.

While DV certificates provide encryption for data transmitted between the web server and the browser, they do not offer any assurance about the identity or legitimacy of the organization operating the website. 

As a result, DV certificates are commonly used for small websites, personal blogs, or simple informational sites where the primary concern is encrypting data rather than establishing trust with visitors.

4. Wildcard SSL certificates

A Wildcard SSL certificate is a type of SSL/TLS certificate that allows secure connections to multiple subdomains of a single domain using a single certificate.

For example, if you have a domain and you want to secure multiple subdomains like,, etc., instead of obtaining separate SSL certificates for each subdomain, you can use a Wildcard certificate to secure all subdomains under with a single certificate.

The wildcard character (*) is used in the certificate's Common Name (CN) field to represent any subdomain. For example, obtaining a Wildcard certificate for * will be valid for subdomains like,,, and so on.

5. Multi-domain SSL certificates 

With a Multi-domain validation certificate, you can secure multiple domains and/or subdomains with one certificate. Hence, you will have more flexibility and cost-effectiveness. This is particularly useful for businesses managing multiple domain names or web applications across domains.

Multi-domain SSL certificates use the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) extension to specify additional domain names for which the certificate is valid. Each SAN entry can represent a different domain or subdomain.

6. Unified Communications Certificate

A Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) is a digital certificate designed to secure multiple domains and/or subdomains associated with a single organization. It's often used in environments where various communication services, such as email, instant messaging, voice over IP (VoIP), and other collaboration tools, are integrated or unified under one platform.

UCCs are particularly useful for organizations that utilize Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Office Communications Server (now known as Skype for Business) because they allow these platforms to secure multiple services and domains with a single certificate.

UCCs offer cost savings and simplified certificate management compared to obtaining individual certificates for each domain or subdomain. 

Why do you need an SSL Certificate on your Website?

While I have mentioned that SSL certificates make your website look trusted, installing them has additional benefits. 

What is an SSL certificate used for? For instance, an SSL certificate will help you maintain a professional image and easily capture the attention of your target customers. Let’s examine the advantages of having an SSL certificate. 

1. Building Credibility and Trust

An SSL certificate will always indicate the website is secure. When your website visitors find the padlock and the “https://” address, they won’t need to worry about their data security. 

HTTPS validation

This makes your website look legit, especially in the vast online platform where scams are pretty common. An SSL certificate will also enhance your brand reputation. It shows your customers you’re committed to maintaining top-notch customer service and security. 

2. Data Integrity and Threat Protection

This is one of the most important reasons you need an SSL certification on your website. It ensures that the user information shared with the website is kept private, especially for businesses handling sensitive data. 

SSL certificates will always preserve the integrity of your user information by protecting against data protection. This is important to preserve legal compliance and user confidence

It will also protect against threat protection. As protecting against cyber threats like data breaches, phishing attacks, and cyberattacks are necessary, you can achieve this by implementing an SSL certificate. 

The encryption from SSL certification prevents hackers from attacking your website. Thus, it enhances website security and safeguards user information. 

3. Showcasing a Professional Image

An SSL certificate often symbolizes more commitment and professionalism. This perception is extremely important as it will help your business have a positive and strong brand image

As a business owner, you need to remember that your audience will determine your website’s security and integrity in less than a second. An SSL certificate allows you to create a professional tone and stand apart from less-secure competitors.

This professional image can prove to be a deciding factor for potential customers. They will always prefer websites with an SSL certificate. 

4. High traffic

As a marketer, you might know that Google always favors secured websites. SSL certificates will always be considered a crucial ranking factor. Besides boosting the overall SERP rankings, you will also get more organic traffic

As you will receive higher traffic, you will likely generate more revenue. Moreover, secured websites have a lower bound rate than unsecured ones. 

When users notice that your website has SSL certification, they will consider it committed to user security. As a result, they will spend more time on your website, and the longer the visit, the better the interactions. 

Reducing your website’s bounce rate through SSL certificates will have a direct impact on its visibility and lead generation. 

5. Compliance with regulations

If your business doesn’t comply with the regulation, you will soon find yourself in trouble. This is a legal requirement every business needs to consider, especially at a time when privacy concerns and data breaches are common. 

Many laws require businesses to implement HTTPS for their websites. If you own an E-Commerce business and collect personal data, an SSL certificate is a must. 

Furthermore, non-compliance can result in reputation damage and hefty fines. By implementing HTTPS, businesses ensure they meet the relevant regulatory requirements and avoid complicated legal pitfalls. 

Impact of SSL Certificates on SEO

For the past couple of years, the relationship between SEO and SSL certificates has expanded a lot. When you properly understand the connection between them, you can succeed in both aspects. Let’s examine how an SSL certificate can enhance your business’s SEO game. 

1. Increased crawlability

Don’t overlook the importance of SSL certificates in boosting and enhancing website crawlability. Search engine bots prefer secure websites, and they will always index SSL-certified websites more than non-certified websites

These search engine indexing bots mimic user behavior. Hence, it prioritized secured websites that align with the growing importance of HTTPS certificates. 

An SSL certificate also develops authenticity and trust, allowing the bots to know that the website is credible and the sources provided are trusted. Better crawlability means your website will have more accurate indexing and more opportunities for higher rankings. 

2. Google prefers HTTPS websites

One of the most crucial aspects of SSL certification on SEO is its direct impact on search engine rankings. In 2014, Google announced that they would consider HTTPS as a ranking factor. 

Google made this move to ensure a safer internet for everyone. Since an SSL certificate encrypts user data, data tampering or interception is almost impossible. This is why Google has emphasized the importance of HTTPS on every website. 

Websites that implement SSL certification will always achieve higher rankings. Moreover, recently, Google announced that it will stop indexing websites without SSL certificates. 

3. Boosting engagement and user trust

why do we use SSL certificates? Trust is undoubtedly important from a customer’s perspective. An SSL certificate will also provide more visibility in terms of the website’s security. The visible padlock has a high impact on user behavior. 

I have noticed that websites with an SSL certificate always receive higher engagement. This is because users are likely to return to the same website. Not only because the businesses provide accurate solutions but also because they focus on the website's security.

4. Site speed and performance 

While this point may be less direct, it’s equally important. If you think that SEO or a website’s build quality only determines the speed and performance, you’re mistaken. SSL certificates also play their part. 

Faster websites always provide a better user experience. They are likely to be favored more by Google search engines. So, how can you make your website faster? By choosing a reliable website builder, hosting, and you guessed it right, SSL certificates. 

HTTPS can drastically improve overall website speed by implementing HTTP/2. This is undoubtedly one of the most important revisions of the HTTP network protocol. 

HTTP/2 comes with features like header compression and multiplexing. This way, you can accelerate data faster while also reducing latency. In terms of SERP rankings and user experience, websites can gain a competitive advantage by enabling HTTP/2. 

Does HTTPS affect Google rankings?

Even though the businesses interchange the terms SSL and HTTPS, remember that they differ. While HTTPS works as the transfer protocol between websites, SSL certificates are small data items that encrypt the transmitted data from users to the internet. 

The primary concern of HTTPS is how the data is displayed to the users. On the other hand, the primary objective of SSL certificates is to enhance the security of the transmitted data

However, as SSL certificates themselves are a ranking factor in terms of Google’s SERP algorithms, HTTPS uses SSL certificates to improve the overall SEO rankings of a website as well. 

Top 3 best places to buy an SSL certificate

Now, you may ask, what is the best place to purchase an SSL certificate? You don't need to worry. I will highlight the three best places from where you can purchase an SSL certificate with ease.

1. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a renowned domain registrar that offers a wide range of services, including web hosting, domain name registration, and website builder.


The appealing features and generous discounts for first-time customers make it an excellent alternative for newcomers.


godaddy updated
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • SHA-2 & 2048-bit encryption
  • Increased SEO rankings
  • Trust indicator display

Additionally, it provides SSL certification services to its consumers. It includes customizable pricing for the organization and extended validity certificates. This is applicable to both single domain and multi-domain SSL.


  • Registering an SSL certificate is more convenient
  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Some hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate


  • Renewal prices are higher compared to other competitors

\GoDaddy also offers a Managed SSL solution, which is aimed at hosting service users.

GoDaddy Pricing Plan

  • Standard DV SSL Certificate for One Website: $49.99/year

  • UCC/SAN DV SSL Certificate for Multiple Websites: $159.99/year

  • Wildcard DV SSL Certificate for All Subdomains: $295.99/year

After you've chosen a plan and created your account, GoDaddy will send you your SSL certificate within minutes.

Why purchase an SSL certificate from GoDaddy?
  • If you already use GoDaddy for your domain name registration or web hosting, getting your SSL certificate there can be very convenient. You can manage everything in one place, simplifying your website security setup.

GoDaddy can be a good option for SSL certificates, especially for beginners who already use their platform and prefer an all-in-one solution.

2. is another domain registrar that provides a variety of domain name extensions, including TLDs (Top Level Domain Extensions).

Domain com

It includes a robust domain name search engine that determines the availability of a domain name.

domain com logo
  • Customer information protection
  • TrustLogo® Site Seal
  • Secures unlimited subdomains
  • eCommerce SSL

Aside from that, allows you to get SSL certificates for many sorts of websites at discounted prices.


  • offers free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Renewal reminders to activate your SSL certificate easily


  • May not prove ideal for businesses handling sensitive data

You may pick from Domain Validated SSL, Wildcard SSL, and E-commerce SSL options based on your needs. Pricing Plan

  • Domain Validated SSL: $33/year

  • Organization Validated SSL: $47.88/year

  • Ecommerce SSL: $119.88/year

  • Wildcard SSL: $179.88/year is known for its user-friendly interface. Their process for activating Let's Encrypt or purchasing a paid SSL certificate is generally straightforward.

Why purchase an SSL certificate from
  • is known for its user-friendly interface. This can be a big perk if you're new to SSL certificates and find the process intimidating.

It also offers customer support options if you encounter any issues during the SSL certificate activation or management process.

3. HostGator

While HostGator is a web hosting platform that provides different types of WordPress hosting solutions, it also comes with SSL certification features.


I believe HostGator is one of the best places to purchase an SSL certificate. Whether you own a small business or a large enterprise, the SSL certifications from HostGator are undoubtedly beneficial.


  • Affordable pricing plan
  • Domain validated SSL
  • Included Trustlogo® Site Seal
  • eCommerce SSL

However, keep in mind that the SSL certificate plans will come with a premium price. The best way to get a free SSL certificate is by purchasing a web hosting solution.


  • offers free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Renewal reminders to activate your SSL certificate easily


  • May not prove ideal for businesses handling sensitive data

Depending on the eligibility criteria, you will get a free domain and SSL certificate when you purchase a web hosting solution. This will prove best for individuals who want to use HostGator as their default hosting platform.

HostGator Pricing Plan

  • Single Domain: $36.96/year

  • Wildcard: $239.88/year

  • EV: $239.88/year

I believe the free version is not capable of catering to your needs. This is why you need to purchase the paid version. It will come with many advanced features, such as a seal of trust, a green bar, etc.

Why purchase an SSL certificate from HostGator?
  • Some HostGator web hosting plans may include a basic SSL certificate for free. This can be a good option if you're on a budget and have a simple website.

HostGator can be a convenient option, especially for those already on their platform with a free SSL included in the hosting plan. However, if you need advanced features, the best pricing, or handle sensitive information, comparing options with other providers might be beneficial.

Why HTTPS is more secure than HTTP

HTTPS is the upgrade of HTTP and is considered more secure than the latter. HTTPS plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and integrity of the information shared over the internet. Let’s take a look at why HTTPS is more secure than HTTP. 

1. Encryption

When a website implements HTTPS, the data shared between the user and the website will remain confidential and encrypted. Modern SSL certificates implement end-to-end encryption to protect user data from malware attacks

https web address

The encryption also ensures that all your customers' sensitive data, including personal information, login details, and credit card details, are encrypted for anyone who tries to intercept it. 

2. Authentication

Another important aspect of HTTPS is authentication. It works as a verification token, letting users know that the website they are communicating with is legit and not a scam. 

This is especially important to prevent “man-in-the-middle” attacks, where someone poses as a website owner and scams people. This way, hackers won’t be able to impersonate any website and steal your personal information

3. Data integrity

HTTPS also plays a crucial role in ensuring proper data integrity. This means the data cannot be altered or corrupted during the transfer process. Even if hackers are successful at altering the data, it will be detected in the system ASAP. 

This prevents data tampering and theft. The information a user sends or receives is exactly what was intended. 

How to Get an SSL Certificate?

Now that you know the importance of an SSL certificate for your website’s SEO performance, you must implement SSL protection as soon as possible. However, contrary to popular belief, the process isn’t complicated at all. Here are a few steps you need to remember. 

1. Make sure you have accurate website information

A Certificate Authority issues an SSL certificate. The process of implementing an SSL certificate is easy, especially when you comply with the information required by the CA. 

For instance, you need to have a unique IP address. As per SSL protocols, each certification requires a separate IR web address, or people who are using older web browsers or devices won’t be able to view your website. 

You also need to have an accurate WHOIS record. Upon requesting an SSL certificate for your domain, the authorities will verify that you own the domain name. Hence, they will check the WHOIS record of the website

2. Decide the SSL certificate you need

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of SSL certificates on the market. You should choose the most appropriate one based on your unique needs and requirements. 

For instance, if you own an E-commerce business with a single-page website to communicate simple information, you need to choose DV certificates. This is true, especially when you don’t collect any user information. 

However, if you have a large Ecommerce business where users enter sensitive information, you need to consider an EV certificate with extended security. You also need to consider the cost, as it will depend on the type of certification you choose. 

3. Pick a Certificate Authority

A CA is an entity that will provide you with the SSL certificate. While there are countless CAs available in the market, only a handful of them are trusted and reliable. The big names in this industry include GlobalSign and GoDaddy

You must ensure you’re choosing a reputed and reliable CA that can provide different SSL certificates. Additionally, the CA needs to be suitable for your business objectives and budget. 

4. Create a Certificate Signing Request

A CSR, also known as a Certificate Signing Request, is a specific file generated on your web server before requesting SSL certificates from a CA. The CA will examine the information within the file to issue your SSL certificate. 

Remember that your web hosting platform and web server will determine the process of creating a CSR. I highly recommend you contact your web hosting provider to know if they have any specific instructions regarding CSR generation.

5. Submit the CSR to your Certificate Authority

Once you obtain the CSR, you must visit the CA’s website. Then, you can purchase the specific SSL certificate you want. You will face no problem choosing between different types of certificates. 

After you purchase the SSL certificate, the CA will ask you to provide the CSR that you have generated previously. 

6. Install the SSL Certificate

Once CA is done processing your certificate, it will inform you over email stating that you can access your SSL certificate. You can also download it from the user account created while purchasing the SSL certificate

As mentioned earlier, the process of installing the SSL certificate will depend on your web hosting, website builder platform, and operating system. Contact them to get more detailed information. 

7. Testing and Maintenance

You may think that your work is over, but it’s not. Sure, the hard part of obtaining an SSL certificate is over, but you still need to test and manage it properly once the certificate is issued.

Test your SSL certificate thoroughly and create an appropriate maintenance schedule. This will ensure the certificate is working properly. Whether you choose an SSL verification tool or opt for manual testing, remember to determine the effectiveness of the SSL certificate. 

You also need to create a schedule to monitor the renewal and expiration dates of your SSL certificate. Also, don’t forget to check the updates. 

Is there any free SSL certificate?

Can you get a free SSL certificate? Yes, you can install an SSL certificate on your website for free. Many hosting providers, including HostGator, BlueHost, and InMotion, offer free SSL certificates with their hosting plans

The main catch? You need to purchase their hosting plans to obtain a free SSL certificate. In short, you need to pay for the SSL certificates directly or indirectly. You may ask, what is SSL certificate cannot be trusted? The unreliable companies. 

Ready to integrate an SSL Certificate?

SEO and SSL certificates go hand in hand. When you provide security and encryption, you can protect sensitive user data and boost the trustworthiness of your business. This trust will go a long way in driving organic traffic and improving search engine rankings. 

Whether you have an E-Commerce site or not, having an SSL certificate integrated will help you win customers’ trust.  

I hope you now understand an SSL certificate and its impact on your website’s SEO. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of an SSL certificate is to encrypt data transmitted between a web server and a user's browser, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure and protected from unauthorized access.

Yes, having an SSL certificate is essential for securing your website, protecting sensitive information, and maintaining user trust.

Without an SSL certificate, your website will be labeled as “not secure” by web browsers, which can deter visitors and lead to a loss of trust. Additionally, data transmitted between the server and users can be intercepted by hackers, putting sensitive information at risk of theft or manipulation.

No, SSL certificates typically have an expiration date and need to be renewed periodically to ensure continued security.

TLS stands for Transport Layer Security.