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The importance of implementing SSL in your Ecommerce Store

By Mark Stubbles*

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. The SSL encryption method was first introduced in 1994, early versions of SSL encryption came in 40 or 128 bit but 40 bit encryption was quite easy to hack so SSL certificates are only issued for sites that use 128 bit encryption or higher.

SSL encryption has become extremely popular and Google seems keen to make it a web standard by giving encrypted sites more weight in their ranking algorithm, the search engine would like to see https used everywhere on the web and they discuss https as a ranking signal in this post.

SSL for E-commerce

When a shopper or web user lands on an SSL encrypted page they will see https: at the start of the URL and a padlock or green bar will appear in their web browser letting them know the page is secure, any savvy shopper will not disclose payment information on a non encrypted page. When a page is encrypted only the users web browser and the destination server can see the information being sent, sensitive information is kept safe from identity thieves and fraudsters. An e-commerce site using SSL will gain more customers and more sales.

An online business that accepts payments online needs an SSL certificate with encryption of at least 128-bit, payment card industry compliance means a site that doesn't have an SSL certificate will not be able to take credit card payments. Even if your e-commerce site uses a third party payment provider such as PayPal shoppers my still be put off by the fact your site is not secure. If your shopping cart allows users to create an account they will be more likely to do so if their personal details are encrypted. SSL encryption will also make your site harder to hack.

Disadvantages of SSL

There is only one disadvantage to SSL encryption really, because the data transferred is encrypted and needs to be UN-encrypted at the other end it may put more load on your server and slow down your sites load time very slightly but this can be overcome with the use of a CDN (content delivery network) like Cloudflare. Very busy sites may want to consider better server hardware to speed up response time.

Other ways to increase online sales

SSL encryption is a great idea for any e-commerce store, in this day and age any e-commerce site not using SSL is going have a severe disadvantage. Most e-commerce sites need to do more than just have an SSL certificate, finding a shopping cart that allows you to use multiple product images, 360 views, generate coupon codes and allows customer subscriptions upon checkout will all help to increase your e-commerce success. Making a mobile friendly site will also increase sales.

Traffic to your store

Getting traffic to your site is going to be the main thing that makes or breaks your online business. You can optimise the site by finding a shopping cart that allows custom meta titles and descriptions, remember to name your product images correctly and look into paid traffic from sources such as Google shopping. 

*Author Bio: This post was supplied by Mark Stubbles, Mark writes for Panda SEO.

19 July 2015