For the uninitiated, SSL means Secure Sockets Layer. If you haven’t gotten an SSL Certificate for your website, it’s high time you did. Potential customers will be scared off if they get a browser message stating that the eCommerce website they are visiting isn’t secure. It’s an immediate turn-off, and for a lot of them, it means that no matter what the value of what your selling might be, they’re going somewhere else.

And it’s hard to blame them, really. Who wants to share their financial and other information where it might be vulnerable to hackers and skimmers? When they go to an SSL Secure site, they know that the information that they’re submitting to the HTTPS site is being encrypted as it’s sent to the financial institution that’s completing the transaction. Only they have the key that can unlock the encrypted financial and personal data that’s being conveyed.

Considering what time and money businesses spend on making their products and services and their eCommerce platforms attractive to customers, and the effort that they put into SEO, it’s frankly absurd not to spend a little money–and honestly, it’s not much–to get SSL certified. Here are some reasons to do it.

Customer Trust

As previously mentioned, more and more browsers alert their users to whether or not the eCommerce site they are visiting is secure. If it’s not, there’s a good chance that the customer will immediately disengage and look elsewhere. Businesses work very hard to chisel out an extra edge versus competitors, through price and product, website design, service and support, SEO, and it makes little sense not to secure the site. From the customer’s point of view, it’s like going into a business where after a snowstorm the doorway and sidewalk are well shoveled and sanded. It says that you care about them. And this is because . . .

SSL Protects Their Data

SSL encrypts important transactional data so that only the responding financial institution can decipher it and see whether it all lines up. Every few months, there’s a horror story about some major company’s customer database being hacked. If it’s due to negligence, this can be as detrimental to a business that relies on online sales as . . . oh, I don’t know, maybe E. coli-tainted lettuce has been to Chipotle. You are protecting yourself as well as your customers.

SSL Confirms Your Business Identity

When you want to install an SSL Certificate, an independent third-party agency called a Certificate Authority (CA) validates you. Once you verify your identity to their strict standards, they provide you with online trust documentation, vouching for your identity. Among other things, this prevents scammers from posing as you to divert customers to knock-off or fake sites. And since consumers who are scammed often don’t realize this has happened to them, it prevents you dealing with the adverse reputational fallout that can be caused, while protecting your customers.

SSL Fulfills PCI/DSS Requirements

If you are taking online transactions, your site has to be PCI/DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. SSL Certification is one of 12 check-offs that you must fulfill, and enforcement is getting stricter, so to avoid any unpleasant surprises, it’s time to get with it. Finally . . .

SSL Certification Will Help Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

No, really. One of the easiest things that your business can do to improve your search engine rankings is to become SSL compliant. So, no more excuses. It’s time to get that SSL Certificate. The folks at SunAnt will get it done for you, and they’ll keep it current, so that you don’t have to worry about it or task someone in-house.

There’s no reason not to do it today.