Website security is a crucial factor in ensuring the success of an online business. Beyond the obvious risks posed to customers’ data and your business’s credibility, website security also affects your SEO ranking. Research has shown that websites with higher levels of security rank better in search engine results.
Let’s take a closer look at how website security affects SEO performance.
Website security involves protecting your website from malicious attacks and vulnerabilities, such as hackers or malware. A secure website can improve its SEO ranking due to several factors:
One, websites with higher levels of security are less likely to be targeted by malicious attacks, meaning that their content remains intact and unaltered. Google rewards sites for not being hacked or infected with malware by giving them higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Two, secure websites are more trustworthy and therefore more likely to be clicked on by users when they appear in SERPs. This increases the site’s click-through rate (CTR) which is another factor considered by search engines when determining rankings.
Google uses data gathered through its Chrome browser to assess the safety of different websites. If a site is found to be unsafe, it will be ranked lower in SERPs than more secure competitors. Additionally, these websites will be penalized for their lack of proper HTTPS encryption—a protocol used to ensure secure communication between browsers and web servers.
Unsafe websites are typically displayed with warnings on the SERP page indicating that the site might not be safe for visitors to access. This can have a major impact on both CTR and sales performance as potential customers may decide not to click on a link if they see such a warning associated with it.
Businesses must be proactive about their data security if they want to rank higher in SERPs. There are several ways they can do this:
Keeping all software up-to-date is one of the most important – and often overlooked – parts of website management. Not only can it help protect user data, but it can also improve a website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Updating software can guarantee that the newest security patches are in place to stop any potential intrusions, meaning user data remains safe from malicious hackers or third parties. Additionally, maintaining updated software ensures that a website hosting platform meets modern web standards. This allows for improved loading times and better rendering, which positively affects search rankings and user experience.
Ultimately, updating software is an easy and cost-effective way to boost a website’s security and SEO.
Web application firewalls are an essential tool for businesses that wish to prevent their site from being compromised by malicious attackers. By filtering and monitoring both input and output data in accordance with previously configured policies, these firewalls can provide reliable protection against a broad range of application-specific attacks. These include malicious interception of cookies, contamination of databases through SQL injections, as well as cross-site scripting efforts meant to piggyback on your website’s reputation.
Implementing a comprehensive web application firewall means that you can rest easy knowing your website is secure and visitors remain safe while browsing your feed.
Good password hygiene is important when safeguarding any website’s data from malicious cyber attackers or unwitting carelessness. Using strong passwords that combine elements such as uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols makes it harder for hackers to gain access to a website. Avoid reusing passwords on other sites as this can give hackers a foothold through one account to access several sites.
Regular malware scans of your website can help ensure that sensitive data is protected. It can also improve your website’s SEO. Although manually scanning every page of a site can be tedious and time-consuming, user-friendly vulnerability scanners like Sucuri and Probely make automating the process simple and effective.
These scanners monitor all incoming content for malicious traffic and delete infected files, ensuring an overall improvement in user experience and security when browsing your website. Additionally, regular scans keep cybercriminals from copying your data or stealing confidential information.
Encrypting sensitive information stored on your servers is an effective way of protecting your website data—not only from outside attacks but also from being improperly accessed by internal personnel. Without encryption, a variety of different types of hacking and malicious activities would be easy to perform. What is more, encrypting your sensitive website data can greatly improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when it comes to ranking in SERPs.
As the algorithms used by search engines continue to improve, it becomes more essential than ever that websites take measures that ensure their online content is secure and trustworthy. Encryption is one way you can stay ahead of the curve to ensure your business’s information stays safe and grows its audience.
It is clear that website security plays an important role in SEO performance. Having a secure website can help you achieve higher rankings in SERPs as well as boost CTRs which can lead to increased sales conversions over time.
Taking steps such as updating software regularly, setting up firewalls, using strong passwords, disabling unused plugins/services, and encrypting sensitive information stored on your server can help improve the safety of your website while also helping you achieve better rankings in SERPs over time.
So make sure you take the necessary measures now before it’s too late.
Jon Crain has written hundreds of website design and marketing article blog posts.
He is the sole owner of Pittsburgh SEO Services LLC which is a small business in Pittsburgh PA that specializes in affordable wordpress websites and digital marketing campaigns. Jon Crain has a marketing degree specializing in digital marketing and holds multiple internet marketing certifications. Jon Crain has over 25 years of experience along with managing hundreds of website projects and marketing campaigns. He also has won a variety of awards over the years from Tribune Review, Post Gazette and other publications.