If your website doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, Google could be warning current and potential tenants away from your self-storage website.

Although nothing new, SSLs are becoming an increasingly vital component of representing your business online. On August 6th, 2014 Google officially confirmed that websites with an SSL Certificate (shown with a https:// prefix in the address bar) would have an added advantage when it comes to ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Having an SSL is not only the key to obtaining necessary information to convert website visitors to paying tenants, but it can also make or break your facilities SEO strategy.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL.com defines SSL as:

“SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.”

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer,” and it creates an additional level of encryption to protect the information visitors choose to share with your website. Websites protected with an SSL are represented with a padlock icon displayed next to their URL in the address bar (see example below).

You’ve likely seen it when browsing any online retailer or credible news outlet, booking a flight, checking a sports score, or performing any other myriad of online activities. The padlock means that any information of any nature a user chooses to share with that website will be protected.

How SSL Affects SEO

Google Chrome is actively creating awareness about internet security by explicitly shaming and diverting traffic from unencrypted websites. When potential tenants land on your homepage intending to rent or reserve a unit at your storage facility they may be greeted with a warning like the one below, and choose to exit within seconds of landing on it.

Google tracks this behavior, and if they notice too many visitors quitting your website so soon after landing on it, Google will ultimately demote your website in the SERPs.

With over 2 billion Google Chrome users as of 2016, having an unsecured website can be a detrimental mistake.

How QuikStor Can Help

Improving user experience by offering a secure space for current or potential tenants to pay rent or reserve a unit online can pay back dividends.

Having an SSL Certificate as part of a proven and skillfully implemented SEO strategy can be a powerful tool that propels your facilities website higher and higher in search results. However, you could be paying over $600 per year (source) for your Certificate. With QuikStor websites, all SSLs are FREE.

Contact a QuikStor Consultant to learn more about our website and SEO services.