Most website owners tend to focus on common ranking factors such as keywords, link building, meta content, etc.… without doing what the SERPs want them to. Although these common ranking factors aren’t entirely futile, there is something else that needs more attention — your website’s security.
While the content and its relevance are important, there are other security-related factors that search engines consider while making recommendations for each search. After all, over a billion dollars are lost each year due to security breaches, which clearly highlights the increase in cybercrimes. Therefore, in their quest to deliver exceptional user experience, SERPs rank websites that are safer far ahead of the rest. Let us now discuss some ways in which you can enhance your website’s security and rank better in the search results.
Hosting, Security, and SEO
Even as you are starting off, your web hosting plan can deeply impact the overall security of your website. You may have come across several free hosting or shared hosting options out there which may cost anywhere between nothing to a few dollars. However, you get what you pay for and if you knew about the risks that come with such web hosting plans, you’d never opt for it. That’s because it’s like putting in all your efforts but in the wrong direction.
Basically, a shared web hosting plan means that you share a server with other websites that are randomly chosen by your web hosting company. So, you never know if a deceitful website is hosted on the same server as yours. If that happens, then the SERPs would blacklist the IP and that’s the one you share with the rest. As a result, your online reputation is deeply affected due to no fault of yours and may even cause your website to be blacklisted. That eliminates all the chances of your website ranking in the search results. So, in order to rank better, you need to consider hiring a dedicated server to host your website or at least a VPS web hosting.
Purchase SSL Certificate — Remember to Pick the Right one
Your website is much more secure when it runs on the HTTPS protocol, which is also considered to be a ranking factor by Google. Basically, when you purchase SSL certificate, your website is certified by a reliable Certificate Authority and runs on the HTTPS protocol. The HTTPS protocol makes the website more secure for the reader because it encrypts the data exchanged between the client and the server.
However, there is more that an SSL certificate can do for your business, such as increase your website’s online reputation. By purchasing an SSL certificate type that confirms the legitimacy and existence of your business, you can send out the right signals to your users. So, if you run a business, you need to invest in an Extended Validation SSL certificate or Organization Validated SSL certificate based on the size and volume of your business.
Loss of Data and Online Reputation due to Malware Attacks
You need to have a website in order to do its SEO, and by that, we are referring to those cyberattacks that may lead to partial or even absolute loss of control over your website. So, you need to devise and implement security measures that limit these breaches.
To begin with, the most common type of attack is Brute force, which involves cracking a password with a sophisticated program. It is surprising how may websites fall victim to this type of attack, despite how easy it is to prevent it. By setting strong password rules for yourself and your users, you can make it extremely difficult for hackers to crack the password. Another common mistake that most WordPress users make is to leave the username as ‘Admin’. Although that’s the one provided by default, it can easily be changed to something else.
You also need to keep your website safe from malware and you can do this by installing CMS updates, web application firewalls, regular scanning, and backups. Unless you implement these cybersecurity measures, you could very well lose control over your website, which would result in a decline in your online reputation and eventually hurt your search engine rankings.
Keep a Tab on Harmful Backlinks
Backlinks can be both good and bad for your website, depending on its source. Basically, external links tell the search engines that your website is being talked about and mentioned as a reference on other sites. So, if reputable sites with a high domain authority link back to your site, then you benefit from the backlink. While backlinks from sites with high domain authority can indeed boost your rankings, there are also those spammy ones that can lead to a Google Penguin Penalty.
That’s because the spammy backlinks indicate that you don’t really have quality content and your site may be ranked much lower. To prevent this, make sure to get backlinks from handpicked websites. For example, if you are a startup offering AI services, then consider websites like forbes.com and entrepreneur.com. For more suggestions on quality backlinks, you can make use of tools like UberSuggest to find the backlinking sources of your competitors.
Google, the world’s leading search engine ranks a website based on over two hundred ranking factors. Nonetheless, the factors determining the security level of a website outweigh the rest and can greatly boost your website’s SEO rankings. After all, SERPs are all about delivering excellent user experience and thus, what can be more important than the user’s security.
Besides all, make sure to purchase SSL certificate that is appropriate for your business and invest in other security measures. Always bear in mind that as a Website Owner, you are responsible for the user data that you collect from your Users. Plus, if you can also rank better while doing what you are obligated to do, then it is indeed two for the price of one.