What does SSL mean? What is an SSL? Do I need one for my child care center website? How do SSL certificate installations work? When it comes to the ins and outs of building your daycare’s reputation on the internet, there are so many moving pieces. This month, we are introducing one that has been around for a few years but has become more important than ever: SSL.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it encrypts your data as you visit a website. Hackers and thieves want to intercept communications between your computer and the hosting server of the website you visit to capture important data about you. SSL protects your personal information, like phone numbers, addresses, names, and most importantly, credit card information. This is especially important if you are asking parents to share sensitive information with you through your website.
Learning More About SSL
How do you know a website is encrypting your data as you browse the web? When you look at the URL of a website like www.google.com, look just to the left of that. Do you see HTTP or HTTPS? That “S” lets you know the site is secure. Some SSL certificate providers will even let you know a site is secure by adding a little green box that says “Secure” or a picture of a lock to the left of the URL. These examples let you know that your connection to the site is secure.
SSL Certificate Providers
SSL certificate providers are web service company that are certificate issuing authorities. You can also purchase SSL certificates from web hosting companies like GoDaddy. Some of the most popular SSL certificate providers are Comodo, GeoTrust, and VeriSign. Different SSL certificate providers offer packages up to 3 years with warranties and free unlimited reissues for the lifetime of the certificate. SSL certificate providers also offer different ways to verify your site is secure, from the green box to a lock, etc.
#1: Secure Web Visitors’ Data
There are more online threats of identity theft and credit card fraud than ever before. When sites use encryption to protect your information, your chances of being a victim of identity theft decrease. The most important reason behind getting an SSL certificate is safety and security.
#2: SSL is Becoming a Requirement for Some Sites
It turns out that SSL is required for compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. Does your website have any sort of e-commerce aspect? Do you sell anything on your website? If there is a chance a website visitor would enter credit card information on your website, the security standards are stricter in order to protect financial information and prevent fraud. The extra need for security means that your website is subject to audits to make sure you comply with the PCI standards. One of these standards is having an SSL certificate. While this requirement is only necessary for e-commerce websites, SSL on your site shows you are trustworthy.
#3: Build Trust
SSL certificates provide authentication of your site. If your site is secured through SSL, you indicate to your website visitors that you are who you say you are. A secure site also gives the sign to visitors that your content has not been compromised in any way. An SSL certificate authenticates your child care center’s website.
#4: Don’t Scare Parents Off
Google has started to label sites without SSL as “not secure.” If your site does not have an SSL certificate, browsers like Google Chrome can tell your website visitors not to type in any personal information while on your site. Imagine the first impression you get of a company is a trusted authority telling you, “This isn’t safe.” That can give parents the willies!
If parents don’t even feel safe visiting your website, what are the chances they will feel safe leaving their young children in your care?
#5: SSL Gives You an SEO Boost
In 2014, Google told the internet world that the algorithm would use HTTPS as a ranking signal for websites. As Google experts have been improving the user experience, they have also wanted to make that experience more safe and secure. On the Official Google Webmaster Blog, Webmaster Trends Analysts explained, “A big part of [making the internet safer] is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure.”
Google does not always announce updates anymore; instead the experts at HQ continue to refine the algorithm to make sure people searching online find quality, user-friendly content. Taking the step to secure your website and get an SSL certificate may not boost your website from page three of results to the first result of the top page, but it can improve your search engine rankings. If other child care centers in your area are investing in SEO and online marketing, every little effort can help you beat out the competition.
Your Child Care Website
At Local Child Care Marketing, our team can make sure your website helps parents learn about your child care center and trust you as a child care center owner. Local Child Care Marketing can help you develop or revamp your child care center website to be user friendly on different browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. We ensure that your website is also mobile friendly and optimized to improve your rankings on various search engines.
With over 7 years of experience, Local Child Care Marketing has worked with over 75 child care providers across the nation. We offer a wide array of online marketing services to help you get your preschool noticed by parents. From Website Development and SEO to Reputation Management and Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Local Child Care Marketing serves as your ally in building your child care center’s online reputation.
Over 80% of parents look online for child care centers, and roughly 72% of them trust online reviews. What are people saying about your child care center on the web? Contact us today to learn more about what you can be doing online to gain parents’ trust and increase enrollment!