By Heather Hiltzik

Have you ever heard of a little thing called cyberattackers? Those little stinkers become smarter by the second, and it’s now more important than ever before to ensure your website security is top-notch.  

Over the past few years, cyberattacks have soared—whether you’re a small organization or a large-scale enterprise like eBay, no one seems to be safe. But the risks of website security go beyond data breaches, it also affects your search engine optimization (SEO). 

HTTPS Isn’t Just a “Nice-to-Have”

Have you ever noticed that some websites begin with “https://” and others begin with “http://”? So what’s the difference, and why is that one letter so important?

That one letter can be the difference between a data breach and smooth sailing. “https://”, otherwise known as an SSL certificate, quite literally means that the website you are surfing is encrypted and secure. Nothing says “run for the hills” quite like a warning message from your browser when you land on a website. 

Download 12 SEO Mistakes to Avoid When Redesigning Your Website

Website Updates Shouldn’t Go on the Backburner

You’ve learned about SSL certificates. Now comes the question, “Why is website security important for SEO?”

According to Google Search Central, although the primary purpose of an SSL certificate is to store information, it also benefits SEO. When crawlers scan your website, they have begun to rank websites with SSL certificates higher than those without. 

Not all bots are created equal! Some bots, such as Google bots, are there to scan through content and tell a user if the article showing up on search engine result pages (SERPs) matches their search keyword. Other bots, such as malicious bots, are designed to come in and destroy your site. Keeping your network safe 24/7 isn’t unattainable, you just need to ensure you have the proper software in place to protect you from attacks. 


A Foolproof Way to See Where You Stand

There are numerous tools on the internet to test out your website security and your SEO. Some of our favorite tools to use here at SmartBug are one’s you may recognize. And, If you don’t, it’s time to get familiar with them! They’ll be insanely helpful in the long run. 


SEMrush

For those of you who have used it, what’s not to love about SEMrush? For those of you that haven’t, give it a try, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed. This incredible tool allows you to run an entire site audit, discover traffic analysis, research organic and paid keywords, see where you stand among your competition and so much more. Knowing all of the insights this tool provides puts you one step closer to success.

 


HubSpot’s Website Grader Tool

When it comes to having an overall understanding of how your website performs, HubSpot’s free website grader tool checks all of the boxes. 

Not only is it straightforward and easy to use, it also explains each of the factors it dives into and gives you quick adjustments on what to fix. One thing to note, though: This free tool only evaluates the homepage of your website. 



We could go on for days about website security, and don’t even get us started about SEO. If you’re interested in learning more, set up a meeting with our team to see how you can perfect your marketing strategy and grow your business. 

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Heather Hiltzik

About the author

Heather Hiltzik is a Marketing Strategist based in Charlotte, NC. After spending 20 years flipping on a 4-inch object, she quickly transitioned her passion to marketing. Having worked with B2B and B2C clients, she is dedicated to optimizing digital campaigns. In her spare time, she loves to travel, work out, and spend time with her husband and rescue pups. Read more articles by Heather Hiltzik.

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