5 ways website security affects SEO

Did you know that as many as 82% of consumers would leave a website if it wasn’t secure?

No amount of keyword research and killer content can make up for that amount of lost traffic. While most businesses believe their website to be secure, have you really given much thought to how you are protecting your customers’ personal information and data? If not, then now is the time to start.

Still not convinced that website security is crucial to SEO?

Keep reading to discover five ways that website security affects SEO. Plus, learn top tips on how you can make your site more secure.

1. SEO spam

Have you heard of SEO spam? This is when hackers introduce spam content to your site for malicious purposes. This could be whole pages of spam content or links to sites that you don’t want your brand to be associated with.

SEO spam can have a seriously detrimental impact on your SEO efforts as well as the level of trust in your brand. This type of spam is thought to affect an estimated 62% of websites and can lead to your site being blacklisted by Google.

2. Crawling error hacks

One of the most common error codes – Error 404 Content Not Found occurs when content that was at a specified URL no longer exists. While Google does typically penalize websites for this, if you are hacked and you have a lot of missing content on your website, your rankings will be affected.

It is also worth remembering that fixing multiple errors codes takes time, which will cost your business even more.

3. Data theft

Arguably the biggest concern for most businesses, if your website security is not up to scratch, you are much more at risk of data theft. If this does occur, all your hard-earned website traffic could disappear overnight as users lose trust in your business.

4. High bounce rate

If your bounce rate is high, this could be because users do not feel secure using your site. For example, if you do not have HTTPS in your URL, users will get direct notifications telling them that your site isn’t secure.

This will almost always result in users leaving your site and probably never returning. If you are already struggling with a high bounce rate, you might want to think about using SEO consulting services to help restore your rankings.

5. Negative reviews

When a user has a bad experience on a website, such as they felt their data was not secure, not only will they stop using a site, but they are also likely to leave negative reviews about them. In terms of SEO, negative reviews on Google and other popular review sites can decimate your organic traffic and leave you struggling to feature highly on SERPs.

How to improve website security for SEO

To conclude, take on board these top tips for the most success:

  • Install an SSL certificate
  • Moderate content spam
  • Regularly scan your site for malware
  • Cache website data with a CDN (content delivery network)
  • Install security plug-ins
  • Use very strong passwords

However, always remember, you can reach out to professionals to help you accomplish all this and more.