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We've rounded up a few more questions for our Ask Volusion Series! Reach out to us with any questions you may have, whether it’s about design or SEO, support or shopping feeds. We’re here for you, and would love to hear what’s on your mind. For today’s questions, we tackle a common concern with generating traffic, and also talk a little about different kinds of SSL certificates. You can view part one of our series here. Keep the questions coming!

Question: What is the best, cheap way to generate traffic to a new site?

Perhaps this answer should come with a disclaimer. Search online for the answer to this question and you will be presented with cheap ways to generate traffic that are absolutely not recommended. There will be “too good to be true” offers, referral options that will cause more harm than good to your online reputation, and options that range from unethical to illegal. These may seem tempting when you’re launching a new site; however, for a long-term legitimate business strategy, search engine marketing is the most straightforward approach for generating high-quality traffic.

When someone searches for a product or service online, they are presented with the search engine results page, which is made up of PPC Ads, Shopping Feeds and organic results. As a new site, SEO (which attracts organic traffic) is an extremely important, long-term strategy toward the success of your site. Although SEO is not likely to result in high organic rankings immediately, it is still an important part of any new site’s marketing efforts.

For more immediate results, the best way to reach the people who are looking for exactly what you’re selling is through advertising. PPC ads allow you to target keywords and craft exactly what you want to say about your products. Through PPC, you can tell your customers why they should buy from you, and then send them directly to the page that suits their needs. Shopping Feeds display ads based on connecting search queries to your product titles, descriptions, and page content. This gives potential customers the closest thing to a showroom experience that the internet offers. Both PPC and Shopping Feeds operate on a budget, and you only pay when someone clicks the ads.

Ideally, you should include both advertising and SEO in your new site’s marketing strategy for long-term success.

Question: What is the green bar in my browser after installing a Volusion SSL for my store?

An SSL is a digital certificate that encrypts the data that will pass a customer and your store's checkout pages so your customer's data can not be obtained and used maliciously. The green bar in your browser is awarded for EV certificates, but is actually not included with domain validated SSLs. The approval process for EV certificates will include verifying your domain name, combing through your business and tax filings, and may even require a phone interview between yourself and the issuing company. Choosing the best SSL security certificate option for your store, whether a new certificate or a renewal, is one of the most important decisions you will make. We understand this can be a bit overwhelming and confusing, but here are some basics in regards to the different levels for SSLs:

Domain Validation or DV SSL certificates (eg Volusion SSLs, RapidSSL, GeoTrust QuickSSL, and Thawte SSL123) are issued the fastest, but do not supply ownership information. Instead, that information populates with a question mark in Internet Explorer and “(unknown)” in Mozilla Firefox.

Organization Validation or OV certificates (eg VeriSign Secure Site, GeoTrust True BusinessID, Thawte SSL Web Server) are the next step up. These certificates supply ownership information, but do not supply the green address bar indicator to establish more confidence among site visitors.

Extended Validation SSL or EV SSL Certificates (eg VeriSign Secure Site with EV, GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV, Thawte EV SSL) are the highest quality and most effective option. These certificates supply the green address bar which, according to VeriSign studies, increases sales by an average of 20%. Keep in mind, though: it can take up to 30 days for an EV certificate to be issued due to a more extensive and in-depth process since this is the highest level of security. Also, the issuers of EV certificates will contact the business owner directly – Volusion is not able to prove business ownership.

You may purchase a certificate through any provider and here at Volusion, we will be more than happy to install it for you; however, there is a standard fee of $99.00 (£75.00 if you pay in GBP) to import any third-party SSL certificate (note: that we do not support for multi-domain or "wild card" certificates).

Alternatively, you can purchase an SSL certificate through Volusion’s website for no additional installation fee here.

That's all for today! Be sure to keep the questions coming; we're here to help! You can also check out our knowledge base for answers to a myriad of topics.