One of the biggest challenges of online business is building credibility. This is particularly the case when it comes to corporate websites and web stores. If your website makes a good first impression and conveys trust, then you have already won half the battle. The other half depends on your product/service quality.
When it comes to online business, there are a few things that build credibility and convey safety to your visitors. It’s obvious that one of them is your website look and performance in general: load time, color scheme, images (high-resolution unique photographs vs free stock images etc.), content layout, navigation, calls-to-action etc. Another thing that has a psychological effect is the use of trust seals. Admit it, you feel safer when you make a financial transaction via a website furnishing some trust seals on their homepage and/or during checkout.
While not having a trust seal on your website doesn’t necessarily mean your site is dangerous, it definitely conveys less trust than your competitor who shows off a whole smorgasbord of seals. These underrated visual symbols do make a big difference when it comes to reducing cart abandonment, so here are some suggestions regarding the use of seals on your website.
Trust seals are third-party endorsements that acknowledge three main aspects of a company’s credibility. These are privacy, business identity and security. Let’s take a look at the seals displayed on the Pricing page of Webydo, the professional online website design platform for creative professionals. There are two ‘native’ seals and one third-party visual sign, namely TRUSTe. This sign indicates that the website complies with the site’s own privacy statement and TRUSTe’s program requirements.
Interestingly, most users don’t even know the difference between these badge types, just a few will check their meaning. Therefore, most badges work as a safety placebo, so you may easily create your own seal (money back guarantee, free trial etc.) and add it to the footer. However, it never hurts to have a third-party seal in your arsenal, too. According to the Baymard Institute’s survey analyzing which seals give customers the best sense of trust, ‘Norton Secured’ was the clear winner (36% of votes); McAfee got 23%, while the TRUSTe and BBB seals shared the third place with 13.2%.
The best way to find out if the chosen seal works for your business is to research, implement, assess and repeat if necessary. Luckily, some seals, like Verisign offer free trials for you to see whether or not it’s worth your investment. Therefore, you should watch your analytics very attentively. Compare your previous numbers with post installation data to track progress. Do some math. It’s important to realize that website conversions and traffic could be influenced by any other changes (redesign, adverts etc.).
Do I Need This?
Trust seals are an expensive pleasure (some seals can cost around $1,500 per year), so it makes sense to research other companies’ results. It’s noteworthy that high cost makes placing trust seals on small business websites literally purposeless – the investment won’t be paid off even if all your site visitors become your loyal customers. As a rule, trust seals work for medium- and large-scale businesses only. Moreover, if your corporate website doesn’t radiate trust on its own, through content, navigation and design, then a seal might not play a great role.