Trust Seals Collection and How to Use Them to Increase Conversion Rates


trust-seals-collection-increase-conversion-ratesTrust seals is the coined term used to refer to the images (see collection at the bottom of the article)  websites use to address Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUDs) and move visitors forward in the conversion funnel.

Seals can be categorized into privacy seals, business validity seals, PCI compliancy seals, hacker safe seals and others. It may be useful to know that there are seals which are applicable only to certain industries (like the Pharmacy Checker for online pharmacies) and seals which can be used on most of the websites (business verification seals).

Smart online marketers use these seals transfer trust from a well-know company (i.e. Verisign) to their visitors and to make them feel comfortable about their privacy, confidentiality or other concerns they could have while visiting the site. Generally speaking, using them can  increase the conversion rate of a website, but that’s not a rule.

Do they really have an effect on conversion rate? Yes, they do, but each seal will perform differently, simply because each audience is different for each site. While I do recommend displaying seals, I advocate testing. If used correctly the impact on conversion rate should be either positive or neutral. If improperly used (clicking is not working, fake seal, etc) your conversion rate could suffer.

Having 20 trust seals on each page of your website will hurt. Having none, may hurt also. For site wide use, you should display 2 or 3 of them, which are important and recognized by  your audience. However, if you’re would like flex you muscles with 10 or more (which I don’t advise), I would recommend creating a dedicated page on your site, where you can lay all of them.

Here are some ideas when it comes to using and testing trust seals:

  • start testing with 2 or 3 seals: one wide known (i.e. McAfee) and your industry-specific seals
  • always display the seal above the fold; if your copy is way longer, repeat it near your call to actions
  • test fix-positioned seals (i.e. comodo, remains in the same position at scroll) against layout integrated seals
  • some seals should be displayed site-wide (on all pages) while other should be place in sensitive places (i.e. checkout)
  • keep the seal in the same spot for the whole website (an exception can be the checkout pages, where you may have a different layout that the rest of the site)

Additionally:

  • a good place to test seals is near the logo (top left) or on the top right corner of the site
  • test the logo near the main Call to-Action button
  • display seals in the checkout process
  • at click on the seal, open the merchant site in a new window

The above are only some ideas, but you I am sure that you can think of your own tests. One thing in particular (never tested by us thou) is to test the effectiveness of a no-spam seal in email blasts :)

Here’s the collection listed in alphabetical order – click seals to enlarge – (back to top):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I missed some, let me know. Enjoy testing!

Pitstop Media offers ROI based internet marketing services such as landing page testing services and conversion rate optimization services. Our A/B and multivariate tests have helped companies increase conversion rates by as much as 75%. Let us increase your conversion rates, too!

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About 

Traian is Founder and Director of Search Marketing at Pitstop Media Inc. He has more than 11 years experience in helping small and medium businesses generate and convert organic traffic from search engines. Connect with Traian on Google+

 

11 Responses to “Trust Seals Collection and How to Use Them to Increase Conversion Rates”

  1. Trust Seals said:

    Feb 03, 10 at 8:56 pm

    Great post. Trust seals are third-party resources that help establish credibility for your site. They work to quickly and effectively communicate trust.

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  2. Laddy said:

    Apr 02, 10 at 10:47 am

    FreeTrustSeal.com offers FREE trust seals.

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  3. traiann said:

    Jul 27, 10 at 9:20 am

    thanks Mark. if you have any tests to share, feel free to contact me and I’ll post it on this blog too.

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  4. Mark said:

    Jul 27, 10 at 8:46 am

    Solid overview – we recently posted an article outlining a couple of additional specific ideas about how placement can impact the value / takeaway that you get out of the trust symbols:

    http://conversionvoodoo.com/blog/2010/07/proper-placement-of-trust-logos-can-make-a-huge-difference-in-conversion-rate/

    Keep up the good work – appreciate the ideas!

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  5. Carlos said:

    Dec 16, 10 at 6:08 pm

    Good article. Will it work?

    While biased (I work for VeriSign Auth group now Symantec) I always recommend for people to test it and see for themselves. 60-day free, no risk, no commitment trial for VeriSign Trust Seal. http://www.verisign.com/trust-seal/index.html.

    And when you consider which one to try, ask yourself, which one will your customers recognize? VeriSign is recognized by 9/10 consumers.

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  6. Rob Leslie said:

    Feb 28, 11 at 7:29 am

    Globalsign has recently issued a new form of trust seal called a Website Passport. It collects a variety of information on the website and the company that owns it and displays it in a very user friendly graphical form – a passport. The information is from a diverse range of sources and helps the user form a view as to whether the site is likely to be genuine or not.

    Please check it out on http://www.globalsignpassport.com. It’s the little fingerprint at the bottom of the page

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  7. TraiaN said:

    Feb 28, 11 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Rob. Interesting ideas. How is it working for your clients?

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  8. Website Security said:

    Jun 08, 11 at 4:13 pm

    Great post, and I will attest from experience that the seals do help improve conversion rates. I would also note that you left off SiteLock from you list of badges, and the badge is currently securing more than 300k sites.

    Additionally each one of the companies that provides the badge has different services around securing the site. So you should look around for a good scanning product as well as one that can help you fix any issues that the scan finds when choose the right badge for your site.

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  9. Laddy said:

    Sep 08, 11 at 10:22 pm

    http://freetrustseal.com offers FREE Trust Seals

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  10. Tyron said:

    May 01, 13 at 11:53 am

    @Traian Neacsu, can you tell us from your experience, which trust seal is hands down the best or most recognized. I know a lot of companies have made gestures saying “hey pick me” But Im no expert.

    Any advice would be recommended. I would love if you made a top 10 trust signals, however I doubt you have the time to test each provider in split a/b testing :)

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  11. Traian Neacsu said:

    May 03, 13 at 8:26 pm

    Tyron, from what I know Norton’s seal is leading by quite a large margin. This article is what you’re looking for: http://baymard.com/blog/site-seal-trust.
    However, I would rather recommended testing different ones (most of them will allow a trial period) and choose the one which works best with your audience.

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