Trust is a funny thing. It can build relationships, convert a browser into a buyer, add credibility to your organization. Trust can help you succeed but lack of trust can be your downfall.

While trust symbols are critical for e-commerce sites, service industries use trust symbols to improve their conversion as well (sign-up for our free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter to learn more about tips to improve your conversion). See also Five Ways to Improve Web Conversion.

Website Appearance

While not a ‘trust symbol’ per se, the design of your website is a key factor. In one or two seconds, new visitors to your site decide if they are going to stick around. Nothing says untrustworthy more than an unprofessional site that doesn’t allow them to quickly determine who you are, what you do, and how to find what they need. Simple things like a well-designed ‘contact me page’ can impact conversion.

So now that you have a great design and an easy to navigate website with proper conversion tracking tools in place, let’s look at those little symbols that we love to see.

What is a trust symbol?

Simply put — a recognized sign or badge that adds credibility to your business. These do not need to be included on every page of your site (unless it makes sense). Think about what is meaningful to your customer and add symbols sparingly. Throwing symbols all over your site just make you look like…well…you can’t be trusted!

Top five symbols to consider:

  1. Security — On an e-commerce site, people NEED to feel comfortable their information can’t be hacked and compromised. There are many online security providers in the industry that you can apply for and get a badge if you qualify. Some of the leaders are Verisign, Truste, and McAfee Secure. Even more important than showing these symbols on your site is acutally using these tools to protect your customers and protect your data from intruders.
  2. Business – Some people might group ‘Business’ with ‘Security’ symbols but I think they are different. A Business Symbol tells people that an outside party has accredited you or you support local business councils. Either way, it helps show that you are legit. The most common is the Better Business Bureau which is a paid service. Logos from a local Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Board (if you’re in a relevant industry) might resonate with your customer. Ask yourself: “in my industry, what’s the leading business organization that matters?”
  3. Awards – Has your company won an award? Don’t hide it, let it be known. This can show visitors that you are deserving and some even think you’re exemplary. An award badge is especially relevant to service industries such as marketing agencies or local services. Remove outdated awards as they take up valuable space and even may go as far as saying you haven’t done anything award-winning for years!
  4. Testimonials – Often for small businesses, positive customer reviews are helpful. Make sure they are legit and you have permission to post them on your site. Pull out just a small snippet with key words, don’t ramble on with long sentences no one will read. Remember to replace these frequently for site doesn’t seem stale.
  5. Client Logos – Do you represent other companies that people would know? These don’t have to be huge corporations but for a local small businesses, it can show other businesses in your area that you have worked with or buy your products. Just like testimonials, be sure to ask local business owners first if it’s okay to use them.

The right trust symbols can help keep visitors on your site and improve conversion during checkout. Use them wisely by thinking about what’s important to your customers and the area of business you’re in. Place them effectively on your well-designed site and you’re on your way to success!

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