There are a lot of great benefits to conducting business online. But one factor that adversely affects the online experience is fraud and deceit. It is all too easy for someone to create a website offering a product or service that isn’t legitimate or is deceitful. That is where trust badges a site can help.
Studies show that users are more likely to make a purchase or make contact through a website when it conveys trust and authority. These trust badges give the site a more authentic look, provides assurance that an outside party has verified the worthiness of the content displayed, and can significantly improve conversion rates. Shoppers are more likely to make a purchase of a product of service if they feel comfortable about the company’s reputation.
Posting customer feedback is one of the most effective ways of spreading the word about excellent service, prices, and support. What is often overlooked by businesses is how important these seals of approval are.
Much like a trust badge issued for the purpose of approval of a company’s privacy and security policies, a positive customer testimonial tells the public that the business delivers what it promises and can be trusted. People want to hear other’s stories about their experience before they jump in.
Business’ need to ensure the feedback is genuine and is not merely phony text authored by the business itself. Depending on your type of business, case studies can take testimonials to another level and can really help trust, confidence, and awareness. For more information, see our recent post on testimonials.
Social networks are quickly becoming the New Age word of mouth. Individuals can spread the word more quickly than a business can alone. An exciting product, reduced price, or exceptional customer service is something that social network members love to talk about. Building quality customer relationships is an important factor in online marketing success.
Linking the site to their social network profiles has become essential on the Web today. If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, or LinkedIn and don’t have your social badges on your site, customers will wonder how real your company is. Search engines also use the amount of signals these networks have, as part of their search rankings, something that every business should be aware of.
If a company advertises online, on the radio, or on TV, organizations are willing to look at the business structure and give a seal of approval if the content is shown to be truthful. A website with a trust badge indicating exposure in the media is better positioned when it comes to attracting additional customers. Nearly everyone who notices the “As Seen On TV” logo will assume that the product or service is worthy of consideration.
An even better media seal is one that is organically produced. For example, a write up in Forbes magazine on a company can bring a lot of exposure, awareness, and a nice “As Seen On” badge.
Long ago, businesses depended on the seal of approval from certain organizations in order to draw attention and expand their customer base. The Good Housekeeping seal on a product or the once-familiar Duncan Hines logo on restaurant menus spoke volumes. Today, businesses should not forget about the trust badges issued by industry organizations that analyze a company’s fitness.
These are not watchdog organizations. Rather, they are entities that make their own mark by favoring certain businesses within a particular business segment. Applying for approval by a professional association is often worth the time and effort.
The Better Business Bureau
There are other paid trust badges, which may include the BBB, Angie’s List, the Chamber of Commerce, or other organizations. This BBB oversees the business practices in a region and keeps statistics on complaints, lawsuits, and code violations.
Becoming a member of the Better Business Bureau tells the public that they are operation an above-the-board company. This trust badge should be clearly shown on the website and is a powerful stamp of approval a business can use as a marketing tool.
If you have an ecommerce site, there are additional badges that you may want to consider such as TrustE and Comodo. Their is a whole industry that has sprung up around trust badges. However, once a company has become a household name, they may no longer need to display trust badges as their brand can speak for itself.
A large, established company such as Amazon.com doesn’t really need to emphasize trust badges as they are a well-known brand. Their name and logo alone are a symbol of trust and confidence. Or you can just great creative like Zazzle.com, and put a cute little smiley face up at the top of your website and when clicked, have it make a pledge saying “100% satisfaction. If you don’t like, we’ll take it back. Period”.
Trust and confidence is an issue not overlooked by Google or other search engines. For examples, user reviews can help boost a business’ local search engine rankings.