Trust is a big deal, especially with professionals. And trust doesn’t just have to deal with integrity: it’s also about your competence and transparency.
As it turns out, trust is not something that’s exclusively in the domain of live interaction. Websites that feature trust badges perform at much higher rates, upwards of 70%, from the perspective of leads and business created.
A trust badge, also known as a trust seal, is essentially an endorsement from a third-party. They can be from a recognizable source, i.e. the Good Housekeeping seal, or they can be from a lesser known entity, as is the case with a testimonial from a client.
Look, it’s a highly competitive world out there online. Everybody’s going to claim something. If you can substantiate those claims, you’re in better shape than your competitors.
Websites that communicate trust with a seal or badge earn much higher conversions than those that don’t. Visual Website Optimizer, a company that specializes in A/B testing websites, reported a 72% increase in conversions when a trust badge was featured on the header of a landing page. Another study showed a 32% increase.
What Kind of Trust Badges Should I Use?
Are you part of any groups or organizations that have a logo? A bar association or medical association perhaps? If you’re a member of a group that has an official or recognizable symbol, definitely get ahold of one.
Have you won any awards? Typically, award recipients are given web badges, such as SuperLawyers or a Martindale Hubbel A/V rating.
(By the way, if you haven’t won any awards, there’s plenty of organizations that will give you an award without much skill involved. One is the Apex awards for writing in various disciplines. Pay those guys a $90 entrance fee and most likely, you too can be an award-winning writer!)
Do you accept credit cards online? Even Visa and MasterCard logos project confidence.
Are you part of a civic or community service group like a Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, or Rotary International? Throw it up there. People like knowing their professionals are part of a community organization and care about what’s going on in the area.
Do you have happy clients? Their nice words about you amount to a form of trust. Get a juicy, pithy quote from some of them and place them around your site.
Is your site scanned with nightly security software? Norton and McAfee issue badges declaring your site nice and safe from intruders and are timestamped with the date of the last scan. We feature this on the Rocket Matter online legal software home page.
How do I Get a Trust Badge?
In the case of awards, usually you will be given the badge by the award-governing body. Otherwise, it might be a bit more difficult. You may need to request a copy of a logo from your organization, or download it from their website.
When we build websites, we use a professional graphic designer to fire up Photoshop and adapt a logo so that it matches the site. An example of this can be seen with our trust badge work for the Shavitz Law website. In our humble opinion, SuperLawyers make an ass-ugly badge so we had to adapt it.
If you don’t work with a graphic designer, check out Elance and pick a highly rated one out from the masses. A trust badge is a small order. You shouldn’t have to pay too much money, and considering the quality of the artwork supplied by most organizations, a little graphic design money goes a long way.
Where Should I Put Trust Badges on My Site?
Definitely let your trust badges flaunt their stuff. They should appear on your home page, but shouldn’t interfere with any calls to action or key navigational elements.
You might want to consider placing your trust badges in your headers or footers, which allows them to appear on every page. However, if you don’t include them tastefully, you risk your site looking like a NASCAR vehicle.