Using trust seals can help increase your website conversion rates. However, not all seals are created equally. In about one minute, anyone can look at a site and identify which seals to remove, which ones to keep, and how to best display them.
About the Play
This play will help you learn which trust seals you should be using, which seals to avoid, and how how to leverage them for maximum impact. This tactic first appeared in our eCommerce Marketing Playbook, which you can download for free.
Who’s It For?
This play is for small to mid-sized brands that would benefit from added trust. Note: Our testing indicates that large brands with household names to not benefit very much from trust symbols like the seals discussed here.
When to Use It:
To be used when redesigning your website, or when trying to increase conversion rates on an existing website.
How to Execute Seal the Deal
There are three types of seals, and not all of them perform equally. The first set of seals have been found to actually decrease conversion rates. The second set of seals have been found to be neutral, and the third set of seals have been found to increase conversion rates.
After extensive testing across many eCommerce sites, we’ve learned that BBB, Norton, and McAfee are the trust seals most likely to increase conversion. Seals like GeoTrust are neutral, while others like Authorize.net tend to be Distrust Factors that lower conversion rates.
Some trust seals have consistently tested neutral, including:
- GeoTrust (especially when International seals are involved)
- Verisign (old and should be updated to Norton Seal)
- Norton Shopping Guarantee
Key Play Note: There are two main types of Trust Seals.
- Security Related Seals (e.g., Norton) — Some are Distrust seals.
- Customer Service (e.g., BBB) — Rarely negative, but rather offer good opportunity.
Step 1: Analyze Your Footer
Look at the footer of your site to see what the trust seals are. Below is an example showing two seals we know are “Distrust Seals”.
Seals Generally Found to Be Conversion Boosters in the Footer
- Norton or McAfee
- Google Customer Reviews (normally floats on entire site)
Seals Generally Found to Be Conversion Deflators in the Footer
- Any Security Seal other than Norton or McAfee
Step 2: Analyze Your Product Pages
Next, go to a product page and make sure there are no security seals on the page. If you find security seals on your product pages, they should be tested. Security seals placed on product pages can be a big loser.
Step 3: Analyze Your Cart
Once you’re on a product page, add the product to the cart and see what trust symbols show up in your cart and checkout process.
Seals Generally Found to Increase Conversion When Included in Your Cart
- Norton or McAfee
- Stella Service
Seals Generally Found to Decrease Conversion When Included in Your Cart
- Any security seal other than Norton or McAfee.
Step 4: Test Other Seals and Sizes
Any other seal on your site not discussed in this play should be tested, even if it is related to your industry. Also, increasing the size and focus of positive trust seals, without overdoing it, can provide additional conversion lift.
Finally, well-branded sites (Top 100 eTailers) may not have any seals in the footer and less on the site overall. This is ok, as their brand recognition makes up for the value trust seals provide for lesser-known businesses and brands.
Seal the Deal Resources
For more information on eCommerce conversion rate optimization best practices, check out our extensive research report, covering established and emerging trends in conversion optimization.