How to boost sales by improving your trust signals

trust in me

It’s obvious that the internet has a conversion problem, and many businesses are constantly evolving ways to better convert traffic they get.

In this quest, they consider things like A/B testing, changing button color, having a more persuasive copy, etc. They often ignore what is perhaps the most important factor that drives every transaction: TRUST.

If people do not trust your brand, your conversions will suffer no matter how persuasive your copy is.

Thankfully, it is easy to get people to trust your brand more by working on trust signals. Here are three things research has shown to work really well for building trust.

Using security seals

One of the most effective ways to boost sales and conversions on your website is by using security trust seals.

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Just recently, news broke out that some of the biggest social media sites have been hacked – including LinkedIn and Twitter – resulting in hundreds of millions of personal data being exposed.

Naturally, people are more careful – especially when it comes to revealing sensitive information such as their credit card information online. Even if they love your product and are persuaded by your copy, they won’t necessarily buy from you if they can’t be assured that their details are safe.

A great way to break this trust barrier is by using security seals. According to a Econsultancy/Toluna study, the first thing most people look for when deciding on whether to transact with a website is whether it has a trust seal.

According to the study, a whopping 48% of people are wary of transacting on websites that do not have a security trust seal.

In line with the Econsultancy/Toluna study, simply by adding a trust seal to pages of its website, MyEnergySolution was able to increase registrations by 137% and revenue by 75%. That is a lot of gains!

This isn’t an isolated example… Blue Fountain Media was also able to increase sales on its website by 42% simply by adding the Verisign trust seal.

If you don’t have a trust seal on your website, it is most likely costing you sales. Here are some tips to help you get the best from trust seals:

  • Go with a reliable security provider: not all trust seals are equal. According to a study by Baymard Institute, the Norton trust seal is the most recognized, followed by McAfee, TRUSTe and the BBB trust seal. Go with one of these if you can.
  • Make the seals clearly visible on all pages of your site: instead of simply having a seal on your checkout page, you want to consistently reinforce the fact that your prospects can trust their security on your website at all times.
  • Feature the trust seals prominently enough: if people can’t see them, they don’t really matter. You don’t have to hide the trust seals at the bottom of your website as that serves no purpose; instead, feature the seals prominently enough where every potential customer can see them.

Using the SSL security protocol

It’s amazing how many businesses process credit card transactions without encrypting sensitive information through the SSL security protocol.

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If you require users to register on your website in one way or the other, or to use their credit cards for that matter, the importance of using the SSL protocol cannot be overstated.

Besides the fact that using SSL actually encrypts information submitted through your site and grants your users increased security, users knowing that you use the protocol has been observed to boost sales.

In fact, some sources have claimed that using SSL on a website can improve sales by as much as 30%. In fact, furniture site Dwell.co.uk was able to boost sales by over $35,000 monthly (a 13.8% increase) simply by implementing SSL on its site – this turned out to be a 48,000% ROI for their investment in an SSL certificate.

Involving customers in your brand

A very important trust signal that many businesses ignore, that can boost sales to a significant extent, is involving customers in the brand.

When the famous American showman P.T. Barnum said, “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd” he sure wasn’t joking. Barnum was far ahead of his time, and research backs him up.

Research shows that a massive 90% of consumers read online reviews before calling a contractor, and 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site that has reviews and testimonials.

Various other studies have shown that one of the cues we look for when trying to interact with a brand is its popularity (or social proof). If we see that a lot of people are using, and liking, a particular brand, we are more likely to want to involve ourselves with that brand.

Here are some other ways to involve customers in your brand:

  • Get testimonials from customers who are using your products and feature it prominently.
  • Showcase customer reviews so that other potential customers can see what others think about your products.
  • Invite customers to participate in helping shape your brand and products; do regular surveys, ask for their opinion and even have them contribute to your company blog. This shows a more personal side of your brand, increasing the likelihood of potential customers trusting you.

Ajay Paghdal is the founder of Youth Noise, a digital marketing firm and OutreachMama a productized marketing service, and a contributor to SEW. You can connect with Ajay on Twitter.

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