Seal the Deal — Certification Seals on your Web Site Instill Confidence

Published: February 14th, 2013

Anyone with a business web site knows that the key points to a successful web presence include:

  • Getting the right people to visit your site
  • Making the visitor feel comfortable with you
  • Instilling trust in your company

If these are there, you will have a much larger rate of sales and lead conversions.

Trust in your company is often overlooked in the rush to generate lots of traffic and make sales. Trust comes from many factors … having excellent content on your web site that shows that your company “knows its business”, referrals and word of mouth from other customers, etc.

One relatively simple thing that can be done to install trust is to add third party “certification seals” to your web site.

What is a Certification Seal?

This is best answered by providing an example.  McAfee provides a service called “McAfee Secure” where:

  1. You sign up and pay them for this service yearly
  2. They have automated processes that scan your web site daily for security-related issues
  3. They provide you with reports of any issues found and remediation steps
  4. They provide you with a small image and some HTML code to put on your site
  5. Visitors see that image and can click on it.  When they do, they are taken to McAfee’s website to see that your web site is being actively scanned and that it is “verified and secure” (well, as long as there are no serious security issues found … and if there are, you better fix them ASAP anyway!)

Check it out — LuxSci.com uses McAfee secure for exactly this purpose.  We have yet one more set of eyes on our software to make sure that it is secure and to let us know quickly should anything look amiss.  If it does, we get an alert and we can fix it before it becomes a problem.  A web site visitor, seeing this “McAfee Secure” logo at the bottom of the page either knows that and appreciates it, or can click on it and see what we are doing to be proactive.

As you can see, this generates trust in a good, honest way!

What other Certification Seals are there?

If you search the web, you can find many companies offering services and providing seals that you can use to show people that you are using their services — good for you and good for them.  Some of these include:

  • HIPAA Secure Email and Web Forms. Provided by LuxSci.  See example.
  • Good Privacy Policies and EU Safe Harbor Compliance. Provided by TRUSTe. (See bottom of this page for an example)
  • SSL Security. If you have an SSL Certificate, the vendor may provide a seal to show users where you got it from.  The better the SSL vendor, the more trust.  E.g. an SSL Certificate from Thawte or Verisign would be more trusted than one from GoDaddy. (See bottom of this page for an example)
  • Credit Card Processing. If you have a well known rock solid, secure, and trusted processor for your credit card transactions, they may also provide a certification seal you can use so your visitors can feel even more comfortable paying you.  E.g. we use Authorize.net and their seal is also on the bottom of our page.

There are many others out there such as:

Which ones are appropriate for you depend strongly on what your business does, what your focus us, and what your customers are looking for.  In general, even doing a little research on what might be appropriate for you will shed some light on what your business maybe should be doing that it is not currently (e.g. web site security assessments, securing your email, reviewing your privacy policies, etc.)

Where should the Web Site Certification Seals go?

OK, so you have these seals — where should they be placed on your web site?

There is a lot of debate on this.  The consensus is that they should be placed near the top of your page in a visible location for maximal impact.  That impact, is for how much these seals contribute to sales.  However, that is aesthetically not always the best place for them … most companies instead decide to put them in the footer of their web page and most people know to look there if they are interested in seeing what seals you have.

Its great if your customers can easily find your certifications; however, putting those “in their face” on every page view could serve to distract them or detract from your image.  It also gives the feeling that these are more important than your web site’s normal content … and that is of course not the case, right?

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