Signed, Sealed – Delivered? The Payoff of Showing Your “Trust Mark”

Bronwyn Johnson is our newest guest blogger. She works at VeriSign, hailing from South Africa, where she works as a product marketing manager. She is also a novelist and freelance journalist. In this post, she looks at the importance of where you place your Trust Certificate to show customers.

Ok, so you bought an SSL Certificate for your Web site to protect your online visitors (and to turn them into BUYERS!) The next big question is – “Where on the website do I put the Trust Mark (seal of the Certification Authority)?”

Our research and testing has proven that seal placement plays an enormous part in the conversion rate of visitors to buyers. If you don’t display the seal effectively, you may as well not have one at all.

So here are a few tips on where to display your seal for maximum impact:

  1. The higher the better!.   There is a popular book written about Web site design called "Don’t make me think" and in this book the author, Steve Krug, explains that people who visit your site should not have to extend any unnecessary effort to find the information that they are looking for.  The Trust mark on your website is there to engender TRUST in the visitors to the site.  It is there to prove your legitimacy and to give them peace of mind, so make it one of the first things that they see on your homepage. (Definitely above the “fold” line – they should not have to scroll down or sideways to find it.)
  2. Let the visitor see it when they NEED to see it most.   At any point in your site where private information must be shared (such as the login or payment page), where the visitor needs a little more reassurance – display the seal.  Have it close to these sections to remind the visitor that they are in a safe, encrypted environment.
  3. Don’t make it seem like an after-thought.   Most companies who are trying to limit cost or effort simply add the seal to the footer of their web page.  This is not a great idea (see point 1 above) and makes it seem like an after-thought.  You bought the SSL Certificate, which means that YOU think it is important for the visitors to be secure, so show it.  Elevate the Trust mark to above the mid point (fold line) of the page.
  4. Quicker loading: Another reason some Web site designers put the seal in the footer of the page is that they don’t want the seal to delay the rest of the page from downloading.  We recommend that you simply place the file (which displays the seal) as one of the last things in the list of files to download.  Where it is displayed on the site is irrelevant to speed of download.

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Information Leakage – the enemy is within
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The Trust mark of the certification authority is an important part of your investment as this is a reminder to your Web site visitors that they are dealing with a safe, legitimate company. Display it in the right manner for maximum impact.

Bronwyn Johnson

About Bronwyn Johnson

Bronwyn Johnson is an author and freelance technology journalist. Passionate about technology and gadgets, Bronwyn has been involved with IT sales and marketing for over 15 years. She is currently working for VeriSign as a Product Marketing Manager based in Cape Town, South Africa.

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