Here’s a riddle for you:
What do a small-town sheriff, a decorated war hero, and your website have in common?
They should all wear a badge.
That’s right. If your website isn’t using trust badges to give new visitors confidence in your business, then you’re missing out in a big way.
In today’s article, we’re going to look at why your site needs to be using trust badges. Then, we’ll examine 12 examples of the most common types of trust icons you can put on your site today.
But first, let’s make sure we’re clear on exactly what trust badges are.
What Are Trust Badges?
Trust badges (also known as “trust seals”) are small icons or symbols which show your audience that your website is totally reliable and that their personal information is 100% secure.
While you may not be familiar with the term, you’ve definitely seen these symbols on your favorite company websites:
And they aren’t there by accident. Trust badges are proudly displayed by most reputable websites as a way of building trust with new visitors. The way it works is very simple.
But when you use trust badges like the one in the photo above, you effectively borrow authority from sites that people widely use and trust. This is one of the smaller aspects of using social proof to enhance your business.
And believe it or not, these little trust icons can be the difference between gaining or losing a new customer. Which makes sense.
In fact, most of us rely on trust badges in the real world, too. Imagine this scenario:
You’re at home watching your favorite rerun of Friends on Netflix. The doorbell rings, and you look out the window. You see a car you don’t recognize in the driveway and a person in jeans and a t-shirt standing in your entrance:
Do you open the door or pretend like you aren’t home?
Ok, how about this one:
You’re (again) at home watching Friends. The doorbell rings, and this time you see a police car in your driveway with a uniformed officer standing in the entrance. Everything looks 100% official and, more than anything, a bright shiny badge catches your eye as you peek through the blinds:
Do you open the door this time, or do you hide under the covers and catch up on the drama that was Ross and Rachel?
Unless you’ve done something wrong, chances are that you’re more likely to open the door for the police officer than you are for the person you don’t recognize. That’s because, with the police officer, you immediately get a few visual cues that this is someone you can trust.
The car, the uniform, and, of course, the badge.
Trust badges on your website work in exactly the same way. If you don’t have them on your website, you’ll still get people to open the door for you, sure.
But by proudly displaying a trust badge on your site, you’re way more likely to inspire confidence in your audience.
Why Digital Shoppers Are Skeptical of Your Site
If you’re a business owner or work for an eCommerce site, you need to make sure you’re using trust badges. That’s because your digital customers are in a unique situation when shopping online:
They’re more susceptible to fraud and, therefore, more skeptical of websites. And for good reason.
The world of eCommerce is the only situation where a customer is asked to hand over their credit card information for a product they haven’t tried, tested, or even seen before.
Plus, if you’re not selling an online service, your customers need to pay and then wait before accessing their purchase.
That’s a super vulnerable feeling and makes eCommerce customers more susceptible to fraud. It’s no wonder they view websites with a healthy amount of skepticism when they’re asked for personal information.
It’s your job to minimize that skepticism by enhancing their user experience with social proof.
Why does that burden fall on you? Because your new visitors don’t know you, and online fraud is a seriously big deal.
Review42 published 61 eCommerce fraud statistics that are enough to scare even the most responsible consumer. Here’s a list of their 5 most eye-opening fraud statistics:
- Fraude in the world of eCommerce increased by 45% in 2017 which led to losses of $57.8 billion across 8 big industries
- In 2018, people lost $1.4 billion to scams, an increase of 38% compared to 2017
- In 2018, the FTC registered 1.4 million fraud reports
- From January to March 2019, there were 5,305 eCommerce fraud reports in the US
- In 2019, the first 20 days of November resulted in over 60,000 potential scams, targeting 26 popular brands
That’s some serious scamming going on. When viewed in that light, it’s totally understandable that your online consumers approach your site with a bit of caution.
But how can you overcome those fears to help your new visitors learn to trust you?
Well, there are tons of ways, actually. You can get customer testimonials. You could also go online and spend time improving your digital reputation. Maybe you need to sit down and respond to those negative reviews you’ve been ignoring.
That last one is super important considering how many customers use online reviews to make purchase decisions.
But you can also go straight to the source by using trust badges in a way that builds confidence in your new users.
How Trust Badges Increase Your Site’s Conversions
Trust badges go a long way in easing your customers’ worried minds. They allow you to borrow some authority from other brands that are well-known and highly trusted.
Plus, they’ve been proven to increase conversions. Blue Fountain Media ran a study where they had one form without a trust badge:
And another one with a Verisign Secured trust badge:
The result? The form with the trust badge led to a 42% increase in conversions.
Let’s repeat that to make sure you didn’t miss it while casually reading:
When the trust badge was added to the form, conversions went up 42%.
And this isn’t an isolated incident, either. VeriSign released a case study on how their extended validation (EV) certificates increased conversions by 30% for a hotel booking industry.
Now, most sites have caught on. Adding trust badges has become the norm. Let’s turn our attention to 12 of the most common trust badges you’ve likely seen in action.
12 Types of Trust Badges to Start Using Today
Before we get started, let’s quickly remember the purpose of a trust badge. It’s meant to boost your credibility and inspire confidence in your new visitors.
In other words, it’s an icon, logo, or badge that helps visitors trust your site more. As we’ll see, this is accomplished through an offer (like free shipping) or by using 3rd party brands to borrow credibility.
Why the disclaimer? Because as we’re about to see, there are many types of trust badges beyond what we’ve covered so far. In fact, you may already have a few embedded on your site without knowing it!
Let’s dive in.
1. SSL Badges
This is one of the most common types of trust badges. In Google Chrome, this is the little lock that goes next to your URL:
It shows that your site has an SSL certificate and is secure. In fact, Google Chrome is now going a step further. By clicking on the lock icon next to any domain, you can then click on Certificate:
Then, you can instantly access a site’s SSL information:
So make sure you’ve got your SSL certificate activated and running on your site. That way, your users can know just how secure they are when visiting!
2. Site Security Badges
Beyond the simple SSL lock by your domain, some companies also choose to put a security badge somewhere on their homepage. Here is an example from TrustLock which specializes in creating trust seals for other companies:
It’s a very small, subtle logo in the bottom lefthand corner of the screen that reminds visitors their information is secure.
The most recent survey on the topic showed that the most trusted badge is from Norton:
That said, adding any kind of recognizable trust seal is better than nothing. If you don’t want to add Norton for cost purposes or personal preferences, any of the other options should suffice.
3. Money-Back Guarantee Trust Seal
One way that you can inspire confidence in your visitors is by assuring them that they can get a refund. Most companies offer a 14– or 30–day money-back guarantee.
Here’s an example of this trust badge from MonsterInsights:
It may be a small icon, but it goes a long way in making your users feel safer about handing over their credit card information.
4. Free Shipping Trust Badge
Some companies use free shipping as a way of attracting more customers to go through with checkout. It’s also another measure against shopping cart abandonment because it reduces the chance of hidden costs popping up at checkout.
And while you can always tell your customers you give free shipping, why not show them with a trust badge? Here’s an example from an online fashion store with a Shopify trust badge for free shipping:
You’ll notice their free shipping badge (and money-back guarantee badge) are both hard to miss. They have bright colors (yellow) and stick out because of their design.
This is the kind of trust seal you want to show upfront right as your customers are headed toward checkout.
5. Secure Payment Icon
Again, shopping online is super vulnerable. You’re essentially giving your credit card information to a total stranger in the hopes that they’re legit.
Adding a secure payment badge definitely helps your customers trust you with their credit card details. Here’s an example of a secure payment trust badge from WPForms:
Notice that it’s not overly flashy and isn’t trying too hard to get the user’s attention. It’s a simple, green logo with a tiny checkmark.
In most cases, this is all it takes to remind your customers that their shopping experience is safe with you.
6. Accepted Payments Logos
Some people may argue that “accepted payments” isn’t really a trust badge. But when you think about it, using the accepted payments logos is still borrowing credibility from other companies.
When people see the Visa, Mastercard, or Amex logos, they immediately see a brand they recognize and trust. Here’s an example from SEMrush’s pricing page:
Can scammers put these logos on their pages as well? Of course.
But showing your audience that you accept widely used and trusted payment methods can give that little added boost of confidence they need to make a purchase.
7. Industry Awards Badge
If your company has won any kind of reputable awards in the past, you need to show your audience. These small trust seals demonstrate that you’re not only trusted among users but among official critics as well.
Check out this example from SEMrush:
Even if people haven’t heard of the company designating the awards, these trust badges are still effective at building your site’s credibility.
8. Customer Logo Icons
Similar to showing industry awards, you should leverage the brands of any widely-known clients you’ve worked with. This shows your audience that other brands they know and love have trusted you with their business.
Here’s an example from Awesome Motive’s homepage:
In this example, when a customer sees that brands like PlayStation, Zillow, and Shutterstock have used Awesome Motive’s products, it’s hard to doubt Awesome Motive’s trustworthiness.
Adding client logos can even trigger a fear of missing out. Your audience is left thinking, “If it’s good enough to them, it must be pretty great! I don’t want to miss that.”
9. Total Satisfaction Badge
Similar to the money-back guarantee trust badge, some companies offer total satisfaction. These companies are assuring customers that if they make a purchase and aren’t happy with it, they won’t be left to wallow in their regret.
In fact, one fashion store, Bombas, goes a step further and rebrands this trust badge to a Happiness Guarantee:
When you read the fine print, this trust badge represents so much more than just getting a refund. It shows customers that the company has a killer support team and will be with them throughout the entire customer journey.
10. App Store Trust Seals
Though not typically seen as a trust badge, these app store icons are a great way of showing your customers that you’re software or service is available with reputable companies.
For the most part, when you think of things you can download on Amazon or Apple, you don’t think of fraudulent products. They exist on those platforms, sure. But for the most part, you know Apple, Amazon, and Google are very reputable.
So displaying app store badges work exactly like a trust badge:
They borrow from another company’s reputation to strengthen your own.
11. Social Media Icons
This is likely the most debatable form of trust badge on the list. But we’ve included it because it checks off all the boxes of what a trust badge can (and should) do:
- Build your site’s credibility
- Rely on another brand’s reputation to strengthen your own
- Inspire trust from your users
How many times have you seen a site that didn’t have their social media logos proudly displayed? If you’re like most people, you wondered what serious company wouldn’t have a social media presence in today’s world.
Consequently, simply adding these small trust icons lets users know that they can contact you in many different ways if they want. Or they can simply cyber-stalk you to learn more about your company.
In any case, the customer feels safer knowing that they’re working with a business that likes to connect with clients. WPBeginner lists their social media icons along with the number of readers they currently have:
Again, even if these social media trust badges aren’t ever clicked, they can still inspire a lot of trust for your users.
12. Free Trial Trust Badge
This is kind of the opposite of the money-back guarantee trust badge. With a free trial badge, you’re showing users that they can use your product with ZERO risk. That’s a huge value proposition that can tempt even the most skeptical online shopper.
Here’s an example from Neil Patel’s website, UberSuggest:
This is a quick and efficient way of showing users that they can test your product before making their purchase.
Trust badges are a huge asset in retaining new visitors to your site. They’ve also been shown to increase sales and reduce cart abandonment.
At the end of the day, the real reason trust badges are so effective is because they rely on social proof. In the past, we’ve written extensively on how social proof can help out your business (real social proof… not that fake social proof nonsense).
And while trust badges play a large part in that, there are other forms of social proof you use, too.
One of our favorites is with positive action notification popups. You’ve probably seen these before, especially if you’ve followed our blog or frequently visit our site. They look something like this:
These small notification popups can increase overall sales by 15%!
So while you’re playing around with using social proof to improve your business, why not give TrustPulse a try? We’d love to have you join the community.
If you have any questions about our product, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.
Otherwise, what are you waiting for? Get started with TrustPulse today!