Do you trust the trust seals and SSL badges on web sites / checkouts?

We’ve talked to a few clients lately about the usage of trust seals, ssl badges, and trust logos on their web sites.  Some like the idea of using them and often ask about implementing them on their site to gain visitor confidence.  It can be reassuring to web site visitors to see a familar logo from an AntiVirus company, a well known business community, a SSL certificate provider, or a cleanily designed “trust” type logo.

Other clients of ours mention “I just look for the SSL in the browser.  I don’t trust any images.” which is completely understandable.  Checking that a web site is running on https with a valid certifcate from a trusted source is one of the best ways to know that the information being sent will be secure.  With the barrage of advertisements we see everyday on web sites it’s sometimes hard to tell if an image is an advertisement or not.

So there both sides to the argument.  So do we use one or not?  Will we increase sales and get more calls?  Well it’s hard to say a clear answer to any of the questions presented in this post so far. Really what it comes down to is… what works for one business or organization might not work for a different business / organization.   That’s a vague answer.  The real way to find out if a trust seal, ssl badge, etc is good for your web site is to research, implement, test and repeat as necessary.


  • Do I need this? Researching other companies results and findings can help.
  • Do I have the time /money to spend on this?
  • Which ones are the top choices to test?
  • Do my choices for badges / seals to test cost money?
  • Do my choices have requirements my site can meet or will I need to updgrade or change my site to comply to specific tests/terms/requirements?
    If you’re looking for increased conversions have you made sure other parts of the site are optimized for conversions? In other words, if no one can find the checkout page then it doesn’t matter what seal or trust badge is displayed.  Analytics, and testing will help with those issues.


Get the badge or trust seal in there and see how it looks.  Make sure all is functioning properly with any scripts or functions needed by the badge or trust seal.


Watch your analytics like a hawk… ok not really, but keep a good eye on previous numbers verse post installation numbers to track progress.  Keep in mind any other changes that could be going on that could be influencing conversions and traffic patterns.  It’s common to start to focus on what needs to be changed in order to meet goals but making so many changes and adjustments makes it impossible to track results that are specific to specific changes.  In other words, when a web site isn’t converting well the owner might think let’s make the checkout pages easier by adding a new feature, adding a new site seal logo, removing this old option we don’t need, making the pages shorter, changing the questions we ask, and etc.  With so many changes it’s hard to pin down what different trust seals work or if they have any impact at all.

Think about other types of testing to try out different results such as switching out badges for new options, asking users how they like the changes (user feedback testing), split A/B testing to see which trust logos matter the most to your specific target market, or any at all after other test to see if results drop.

So which site seals or ssl badges do you think are the best?  Do you think you’d try one on your web site?


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