Can SSL, Trust Seals and Other Security Indicators Increase Conversions?

Imagine you’re in the waiting room at your dentist. There’s some standard elevator music playing, and everything seems pretty average.

Except that, as you’re filling out the new patient form, you notice there aren’t any dental school diplomas lining the walls of the office (not one…). Even more curious, the form lists the dentist as simply “Mrs. Liza Hoover,” not “Dr. Hoover, PhD, M.Sc.” Finally, when your name is called, the receptionist asks loudly for your social security number while others look on.

Visitor anxiety

Now, this is an exaggerated example, but these subtle (and not-so-subtle) red flags would likely have you questioning this dentist’s credibility.

Point being? You could be evoking the same type of visitor anxiety on your landing pages unwittingly, and losing out on conversions from visitors who can’t decide whether or not to trust you.

These days, 77% of website visitors worry that their personal data could be intercepted or misused online1, so that lead gen form on your landing page could be causing more anxiety (and bounces!) than you realize.

Luckily, there are simple measures you can take to reassure visitors that your pages are secure — thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion.

SSL to the rescue!

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is an industry standard security measure that creates an encrypted link between your landing pages and your visitor’s browser. It encrypts data in transmission and ensures that contact info sent through your landing page forms is secure.

Visitors to your landing pages can see whether you’re serving up secure page based on the ‘HTTPS’ and the small green padlock icon that’ll appear in the address bar:

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These two, small visual cues reassure visitors their contact info is safe when submitted through your landing page, and it’s been found that close to half of website visitors check for security indicators2 like these before they’ll hand over personal information in a form.

Why this is important for you: starting October 2017, Google Chrome is going to start showing “Not Secure” messages when users fill out a form on a page that’s served up over HTTP instead of HTTPs. So… if you don’t want to alarm your customers and prospects, you’ll want to get this sorted out ASAP.

Does SSL impact the way visitors perceive your page?

Depending on the importance of perceived security in your industry, you could be leaving conversions on the table if you don’t serve up your pages securely. As GlobalSign, a web-trust certificate provider discovered, 84% of website visitors surveyed said they would abandon a purchase3 if they knew the data was going to be sent over an insecure connection.

As far as your landing pages are concerned, it can’t hurt to take security more seriously, especially in industries like healthcare, finance, security-related tech, and ecommerce (where faulty security can have much higher consequences than in other industries).

After all, your landing page for a finance product might not convert so well if visitors notice you didn’t care to serve it up securely to protect their personal information in transit. A quick swap over to HTTPS is a simple thing you can do today to improve your landing page visitor’s trust.

PRO TIP: SSL is enabled on Unbounce landing pages on all accounts. Simply update all your current links directing to your landing page to begin with HTTPS, and you’re set! See how you can do it here.
If you’re using Unbounce, it’s easy to check if your landing page domains are SSL-enabled. Just head over to the Domain Settings page and look for the lock icon on the left.
SSL unbounce landing page secure

What about trust seals?

Beyond changing your links to HTTPS, third-party security vendors often offer a security seal, or SSL badge, for you to feature on your ecommerce sites or landing pages with a bit of Javascript. These seals give your customers that extra peace of mind that your site has SSL set up and that doing business with you online is safe. They’re also often cited to correlate with higher conversion rates, but – depending on your use case – your mileage may vary.

Here’s a trust seal from GlobalSign as an example:

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The effectiveness of these trust seals seems dependent on whether they’re recognized (some are more recognizable than others), but also on their prominence and usefulness to your audience at a particular time in the buying cycle4.

A seal accompanying a final purchase confirmation page may fare well, but could hypothetically decrease trust and conversions if you include it too prominently across a multi-step ecommerce experience. Displaying the trust seal repeatedly may make visitors curious as to why you need to repeat that you’re secure (rather than simply state it once during initial checkout).

Blue Fountain Media cited a 42% increase in conversions with their A/B test of a VeriSign seal6 (see their A/B test variations below), and US Cutter have reported conversion lifts of 11% with the use of a Norton trust seal7.

Picture3Picture4

As with all things, however, running your own A/B test is the only way to determine whether security seals are a win for your landing pages.

Placement matters

As everyone will experience different results with a trust seal, it’s difficult to be prescriptive about their use. Chris Goward of WiderFunnel found that with one of their clients, a McAfee badge decreased conversions by 1.6%5. However, as savvy commenters have noted, this could be due to the seal’s placement in the test.

You could include a trust seal on a checkout or shopping cart confirmation page in the case of an ecommerce page, or you could simply swap all of your landing pages to HTTPS, skip the trust seal entirely, and see if you experience a difference in conversions.

Note that if you do swap over to SSL, you’ll want to ensure that all elements on your landing pages are secure (like videos, privacy policies, etc.) — trust seals can’t be verified by third-party security vendors if there are insecure items on the page.

Put your prospects at ease

While design, copy and testimonials play a large part in conveying your company’s credibility, there are other factors to consider. Whether you’re creating a click-through ecommerce page, or simply collecting contact information through a lead gen form, you need to do everything you can to reinforce your trustworthiness and convey to customers that you care about their privacy and security.

SSL is just one way you can reassure your potential customers their info is safe with you. Check out how you can make sure your landing pages are all secure — check out the plans and try it on Unbounce for free for 30 days!

 

 

1,2,3  http://downloads.globalsign.com/acton/attachment/2674/f-0360/1/-/-/-/-/increase-conversions-with-SSL.pdf

4,5 http://www.widerfunnel.com/conversion-rate-optimization/do-mcafee-or-hackersafe-security-badges-increase-e-commerce-conversion-rate

6 https://www.bluefountainmedia.com/blog/verisign-seal-increase-conversions/

http://www.conversioniq.com/norton-security-seal-increases-ecommerce-conversion-rate-case-study

 


About Jennifer Pepper
Jennifer Pepper is the Marketing Manager for Content Creation at Unbounce. One day she wants to direct the ads you skip on YouTube. Follow her on Twitter @PeppersWrite.
» More blog posts by Jennifer Pepper