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How Internet Security Certificates Increase Conversion Rates

 by zack on 03 Oct 2012 |
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At this point, most of us have spent money on the internet. Unfortunately, some of us have been the victims of online fraud as well. To the users who lack due diligence the internet is full of piracy laden pitfalls that can hoodwink shoppers out of their hard earned money. This being the case, online credibility isn’t just an admirable quality, it’s also a beneficial commodity.

Your ecommerce site has got to look as secure as it actually is, and if it’s not secure, it certainly should be. If you can’t make your site the least bit believable, then your conversion rates are going to suffer. The number one way to defend against suspicions of online fraud and to build credibility is to add some security measures and an internet security certificate to your site.

What are Online Security Measures?

Security measures really are an essentiality for any ecommerce site. You’ve got to be able to provide a protected path to purchasing for any customer that wanders into your online store. That means enlisting a lot of different services to guard your site, the vital processes that must be maintained, and customer data as well. There are online security measures that every ecommerce entrepreneur should have in place:
  • Redundant firewall protection- Think of it as reinforcing the gates to your online kingdom.
  • Web application protection- Web apps are simply another entrance to your ecommerce resources. Leave no door unguarded.
  • DoS/DDoS mitigation- protection against a massive influx of information requests. This type of security breach has been made famous by the many attacks against private and public websites alike perpetrated by hactivist group: Anonymous.
  • SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer virtual private network) - An encrypted security network which guards the interactions between two endpoints.
  • Vulnerability management- Checking for chinks in your network’s armor.
  • Antivirus protection- Self-explanatory, no?
  • Two factor authentication- Multiple methods of identifying a user as a human being and not a malicious program and/or an unauthorized user.
  • Encrypted backup- a secured copy of all the data equipped on a specific device.

These are just some basic barriers between your site’s backend and those who would exploit it. You should be certain that each of these is addressed in full before ever going live on an ecommerce project.

Shared SSL vs. Private

This is an extremely important part of security and credibility, so it’s worth hitting upon in a little bit greater depth. VPN’s are like the roads between your site and a user’s device. Thus they need to be secure. A shared SSL (Secured Socket Layer) certificate is less expensive, but also less credible than a private one. This is because a shared SSL will force a customer to a third party site for the completion of every order. In other words, you’re pushing a customer off of your site to gain a conversion. It sounds a bit counter intuitive doesn’t it? Like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back.

A private SSL cuts out the middle man and provides your users with the ability to buy directly from you. This is the preferable method because it speaks to your site’s capabilities, and implies a greater level of credibility and professionalism.

Show Them Your Badge

Your customers are coming to you because you’re a trusted source of information and assumably a reliable online retailer. You don’t want to sully that impression, but more importantly you don’t want to make it easy for any parasitic thieves out there to leech off your customer’s money.

Your customers certainly don’t want this either, and will demand certain signs of your trustworthiness. These signs come in the form of internet security certificates you can display around your site. This is the point at which security and design intersect. You want to prominently display your security badge, without taking away from the aesthetic appeal of your site as a whole.
The best thing about these badges is that they are clickable. You can clickthrough these banners and check up on the references for a site’s security. That way a customer can easily ascertain whether or not your site’s online security measures are truly legitimate.

Protect Yourself

Your customers aren’t the only ones who should be worried about security. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cyber criminals chomping at the bit to rip you off. Adding highly visible security measures will not only promote your site’s credibility, but it will also protect your own sense of safety. Kind of like how you might put a “Beware of Dog” sign in your yard. Just the threat of security is often enough to avoid any security issues.

Internet fraud is rampant and putting some online security measures in place will virtually eliminate the threat. Unfortunately, completely preventing online fraud is a lot of work. You have to track user behavior, put up multiple levels of identity verification, monitor traffic origins, and much more. This is why, despite the impact on credibility, many small businesses still outsource their online payments to larger companies like PayPal. Even though they lose some credibility, they save a lot in man hours and still avoid the majority of online fraudulence.

What Kind of Results Should I expect?

The results of adding security badges, (along with their implied online security measures) are well documented and very promising. Depending on where you display the online security certificate, and how it interacts with the rest of your site’s design, you can expect an increase in your conversion rate anywhere from 1 to 15 percent total. In rare cases these badges can improve product performance by even greater margins.

A good tip as far as visual appeal is to keep the badge within the directional flow of a reader’s attention. For example, a visitor reads left to right and top to bottom. So the top left, directly under your site’s logo is a good spot for your internet security certificate.

At the end of the day you need to feel secure in your browsing, it’s bad enough that apparently every government in the world has access to your online habits, you don’t need an illegal third party harrying your ecommerce purchases as well. The best way to accomplish these ends is to protect your site with online security measures, and cash in on the added credibility with a prominently displayed online security certificate.


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