Is BBB Accreditation Worth It?

Is your business accredited by the BBB?

The Better Business Bureau is one of the longest standing consumer trust organizations in the country. Their mission is to protect consumers from deceptive businesses or business practices.

Being accredited by the BBB means that they have reviewed your business practices and put their stamp of approval on what you are doing. It’s a symbol to consumers that you are who you say you are, that the claims you make on your website and in your promotional material are true, and that the likelihood you’re going to rip them off is low.

If your business is not accredited, you likely still have a business listing on the BBB website. And you will have a grade, from A+ to F, telling consumers what the BBB thinks of you. If you’re accredited, it will say so on that listing. If not, it will tell people you’re not accredited.

Determining whether or not BBB accreditation makes sense for you depends on several factors.

  1. Are you accredited or certified by any other third party organizations?
  2. Do you have a strong rating with the BBB?
  3. Does third-party accreditation matter to your customers?

If there are no other companies or organizations giving you their stamp of approval, you have a less than stellar rating with the BBB, and accreditation matters to some percentage of the market, then you may want to look into BBB accreditation.

It’s fairly cheap and easy to register.

For more information, visit

What to Test – Part 7

Welcome to the latest edition of our new weekly blog series, What to Test. Each week, we will introduce a new test idea. We’ll explain why it’s important to test it, what you might learn, how to carry out the test, and what to measure in order to determine a winner. Last week we tested Navigation Titles.

The Test = Trust Seals


Why not, has a seal ever done anything to you? Just kidding.

By trust seals, of course I mean badges that convey trust to the user or consumer. Think about the BBB, Verisign, Consumer Reports or any other third party accreditor, regulator, or certification provider. They all exist, in one way or another, to help protect consumers from making the wrong choice. They regulate commerce in a way that discourages businesses from behaving badly.

And as consumers, we know and trust them. More so than we might trust a company we have never heard of. How can you use that to your advantage?

You can get them to give you their stamp of approval, and then display it proudly for all to see. A trust seal is a badge of honor telling consumers that you can be trusted to do what you’re telling them you will do. And, when displayed on your website or in an advertisement, it can increase your response or conversion rate.


This is a real easy one to test in an ad. Just create two identical versions of any advertisement, one with the seal and one without it. To track it properly, use two different phone numbers or URLs. The one that gets more calls or visits wins.

Online it can be a little bit tougher, but not too much. Here, you can just create a duplicate version of your landing page and add the seal to it. Test it by splitting your traffic between the two pages, using either Google’s Webmaster tools or by setting up a landing page test in one of your ad campaigns. Once your test is live, measure the conversion rate of those pages against one another. The higher conversion rate page wins.

Anything to add? As always, use the comments below or Twitter #whattotest to keep the conversation going!

How Marketing Can Win Consumer Trust


When do consumers trust the marketing they see? Ask yourself when you trust marketing that’s aimed at you?

The answer is that people are becoming less and less trustworthy every day. Why? Because they’ve been ripped off, lied to, cheated, or ignored by companies, politicians, and other institutions they used to trust.

As a marketer, you’re fighting an uphill battle.

So what can you do?

First, work with the product team to make sure you know everything there is to know about what you’re offering. Tell them what improvements might be of most interest to your consumers.

Then, work with the sales team to help them understand the marketing strategy. Make sure their ready to answer any question they get asked. And make sure they have the freedom to live up to offers and discounts to make customers happy.

Then start marketing. Don’t make empty promises. Don’t be overly aggressive. Be honest and inviting.

Then, and this is key, keep working. This will require patience. Trust is not built overnight. But if you stick to these principles and don’t slip up, the marketplace will learn that your brand is trustworthy.


How Marketing Can Create Trust


Quoting Monday’s post on trust, “Trust between a company and its customers is vital.” When customers don’t trust you, the likelihood that they’ll be willing to do business with you is slim. So as marketers, one of the things we must try to do is establish trust.

With larger companies that spend millions on branding, this may be less of an issue. But even large companies can get themselves into trouble when stories about negative customer experiences hit the web.

So how can marketers create trust?

  • Use of testimonials – show new customers that you’ve satisfied past customers.
  • Use of accreditation – show new customers that a third party has reviewed your business and given you their seal of approval.
  • Use of contact information – something as simple as a phone number on your website will make it more likely that a new customer will trust you, because they see you’re not “hiding”.
  • Use of social media – show new customers you’re active in the community and you’re paying attention to the marketplace.
  • Consistent messaging – consistency creates trust, so marketers can show new customers what you’re all about by keeping the brand and sales message consistent over time and across multiple channels.
  • Promote longevity – if you’ve been around awhile it shows that you’re company is doing something right.
  • Promote people – instead of just using the brand, reinforcing the people behind the brand, like the CEO and other stakeholders can make a company more relatable.

Check out some more ideas for creating trust with your customers here.

5 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Trustworthy

Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons to Create Content”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Your Website Isn’t Trustworthy

Trust between a company and its customers is vital. Fear is the number one emotion involved in all purchasing decisions. Customers ask themselves all sorts of questions before they commit to buy something from you.

Will I get what I’m paying for? Is it worth the money? Am I safe?

If your website fails to build trust, you could lose the sale. Here are five reasons your website isn’t doing the job.

  1. You don’t have an SSL certificate. Without getting very technical, SSL is a security protocol that protects sensitive information when provided online. Having an SSL certificate on your site allows you to collect credit cards and other payment details without risk to your customers. It provides you with the “s” in “https” URLs that signal to the consumer their information is secure.

  2. You are not accredited. There are a number of accrediting bodies that you can apply to, depending on your industry. But the most widely known is likely the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Accreditation and good standing with the BBB allows you to add their seal of approval to your site and makes customers feel safe.

  3. You don’t have any reviews. Amazon disrupted the ecommerce industry by allowing positive and negative customer reviews on all product pages. Prospective customers can see what real people like them thought about their purchase. Today, if your company does not provide reviews, it tends to signal that you have something to hide.

  4. It doesn’t match your marketing. If I land on your website expecting one thing, and I see another, I’m immediately going to question if I’m in the right place. That’s not a good trust builder. Make sure your name and branding matches on all promotional material, and carry that over to your website at all cost.

  5. It is out of date. Check the copyright in the footer of your site. It better be current. But that’s not all, even an “old-looking” site, or one that does not function properly, can appear out of date and poorly managed. That is a big turnoff among people who use the web regularly for business and shopping.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.