Consumer trust is important. Consumers (whether B2C or B2B consumers) look for ways to narrow down a list of potential businesses to work with based on referrals by family, friends, associates and acquaintances, etc.
Consumers often look for “trusted” methods to narrow down a list of potential businesses such as online reviews, referrals from associations, etc. “Trust builders” on a web site (such as a “Badge” from a respected verification system like VeriSign) can also help.
Most Americans are familiar with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and most tend to trust the BBB.
The BBB offers an Accreditation process and I’ve seen that it can deliver benefits including SEO benefits (improvements in organic search results)
About BBB Accreditation
You can apply to be BBB accredited. They evaluate your business against their Standards for Trust, including Honest Advertising, Transparency, Safe Guarding Privacy, etc
To apply you must be in business at least one year and have no unanswered complaints. The cost is based on the number of employees starting with at $440 first year (which includes a processing fee) followed by $390 next year.
What You Get…
A BBB Accredited Seal for your web site that allows web visitors to access your Business Review on the BBB site. The benefits of this seal (badge) include the perception of Trust that many consumers associate with BBB accreditation. I believe you can also use this badge on some social sites and search engine listings like your Google Places listing which could help entice those visitors to contact you. You also get Badges for your building, print advertising, etc.
You’ll be listed on the BBB web site and your accreditation status is highlighted. Site visitors can also choose to browse through a list of only Accredited businesses. The BBB web is a very popular web site used by some consumers to find companies to do business with and even more often to check out companies being considered for complaints etc.
Accreditation Could Help Increase Organic Search Positions. There’s an active link to your web site from the BBB site. I’ve checked and these listings are search friendly so these active links from the BBB site, which is usually considered a very strong, trusted link by Google, may not only bring prospective clients to your site, the link may help your web site’s search positions (rankings).
People who search for businesses on the BBB site have the option to choose to only look at businesses that are Accredited. Plus the BBB now offers mobile apps to make researching businesses easier from these devices.
Accreditation Could Help Local Search Positions Too. The listing on the BBB site shows at least some of your business name, address and phone number. Again these listings are search engine friendly and may help your local search engine listings (such as a Google Places listing) rank better too.
Dispute Resolution Help. The BBB may receive complaints about your business. They will display valid, documented complaints in your listing. If someone sees your business listing with no complaints that could help. On the other hand, if you ever do get a complaint, resolve it quickly. Complaint resolution is displayed on your listing which could help convey that you are responsive to customer complaints. As an accredited BBB business they are available to act as an intermediary for you and your customer.
Your Category(S) May Appear In Search Results
In doing some searches for one of our client’s important keywords I noticed the search listings below in the screen shot for searches on “Warehousing Services in CT”.
Notice the 3 listings from the BBB for Accredited Warehouses near cities in CT in top organic positions just below the sponsored ads.
I’ll bet plenty of people click through to those BBB listings because most people know who the BBB is and the listings mention “Accredited” warehouses and “trusted warehouses”. If someone clicks on one of these listings they are presented with a list of accredited BBB businesses in the category. I’ve seen similar results in other markets.
If you see some similar BBB listings in the search results for some of your important keywords then this is all the more reason to consider accreditation, especially if the BBB listings are appearing higher in the search results than your own listing.
Free BBB Listing Option
There’s also a free listing option that doesn’t include most of the features of an accredited listing, but it does include name and address. Your business may already be listed, so check on the BBB site in your area.
To find your local BBB web site Search on “bbb, State”