Getting lost down a dark alley in a seedy, unfamiliar part of town is nobody's idea of a good time, so don't make your customers wonder whether they've visited the wrong side of the Web when they come to your website. That's particularly true of small business websites.

Brand trust is critical to converting site visitors into customers, but how is it created if your name isn't Apple or Coca-Cola? Here's a list of eight quality signals that, when implemented on your website, will increase not only brand trust but also conversions, which means more revenue for your business's bottom line.

1. Show authoritative sites in which you've been featured

Has your site been mentioned by authoritative brands or media outlets? When your site visitors see that you've been mentioned by brands they know and trust, they'll be more inclined to trust your brand by association.

Consider a "Featured In" or "As Seen In" section to your site that lists authoritative sites that have mentioned or featured your brand.

2. Join the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Signing up for the BBB and adding its badge to your site is a great way to instill trust in your business when visitors experience your brand for the first time. The BBB performs background checks on businesses it accredits, so questionable, underdeveloped businesses are typically excluded.

The BBB symbol also lets visitors know that your brand is subject to scrutiny if it operates in a less-than-ethical manner, which creates an added layer of trust.

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Jeremy Schaedler is an economics graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, who writes for his company,, and for other publications related to insurance and marketing.