2.7% more consumers converted when the site was routinely tested for security.

Auto classifieds web site operator Cars.com in early 2010 was looking for a better way to assure consumers that it would protect the personal information they enter on its CarPriceSecrets.com web site to get price quotes from car dealers.

That’s when the site ran an A/B test in which half of consumers saw the site display the McAfee Secure seal, a mark that shows the site has been scanned for security issues and passed the test. The other group didn’t see a seal anywhere on the site.

Consumers in the one group saw the McAfee Secure seal on the home page and throughout the web site’s checkout process, which for the referral site is the step where consumers submit their name and contact information so that car dealers can contact them. No money is exchanged on Cars.com. When consumers complete this step, Cars.com counts it as a conversion.

Over a nine-day test, Cars.com saw a 2.7% increase in conversions with the seal, says Vince King, Cars.com’s director of web production.

That’s a big boost because competition for auto referral leads is fierce online, says King. That’s why he’s always looking for ways to convince consumers to convert on Cars.com sites. The impact the seal had on conversions on CarPriceSecrets.com convinced him to expand the use of the seal to WhyPaySticker.com and NewCars.com. “It more than paid for itself in six months,” he says.     


Pricing for the seal is based on the number of web pages the seal is displayed on and average daily page views, McAfee Inc. says.