The purpose of executing a search engine optimization campaign is to generate traffic to your website.  If you’re investing time and money into SEO, it’s important to have a website that is worth the effort.  It’s the quality of the website itself and the information that it provides that will determine whether or not a website visitor takes some kind of action.  Consumers can still be wary about what they see on the web and it’s necessary to convey to each visitor that your site (and your business) can be trusted.

These key features help to convey trust:

Visual appeal

A professional website should be designed well and have an easy to use navigation.  The presentation of your website can help a visitor make a decision.  If the design is outdated or there really isn’t anything that “pops” it could send a visitor looking elsewhere, even if you sell amazing products or offer a great service.  When it comes to your website, looks do count.

Great content

The purpose of a business website is to provide consumers with information about your business, what you have to offer, and how you can help solve their problems.  If your website provides little information beyond the basics, it probably won’t be enough to sway a consumer’s decision.  Adding a blog to your website that is updated regularly is a great way to continually add great content.  Blog posts help to educate consumers about your industry and your company.

Testimonials and case studies

Before making a decision, many consumers look for information from other consumers.  They want to know that others have had a good experience with your business.  B2B case studies display how your business was able to improve the bottom line for a client or customer.  Testimonials from happy customers or clients should always be included on your website.  You don’t have to hide them away on a “Testimonial” page either, you can add them to different interior pages improving the chances of them getting noticed.  Always use a first and last name with the testimonial.  A testimonial from “Jane – PR Industry” could very well be made up.

Press and awards

If your business has been featured in the media, include an “in the news” section to your website that includes links to any articles, news websites, etc. in which you are mentioned.  Don’t be ashamed to tell website visitors about awards that you’ve won.

Copyright date

Most business websites include a copyright, but only include the current year.  A better way to use the copyright space is to add the year that the company was established to the current year.  For example, “1999-2012”.  If a business has been around for many years, they must be doing something right.

Accreditation and security

Add the logos of the Better Business Bureau and the Norton secured seal.  Security is especially a big deal for an e-commerce site.  The security logo must be visible throughout the check out process.

Contact information

Website visitors want to know that they can easily contact a human if they have any questions or concerns.  Include a business address, phone number, and email address on every page of the website.