Who are your ecommerce site visitors? Could you describe them in detail? Would you be sure of your answers, or would you be taking educated guesses?
Does talk of optimizing your ecommerce site’s source code or HTML make your eyes start to widen in fear and your brow knit in confusion? While it might not be the most exciting subject, HTML is one topic area that could make a huge difference in how well your site performs — and since knowledge is power, it’s well worth understanding the role that optimization plays in any site’s HTML.
Have you been considering hiring a web marketing and development firm to handle your search engine optimization (SEO) needs? You will notice there is a great deal of variety as far as what each agency offers in terms of SEO packages. However, there are certain deliverables you should insist upon before signing any contracts.
To improve your ecommerce site returns, you have to focus your marketing efforts on proven methodologies. This includes pay-per-click, or PPC, campaigns.
PPC uses the natural online search habits of consumers to give them paid advertisements whenever they input keywords into Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. This is the reason searching for the term “hiking boots” not only produces organic results, but advertisements for companies selling hiking boots and related items come up as well.
Advertisements like these are called PPC because your ecommerce site doesn’t have to pay anything unless someone clicks through to your designated landing page. Then, you are charged whatever you agreed to pay for the click, regardless of whether the visitor buys.
Keyword research can seem like a daunting task for any ecommerce website owner. So many questions come up during the process: How can I be sure of my research? What sources are reliable for keyword searches? Is it okay to use more than one research tool? Can keyword research be done in-house, or does it have to be outsourced?
These are all excellent, thought-provoking inquiries. They’re also understandable. The good news is that there are several free (yes, free!) platforms available to help you hunt for the keywords that are most likely to get you visitors and improved page rank.
How can you make all your product descriptions absolutely irresistible? Fortunately, it isn’t too tough. You simply have to follow some guidelines to improve the performance of your ecommerce site.
When you have an ecommerce website, you inevitably have multiple product pages. Some sites, like Amazon, have so many product pages that it’s virtually impossible to keep up. You may not have hundreds of thousands of items to sell, but that doesn’t mean you should let your product pages sit idly by. Product pages can and will attract new visitors to your site, particularly if you maximize the search engine optimization (SEO) of each one.
If you want your brain to start spinning, conduct a little research on the number of ecommerce sites that are up and running right now. Whether you search for only U.S.-based ecommerce companies or you try to find a figure that addresses ecommerce websites throughout the world, you’re bound to run into shockingly high figures: 100,000… 500,000… This doesn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg, either. Mindboggling, indeed.
Are all these ecommerce sites competing with one another? Yes and yes. Yes, in the sense that consumers have limited dollars to spend. Yes again because every ecommerce site has to woo buyers using all the tools and techniques at its command. Unfortunately, most ecommerce companies are woefully inadequate in a singular department: their search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO isn’t just nice to have for ecommerce organizations of all sizes. It’s a needed element. In fact, it can make the difference between a banner year and one that’s spent ever-tightening each team members’ belt. Interestingly, relatively small or seemingly-insignificant SEO tweaks can have enormous payoffs.
Below are three examples of ecommerce sites that saw the light and began using SEO to their profit. If you have an ecommerce site that’s already live or you’re just in the beginning stages of constructing your ecommerce behemoth, take some notes. You can skip months of fret and worry by immediately shifting gears.
An ecommerce site needs a special touch. You want your visitors to find your merchandise so irresistible that they can’t help but start browsing — and ultimately making purchases, of course.
To ensure your website has a stellar design, you need to practice the most reliable methods of development, content creation, navigation flow, search engine optimization (SEO), and more. Below are some of our preferred best practices for ecommerce sites that want to build revenue month after month.
Know Your Target Audience, and Write Calls-to-Action for Them
If you were asked to define your target audience, could you? Chances are good that with a little thought, you could come up with a description of your ideal customers. These are the people you have to make sure you design your website for. This means creating content written for their eyes and benefit, not for yours.
For instance, are you trying to sell to people who are retired? Chances are good that they’re not going to care about the same things millennials will. Know your primary consumer population and speak directly to them. The more personalized your website is, the more apt your readers are to become loyal customers.
Streamline Your Sales Funnel
How many times have you tried to buy something on an ecommerce site, only to find that it’s practically impossible or it takes tons and tons of clicks to get to where you need to? As an ecommerce business, you should always make your sales funnel as simple and convenient to follow as you possibly can.
Take a test right now: See how long it takes a person visiting your home page to find an item and then purchase it. How much information are you asking for? How many pages does your visitor have to go through before the sale is made? In general, the longer it takes, the higher the chances you’ll be dealing with abandoned shopping carts.
Yes, it’s essential to get all the necessary info, but if you can make selecting and buying merchandise more convenient, you’ll get the prize of more revenue and fewer lost sales.
Add Practical Images, Videos, and Information for Viewers
Are you giving your customers a well-rounded understanding of the products they find at your ecommerce site? Or are you just showing them a stock picture, hoping it will do the selling for you?
The top ecommerce sites in the business often include more than one image for the items they sell. They may even have videos, reviews, specifications, guidebooks, and similar things. Give your visitors the information they need upfront. This will help them make decisions faster.
Give Customers the Opportunity to Set up Accounts — or Not
Some customers find it wonderful to be able to set up an account with your ecommerce business. Their account helps them avoid re-typing info because you already have it stored in your database. On the other hand, other customers prefer to give as little personal info about themselves as possible and would rather be considered “guests” when they arrive.
Be certain to set up your ecommerce website for all types of shoppers.
Keep Close Tabs on Your Hottest Competitors
As part of your web design best practices, always keep close tabs on the businesses you consider your strongest competitors. If all of them start to change an aspect of their web design, ask yourself why. Does it make sense for you to follow suit? Was there a reason behind it? If you’re not sure, get in touch with a professional web design firm for a consultation.
The more time you spend perfecting your ecommerce site design, the more chances you’ll have of breaking sales records and meeting quarterly goals.
Ecommerce sites are essentially retail stores online. Rather than going to a brick-and-mortar location to buy what they need, consumers can shop from the comfort of their homes, offices, or anywhere they have access to the Internet. To turn prospects into customers, and one-time customers into loyal, lifetime customers, ecommerce sites rely on robust inbound marketing platforms, including email marketing.