Need to improve your E-Commerce website? Not generating enough traffic, leads or sales online? Simply having an online store for your business does not necessarily mean that your business will start generating revenue.
Firstly, what is E-Commerce all about? It is basically the commercial transaction of buying and selling online. With the rapid growth of the digital world, almost all business transactions are conducted online, which is why it is important for every business to not only have a website, but a one that also works properly!
In order to ensure that your business’s website is working properly and performing well in the online world, there are 11 key elements which need to be on your checklist before you can expect any improvements or better results. This is why E-Commerce specialist provide E-Commerce services such as consultation, audits, strategies and recommendations to improve overall business.
In this article, I will assume that your website has at least 300+ products that are sold nationally.
Website branding also plays a major role in terms of online presence. How your website appears in a search engine when someone searches your business name is important. In order to have a good website branding, your website name should appear in at least the first 5-10 pages of Google.
Research indicates that users typically stay on a website for less than a minute and if your website does not capture their attention, it is highly likely that you will not only lose them, but also not have them visit your website again.
The homepage should have following:
- User friendly interface
- Responsive infrastructure
- Page should load fast
- A slider
- Easy navigation
- Some specials on popular products
- Popular Categories
- New or Featured Products
- Search Bar
- Heading Tags
- Good web content
Meta tags such as Title and Description must be executed according to your niche and keywords. A title should not be more than 80-90 characters long, and the description must be under 160 characters. If your page title, description and content on the page collaborate with each other, you will have better chance of ranking. You should not use the same title and description on every single page.
In some of E-Commerce platforms, whatever you write for the homepage’s title and description, would automatically show on every single page of your website so make sure you are not doing that. Whatever you write in your meta tags, it will be visible on search engines so choose wisely.
Categories are one of the most important features of any e-commerce website. If your website has many categories with each category having over a 100 products, make sure you create sub-categories and sub-divide the products. You can use either filters for main category or create sub-categories thumbnails to offer easy navigation. By doing that, you are not only offering better user experience, but also have a good chance of ranking on those categories and sub-categories. You need to have better content strategies for these sections which will be explained in content strategy.
There are two ways for users to find a specific product on a website; by search and through categories. If you don’t offer better navigation and easy search options for products that are being searched, you are going to lose your customers. Therefore the title of a product is very important as well as its description and features. Make sure you have following for each item:
- A good title
- Item code or SKU if it’s well known product
- At least 2-5 images with ALT tags
- Social Share Icons
- Pricing & Add to cart function
- Related or Similar Products at the bottom
Here’s an example:
Many E-Commerce Stores fail to recognize the importance of a search section within the website and what features should it offer. An online store with thousands of products has to offer a wide range of search options otherwise it becomes too difficult for customers to navigate on the website or for what they are looking for.
The search section should be easily identifiable by customers and visible on the header for all versions such as desktop, tablet and mobile. A customer must not put in efforts to find the search bar on your website. The best practice is for the search bar to appear next to your logo or above menu bar.
It is well known in the SEO industry that “Content is King”. What this means is it is essential for any website to have good content if you want to engage the user or grab their attention. It is important to provide content that they would want to read. Having content could potentially make you or break you depending on how good it is. You do not want customers to browse your website and leave it because they feel or seem disinterested in the service you are offering or product you are selling. This is why engaging with your customers through language and content is very crucial. It is like having a friendly customer service and providing your customer/client with what they need. Therefore a healthy website should have quality content for categories and products. Having a Blog on website is always a good idea.
If your checkout section is not configured properly or optimized according to better UX strategies, you will find lots of abandoned carts. The Checkout section should be customer-friendly and offer the following options:
- Variety of Payments Gateways
- Ability to Edit, Remove and Add products etc
- Tax information
- Shipping charges
- Visible Submit Order button
- Order confirmation page
It has become a well known practice for eCommerce stores to have social profiles. If your e-commerce store lacks social media appearance such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, you are missing out on the benefits of getting more sales, traffic to your website, increasing brand awareness and customers’ engagement.
SEO AND SEM
SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and SEM(Search Engine Marketing) must go together if you are looking to increase your sales and brand awareness. I have come across many ecommerce businesses that either use SEO or SEM and I have always advised to use both. SEO may bring you organic traffic and sales after a certain period of time but SEM brings quick results whether it’s traffic or sales.