When managing an online business, your website is your home base. It’s where you’re funneling customers and where they’re going to make important purchasing decisions. Your website, similar to a retail location, is going to create an impression in your visitors that helps them decide if your products or services are right for them. It can help you communicate that you’re trustworthy and that what you’re offering is high-quality and fairly priced. It can also let people know that you take their data, privacy, and security seriously, making it okay for them to share their banking information should they wish to make a purchase.
Given how vital your eCommerce website is in the purchasing decisions of your customers, it’s something that needs to be given time and attention. The following will explore a few things you might want to know if you’re developing an eCommerce website. Of course, if you already have a website for your business, this information is valuable for you too. You can simply treat the below as a checklist, making tweaks or changes to your site if you’re missing any critical elements.
Not All Platforms Are Created Equal
There are several eCommerce platforms that businesses can choose to have their sites hosted on. Each of them will have its own benefits and features, and this means a big part of eCommerce development is reading through all the options and features and choosing the right platform for you and your business. Things to consider include whether a platform allows for the usage of multiple currencies and how easy it is to connect smoothly with the social media and other marketing sites you use.
Focus On Functionality First
When you’re designing an eCommerce website, you’re likely going to be choosing a theme and tweaking it as you see fit. When making your choice, you first need to think about how functional it is. This means all information should be easy to find, your site should work on all browsers (including mobile ones), and loads quickly. When you’ve selected a theme, take the time to beta test it. Gather a group of friends or acquaintances who are in your target demographic and ask them to find things on your site. Have them write down how long it took them and whether any links were in non-intuitive places. Make changes accordingly.
Copy And Images
Now that you have a platform and a theme, you’re going to want to spend some time getting the copyright and including images that are crisp and clear (but also not such big file sizes that they load slowly). If you need help with this, get help. You can hire a copywriter and a photographer if needed. Images should be unfiltered when it comes to products but can be edited for a consistent appearance if they’re not images of products. Copy should be snappy, on-brand, and focused on converting; if you’re writing your own copy, take the time to read a book on what makes for good copy and what makes for bad copy—you’ll never look at copywriting the same again. Video content also does incredibly well in many industries, so you might want to book a videographer and get some video content of your products or video guides on the usage of your products.
With all the basic information on your site, you can focus on how pretty it is. Working with a graphic designer is a must if you’re not someone who is artistically oriented. It’s also important to think about trends and the emotional impact of artistic decisions. At the moment, minimalist websites are on trend; people consider cluttered sites to be amateurish and so tend to avoid them. Yes, thinking about trends means that you’re going to have to regularly update the look of your site (probably once per year at the minimum). Color psychology is also critical to think about, as the colors you choose will have an impact on the mental state of people perusing your site. Figure out what emotion you want people to feel, and make sure that your color choices aren’t putting that in jeopardy.
Search Engine Optimization
Once you’ve got your website platform, theme, and content, it’s time to start optimizing it for search engines. A gorgeous website that is highly functional isn’t going to help you at all if people aren’t finding the website. Include low competition keywords in all your content (this means keywords that many people are searching for but don’t have much content available online) as well as long-chain keywords as most people search full questions into search engines. One of the fastest ways to improve your search engine ranking is to have a blogging strategy. If you have several blog posts on your site that reflect what your customers are searching for within search engines.
If you’re, let’s say, an eco-friendly clothing company, you’ll want to have posts about what eco-friendly clothing is and how consumers can do their research to figure out whether or not a brand is trustworthy. People who want to buy eco-friendly clothes are searching for this information and will find your site if you provide it in blog format.
You can take this strategy to the next level by writing guest blog posts on other blogs and websites that link back to your posts. One of the fastest ways to improve search engine ranking is by boosting your domain authority; the more big and trustworthy sites that link back to your page, the higher your domain authority ranking.
You also want to devote a little time to crafting press releases and sending those to local and relevant news outlets. Links from news organizations tend to be highly valued by search engines.
It’s worth noting that crafting blog posts, guest posts, and press releases is a skill that requires a strong grasp of the language you’re writing in. If writing isn’t in your skillset, it might be a good idea to hire a ghostwriter.
Get Your Security In Order
The digital world is basically like the wild west. More and more customers are figuring out that their data security and privacy are invaluable. This means it’s your responsibility to do your due diligence and ensure that you’re doing everything you can to protect people’s data.
The above list should help you improve the quality of your eCommerce site as well as increase your conversion rate. Remember that the digital world evolves at a rapid pace, and this means you need to regularly revisit your site to look for areas where you can improve.