Blogs by date "02/01/13"
Optimize Your eCommerce Website for Better Usability and Greater Sales Potential
No matter how much a fancy website you may own, in the end it always comes down to its usability.
In case you are not sure about the usability of your website, check the 2-3% rule. Do the 2-3% of the visits on your website get converted into sales?
If not than definitely you would have to rework on your website, to make it more user friendly and effective in selling.
Here is a complete potpourri of various steps and techniques that you can follow, in order to optimize the usability of your ecommerce website.
Steps That You Can Take to Improve the Usability of Your Website
If, as per the data, only 3 out of 10 orders on your ecommerce website are seen through completion, of course there is a room for a lot more that can be done. Here we shall be discussing various ways in which you can optimize your website, offer a better user experience and subsequently improve the sales of the same.
Optimize Your Website for Faster Loading Time
Your website has at most 3 quick seconds to load on the browser of the user, otherwise no one is going to sit around and wait for your ecommerce website, while it takes forever to load.
So, remove any unnecessary animation or flash designs, optimize the images on your website and ensure that your website is a quick loading one.
Reconsider the Layout
Follow the conventions – over the period of time, there has come to be an ecommerce website union of the sorts.
They follow similar practices, have a similar layout, so that the users do not get intimidated and find it rather easy to navigate through and use various different websites.
You may think of applying the widely followed practices on your website as well.
These include – Logo on the top left side, hyper linked to the main page, a contact us page, which offers contact information such as Name, email address, postal address etc., the right side as the link to check out page.
These conventions will make the users more comfortable and hence will enhance the user experience.
Wisely use the text – the right blend of text can further increase the experience a user has. Do not use morbid type of fonts and also do not get extra flashy with the same. By the very nature, it gets a bit difficult to read through the website, hence ensure that the size of the texts is optimum enough to be read. Also, avoid long paragraphs, try to follow the KISS principle [keep it simple, silly!]
Condemn unnecessary graphics – unnecessary graphics only adds up to the over all weight of the website hence increased the loading time and also distract the users from focusing on the main content and highlights of the website. Keep the brand logo of your website and the pictures of what you are selling, rest everything is simply unnecessary.
Rework on the Navigation
Effective organizations – you need to make it very easy for the users to find the products.
Do not leave them unguarded in a maze of product pages etc, rather be their torch bearer.
Organize the content of your website rather skillfully and the entire journey should appear to be as smooth as boating in still waters.
Work certain conventions out – there should be certain aspect of your page, which should not change and also should be easy to find. Like, the links of the previous page or the next should always exist on each and every page and that too at the same locations. Similarly the checkout button – it should be easiest to find and should exist at the same right hand corner, on all of the pages.
Offer users a menu bar – the menu bar will make it considerably easy for them to flip through various pages of your website, it should have the home page, Contact Us page and other critical pages.
Streamline the Order Process
Give them clear cut, specific information – nobody’s a fool when they are shopping online. We are all well aware of the online frauds and cyber crime and hence it definitely gets a bit difficult to trust the online medium, regardless of how easy and effortless it is.
In such a tight cryptic scenario, if you hit them up with hidden information, add hidden costs and inflate the prices at the point of checkout, the users will only simply abandon your shopping cart.
KISS, KISS and more KISS – well, there are people who can never get enough of it, but this time round we are talking about the principle we already discussed – Keep it simple, silly!
Though it is such a simple concept to follow, yet a lot of websites simply refuse to follow it; especially when it comes to the check out process. Usually, the checkout process takes at least 5 pages, simply because as an online merchant, we want to get as much information from the users, as we possibly can manage.
However, what we don’t realize that every page in the check out process gives an opportunity to the user to abandon the entire page and leave it right in the middle.
Thus, work on the checkout process. Do not ask repetitive questions, which would force the users to type the same information again and again. Also, match their shipping information with the billing data and there fore, fill in the shipping details automatically, so that the users do not have to type the same. Lastly, it will be good to show some sort of a progress bar, which will show how much far they have reached in the checkout process.
Do away with the registration – there are websites that require the customers to register first and then place their order. If you have one such website, you are only inviting much more steps and inconvenience for the users. Do away with any such formality and your may add a handful amount of loyal customers to your kitty.
Ask for Feedback
One of the basic lessons that one learns in the business school is that consumer demands have no end. No matter how far you go to please them, they would definitely come up with something or the other that went amiss.
Ask for their feedback anyway. Their feedback will give you a reality check on where you stand. Do not be swayed with the criticism or the acclaim, always try to read between the lines and test the waters on your own.
I hope these certain guidelines or tips (in whatever way you take it), would help you to boost up your sales. We are waiting for your reviews and views in comments section.
About the Author:
This post has been contributed by Mr. Praveen Sharma, an Sr. Associate – Internet Marketing at Daffodil Software Ltd., a company specializes in magento ecommerce website development and other cms development services. You can get in touch with Praveen on twitter @i_praveensharma.
5 Creative SEO Link Building (and Earning) Tips for Ecommerce Sites
For any ecommerce SEO strategy, building and earning links is essential to earn top keyword rankings.
Without an arsenal of blogs and link building resources, it's not easy to generate link popularity for your ecommerce site.
It's time to get your creative juices flowing and start brainstorming ways to naturally earn links back to your website.
Below are five creative link building (and earning) tips to empower your off-page ecommerce SEO strategy.
1. Construct a Creative Content Marketing Strategy
The best way to naturally earn quality links back to your ecommerce site is content marketing. That is, produce, publish, and promote brilliant content that earns the favor of your audience. Content that earns social favor will typically garner a natural influx of links.
Be creative in the content you produce and share. Product profiles and reviews are an ideal form of link bait for ecommerce SEO. And beyond write-ups and blogs post, a short video or insightful graphic can be the most engaging form of content.
Parallel to creating content that's creative and compelling, ensuring that your content gets exposure is equally as important. Social media plays a pivotal role in getting your content in front of the right people.
2. Be as Social as Possible
Having a strong social media presence can help maximize your content marketing and link earning potential.
In short, the more people who engage with your content, the more likely your content will be shared and linked-to.
Three of the most powerful social media platforms for ecommerce SEO are Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Not only do these platforms facilitate sharing and link earning potential, but the likes, tweets, and +1's (social signals) that are earned can help increase the content's ranking potential.
Social media is a powerful tool that should be used in conjunction with SEO and link building. If your ecommerce brand is fresh on the social scene, start reaching out and connecting with various communities. You can leverage Facebook's ad platform to rack-up more likes to your page, or create an organic social media strategy to help grow your following. Although the gratification will not be instantaneous, the long-term rewards of building social authority can indeed help your overall SEO strategy.
3. Incentivize with Contests & Giveaways
An amazing way for your ecommerce brand to get popular is to put on a contest or sweepstakes giveaway that draws the attention of your target audience. Again social media can help immensely in promoting such offers. And once known to your audience, a contest can help garner links back to your website.
Beyond a link earning context, be sure that participants opt-in to the contest via email, social media platform (by "liking" or "following" your page,) or both. This way you can take advantage of growing your contact list for future ecommerce marketing efforts.
4. Produce Link Bait-able Content
Link bait is purely awesome content that people like, and link to. Similar to constructing a creative content marketing strategy, think of publishing something super inspiring that instills that 'ah ha' moment in your audience.
Some of the most link bait-able forms of content are:
- Product reviews and feature profiles (especially in the form of video)
- Infographics that are very relevant (and fun) for your target audience
- Unbiased, customer-generated reviews on product pages
- How-to articles and blog posts for self-enhancement
- Interactive applications and games
- Coupons, deals, and other creative buying incentives
5. Use Link Anchor Text Creatively
Although link earning is the best way to establish greater off-page authority for SEO, manual link building is still an effective practice. However after Google's Penguin attack on over-optimized anchor text, it's now important to diversify anchor text to appear more natural.
Mix it up and be creative with your link anchor text. Choose descriptive anchor text (over "generic anchor text") for your links, and be empathetic from the perspective of your readers. Of course some degree of keyword relevancy is important for SEO; however, be well-balanced and avoid using exact phrase match anchor text more than 30-40% of the time.
About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky offers over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. He is an ecommerce SEO specialist here at Click Centric SEO and offers expertise in strategy development, content creation, and consulting programs. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)clickcentricseo.com or Follow him on Twitter.