Whether you have a physical store or not, your e-store is one of many ways you reach the world with your products or services. It is the first, and sometimes the only impression a user gets of you, your company, and the things you sell. However, having an e-store is only the first step.
Every business is about three things: production, distribution, and marketing. Once you have produced a great product, you have to find a way to distribute it, and give the world a way to discover it. This is where your e-store comes in. It is the gateway to customer orders, or distribution, and it is also a big part of your overall marketing.
So how do you optimize your e-store to get the best results? Here are some tips:
Your Name is Your Sign
Your domain name, the name of your blogs, the names of your pages, and even the names of your products are your sign. They are the first thing that someone who is using a search engine sees about you. This is why names are so vital.
For names to work, they must be relevant, easy to say and spell, and appropriate in both abbreviation and the running of words together to form your domain or blog post. These elements are vital, and should be checked all of the time.
The internet is full of funny blogs containing domain name fails: don’t let yours be one of them. Check your domain name of course, and if you have a bad one for whatever reason, you can change it and send traffic to your new one using a 301 redirect, but also check the name of posts and other pages.
Make sure your sign is one you are proud of, and actually relates to what you do. You don’t want internet users to be confused from the beginning.
Check Your Health
How is your site doing really? Is it sick, lacking in visitors? Is it malnourished by not enough content, or content that is old and rotting? Is your theme outdated? When is the last time you updated your product pages or shopping card options?
Does everything work on your site? Are there broken links that lead nowhere and need to be fixed? What about pricing?
All of these things can be neglected if you do not make a plan to stay on top of them. An anemic e-store website that feels like an unmanned cash register will send your visitors running to your competition.
Keep your site healthy with regular checkups. Try your own checkout process, click on the links on your pages or use a broken links tool to check them, and read over your own copy. Make sure it is fresh, relevant, and would inspire you to action.
Update Store Policies
Maybe you have implemented a free two-day shipping policy to compete with other online retailers, but never officially updated the policies on your website.
What about your policies on refunds, returns, and exchanges? Are those up to date as well, and are they friendly to customers? Before you move on to optimizing other parts of your e-store, make sure these policies are not only current, but show your customers your commitment to their satisfaction.
Often, we think of policy pages like the back pages no one ever looks at: we simply set them up when we set up our e-store and never look at them again. However, they do affect conversions and our bottom line, and we neglect them at our peril.
Optimize Product and Landing Pages
Product and landing pages are the key to your sales and conversions, and yet they are often not the most optimal part of your website. How do you make sure that they are? Visit each one for yourself, and check for some key elements:
- Clarity: Is your page clear about its purpose and what it is describing?
- SEO: Do all of your pages contain titles and meta descriptions? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone, but you do need to fix this.
- Missing Information: Does each page have all the information it should and a way to contact you? Are your FAQ’s as complete as they could be? Is there a buy now link?
- Images: Do you have the right to use all of your images? Are the attributed properly, and do they have the proper ALT text?
- Product Descriptions: Are these unique, or simply copied from your supplier’s website? Are they interesting and compelling, so people will want to buy them?
If you don’t know how to do some of these things, or are even unsure, get some help from a professional. It is better to hire someone at the development or checkup stages than to have to redo certain aspects of your site later.
The key to optimizing your site is to make sure that everything is complete and all of the parts are working the way that they should. If they aren’t, it is time to update them and fix the things that are broken. It is also the time to get rid of the old, add new updates and content, and give users a reason to visit your site again and again.