So you’ve got to the stage with your business where you have decided on your product and you’ve built your eCommerce website. Now it’s time to focus on utilizing technology to rake in the money with your eCommerce business.
1 –Implement Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets are the summarized text displayed below search engine listings. Their purpose is to help users to quickly identify whether a search result is suitable for the search term they entered. Rich Snippets are great for improving the click-through rate to your website since users use them as a visual cue.
Website owners can implement Rich Snippets and improve the prominence of their eCommerce site with a few tweaks to their HTML. There are various types of Rich Snippets but eCommerce sites in particular can take advantage by allowing reviews of products. Here is a link to Google-endorsed Rich Snippet mark-up to ensure that they are able to process your reviews and display a Rich Snippet.
Google has tools that enable you to test the Rich Snippet features on your site and this can be useful in the stage leading up to the implementation of side-wide changes.
Users tend to click the search results that provide them with more information so Rich Snippets can give your site an edge over your competitors’ websites. Just by giving users that extra bit of information-those unfamiliar with your brand will be more inclined to visit your website over a competitor’s.
2 – Get A Shopping Basket
The basket is arguably one of the most important aspects of your site so it is vital that you make it as efficient and easy to use as possible. Baskets are used to capture your customer’s payment information and process it with respect to the order they are placing. Items in the basket are stored in the session object and then manipulated in real time as the customer browses and adds to their growing list of purchases.
Once the commitment is performed, the shopping basket can be cleared. This is at their most basic level and it is important to ensure that you allow the customer full control and access to their shopping basket so that they will feel comfortable with your site.
3 – Build Up Your Online Presence
Increasing your online presence will massively benefit your site, bringing more customers to your business day by day. Be sure to include all social media share button icons on every product page of your site. A Facebook “like” can be a vocal endorsement of your product within their social network.
Another good way of increasing your online presence is by creating and maintaining activity on newsgroups and forums. Go to where your buyers usually gather-you don’t need to sell your products here, just maintain your presence and build up a familiarity of your brand.
Make sure that you include a link to your site in your signatures. This will help increase the number of back-links to your site which, in turn, helps your search engine rankings.
4 – SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process which you go through in order to increase your website’s rankings on search engines. Getting to the front page of Google can hugely influence the revenue of your website. Many sites are still seeing the 70/30 split of their website traffic- 70% of the sites traffic comes via a search engine and 30% coming from “other”. Here are some tips to help you achieve better visibility online:
Serve Localized Content
For eCommerce sites targeting multiple countries, the content on those sites or sub domains should be written in a local language in order to take advantage of Geo-targeting.
Avoid Duplicate Content-across domains and in your own domain
Building up your database of products can be a time consuming process and you may well be tempted to copy and paste the manufacturer’s description in order to save some time. However, it is important to ensure that you write your own product descriptions for everything that you sell or risk being penalized by Google’s updates designed to catch duplicate content over different domains. Believe me, Google knows who copied who.
It goes without saying that when writing product descriptions, be sure to include the keyword that people are likely to search for. Invest some time/money in keyword research to direct your ranking efforts. For example, there is no point trying to rank the product page for “gigantic pink fishing rods” when nobody searches for that item. Keyword research ensures you pick and choose the keywords and pages that have the highest change of converting a visit to a sale.
Also be aware of duplicate content across your own domain. If the same content can be accessed via two (or more) URLs this is seen as duplicate content by crawlers. If these URLs display the same content-the same specification, the same price, the same jpeg images etc.:
They could be seen as duplicate content by crawlers. Multiply these instances by all of the products you sell and your site could look like one big site that offers little or no unique content.
To combat this, Google now recommends using the rel=canonical tag. You can implement this by adding small snippet of code in the section:
By adding the rel=canonical tag to all the duplicated pages, it is effectively saying to Google crawlers “Hey! I am a copy, there’s the original I want you to prioritize in search results.”
Making sure your site is free from duplicate content ensures that you are not missing out on any opportunities to rank.
Paginate Your Product Landing Pages
The manner in which your store is organised can affect your rankings so it is important to layout your site in a way that will be search engine bots can crawl.
Google now supports website pagination and this should be a priority for eCommerce webmasters. For example if you sell 200 different handbags, you will often display your products across multiple pages. This is where pagination mark-up needs to be implemented. Clear pagination helps users and crawlers alike to find the next page of content. Here’s how you implement pagination:
Keep On Top Of Algorithm Changes On Search Engines
Having made your site search engine friendly, it is crucial to remain on top of any changes that occur in search engines’ algorithms. Google’s latest ‘Penguin’ update has affected swathes of e-commerce retailers by punishing those sites use participated in link schemes. Google’s Panda update was released to combat sites that offer poor quality content.
Google’s updates are aimed at decreasing the rankings of any site that violates their webmaster guidelines or don’t stand up to what they class as a “high quality” result and that means your SEO strategy needs to be in a constant state of progression and development.
Here’s a comprehensive list of Google’s updates to date: http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change
As you can see, what is acceptable practice for webmasters today may become a target for the anti-spam algorithm tomorrow. You need to stay on top of it constantly for your site to stay high up in the rankings.
5- Personalisation Software
So you’re high up the rankings, you’ve got a good online presence the final leg of the journey is to convert the people who visit your site. You can increase the chance of conversion by serving up tailored content for each user.
If you have a limited knowledge of web technologies but a true believer in personalizing your website for each individual visitor then consider using a personalisation software. Each user is different, so a one-size-fits-all website could lose your hard earned visitors and potential custom at the last hurdle.
Using personalisation software that determines, and serves up the most fitting content for your visitor is your best bet for converting casual website visitors into paying customers.