Why is it important to optimise e-commerce pages?
Your customer is looking for something, you have what they need; but you need to ensure they can find your online store.
There are many things to take into account when optimising an e-commerce website, these will include:
- Meta titles descriptions
- Images and alt-tags
- Product descriptions
- Categorisation of products
- Price and payment methods
- Off-page referrals
Of course, what is most important is that your site is optimised for the best customer journey too. Optimisation should never lose sight of the customer and their user experience of your website, which is, after all, your shop front. Incorporating a live chat functionality to your e-commerce website can help re-assure customers that there is a ‘real’ person available to answer any queries or a quick question they may have.
You’ll also need to consider how your e-commerce site will be viewed from mobile devices, and the user experience these mobile users will have too.
Get your product title right
This may sound obvious, but you’ll need your product title to match what potential customers are searching for. Therefore, be specific and include keywords that your customers will be using when they’re searching. It should be concise, so those skim reading can easily see if it matches their search, whilst also being accurate. If your product has a model or part number, be sure to include it.
A picture says a thousand words
It’s important to ensure your e-commerce website shows off your products, and this includes imagery. In the absence of being able to see your products close up, and e.g. the size and colour, you rely on imagery to showcase your items. These images should be your images of your products, commission photography if you need to. If you can add 360° imagery for a view from every angle, or even a video of the product in use to enable customers to see how they will use it, even better.
Whatever e-commerce platform you’re using, these images should include alt-tags, which are descriptions of the product. Therefore search engines can index the keywords from the images in addition to the page content to deliver relevant search results to those shopping online. Again, these need to be specific and accurate; you want your customers to be able to trust you and your site.
This is your opportunity to get across the crucial details of your products, whether that’s size, colour, range of uses, compatibility, etc. Here you can inform potential customers with as much relevant information as possible. Using keywords and semantic phrases you’re aiming to ensure a match between your product, and what a customer is looking for. Use a combination of short and long descriptions, with the key information being in the short description, useful for people who are skim reading or comparing products; with further detail in the long description. However, make sure your description is easy to read and digest whilst also being accurate and true. This helps the user have a good shopping experience, even if they’re just browsing your online store.
Depending upon what you’re selling, you will have different categories of products. If you’re selling clothing you may categorise into men, women, children, and then sub-categorise into e.g. tops, trousers, and underwear. If you’re selling skincare you may categorise facial, body, hands. Think carefully about what your customers are looking for, and how categorising products will help them.
The navigation bar of your site should mirror your categories, and breadcrumbs improve the user experience by allowing them to quickly revert back to the category from which they were searching. This is important to ensure the customer has an easy journey and shopping experience through your online store, and can browse simply, whilst still going back to their initial search criteria.
Price and payment
Customers want to know the cost of the item they’re searching, therefore they need to be able to see it clearly, without any hidden extras. Ensure the currency is clear, just because you might be a ‘local’ business in Milton Keynes it doesn’t mean visitors to your site are only from that location.
Ensure your customers understand the delivery cost, whether it’s free, a fixed rate, or dependent upon a purchase threshold or weight, or even location specific; make sure these details are clear. If you offer discounts, or special offers these should also be clear. Will a three for the price of two discount automatically calculate? Where should a customer input the promotional code to receive a special offer or discount?
Ensuring your shopping cart functionality is easy for the customer is important too. A simple ‘one click’ to add the item to their shopping cart makes it easy for them to purchase. A payment process and method that is safe and secure is also important for their experience and peace of mind too. They want to be safe in the knowledge that the transaction is completed securely.
If you’re finding your e-commerce platform is receiving lots of traffic but has poor sales figures or abandoned shopping carts, you’ll want to look at the conversion rates for your products. By using analytics you can understand where these is an issue and look at rectifying whatever may be causing this, to improve your shopping conversion rates.
You want your site to be trusted, and one way to help achieve this is off-page referrals. These need to be legitimate referrals which come from other trusted sites e.g. review sites, recommendation sites, social media channels etc.
It’s possible to link your WooCommerce store with Facebook, which allows direct tagging of products and the creation of a Facebook Store. This can also be linked to Instagram to increase the reach and visibility of your products. What’s more stock levels can be linked ensuring availability can be visible to your customers at all times.
If you’re struggling with your e-commerce website or are looking for an e-commerce platform and would like a chat, just get in touch.
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