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Ecommerce Optimization Guide to Ramp-Up Sales [2019]

Updated on  16th August

9 Min Read
Ecommerce Optimization Guide
Reading Time: 9 minutes

[UPDATED] When starting your ecommerce store for the first time, you will face many challenges such as almost zero sales, low traffic, and server issues. In such conditions, it is always best to consult a more experienced store owner who can point out ecommerce optimization mistakes that you should avoid.

Unfortunately, not everyone have a mentor to help out in the initial turbulent years. That’s why I’ve written this guide so that first-timers with no one to help out could now avoid the basic mistakes that could take their store down within rankings.

 

Ecommerce Optimization Tips for Holiday Season

These optimization tips are a no-brainer and even if you are a not-so-tech-savvy store owner, you will find them easy to implement.

Finally, I hope that you will be able to setup a successful store by employing the ecommerce optimization strategies listed in this guide.

Let’s start:

1. Design an Impressive Homepage

You have just a couple of seconds to convince visitors that your store is  the best option for their ecommerce requirements. A homepage that is impressive in terms of design and usability goes a long way in converting visitors into customers. You should always A/B test homepage design elements to find what works with your audience.

All you need to do is to make sure that the homepage has all the elements that enthrall the visitors on their first visit.

2. Focus on On-Page SEO

After setting up your ecommerce store, the first thing you need to do is:

  • Add a simple URL structure because Google loves that
  • Add meta descriptions, titles, keywords keeping the Google guidelines in mind
  • Add product descriptions, specifications, tables, and pictures on the product pages
  • Add rich snippets for all products so that they can get indexed quickly in the organic searches

On-page SEO is a one-time effort that you have to repeat for all new pages added to the store. Remember that Google is always coming up with new updates and properly optimized pages is the first thing you will need to maintain website traffic from organic searches.

Product page SEO is equally important for ecommerce optimization because of its direct impact on the store revenues.  to get you started, here are five best practices of ecommerce product SEO.

Search Engine Land, a search engine news website, often comes up with helpful tips such as its excellent list of 17 SEO best practices that could double your ecommerce sales. And, if you are using Magento based ecommerce stores, check out the  SEO best practices for ecommerce product pages. Cloudways have also discussed SEO and its contribution to the success of your online store in this detailed checklist.

Checkout Actionable Ecommerce SEO Strategies for 2019

This leads to the last part of a fully optimized ecommerce website: The Thank You Page.

3. The Thank You Page

The Thank You page is important because of two reasons: 1. Users love it because they think it is a personal greeting, and research indicates that a thank you page is going to double your chances of getting a repeat customer. 2. These pages are helpful in tracking the buyer’s journey in Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels.

Thank you page

Here’re seven best practices for creating an ecommerce thank you page.

4. Adding a Blog

Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute says that an ecommerce store without a blog will lose most of its audience because it can’t hook them back. Successful ecommerce stores have their own blogs where they cover latest trends, make announcements, and answer use queries with detailed posts. These posts are then shared around the community and increase the worth of those ecommerce stores.

Now, as the digital arena has become highly competitive, having a blog for your store has become of utmost importance of increasing the store’s footprint.

Cloudways Blog Screen Grab

You can check out Cloudways Blog and understand how we are marketing our products through it.

5. Consistent Off-Page SEO

The optimization of an ecommerce store is an ongoing process. By doing the on-page SEO, adding a blog, and complete product page content optimizations, you might be able to get ranked, but without relevant off-page SEO efforts, the ecommerce store won’t show any tangible results.

For those who have no idea about it, Off-page SEO is a mix of link building, social marketing, influencer marketing, marketing outreach, and paid marketing. For the success of your ecommerce store, you will need to have most of these tactics in place and on repeat.

6. Don’t be Afraid to Fail

Finally, just like any other venture, ecommerce success is also based on trial and error. So, just start doing and focus on the results. The best option is to set a time frame and a budget and test your campaigns. If these don’t work out for you initially, then move to another campaign and start testing it. That’s how you will learn and eventually become successful by finding a strategy that works.

We have tried to be as detailed as possible by wrapping up every aspect of the ecommerce optimization in this guide. Still, it is possible that we may have missed a point or two. So, let us know what we have missed through the comments below.

7. Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

Almost 60 percent visitors of a website abandon their carts because of slow page loading time. There are many ways to improve it and one of them is to simply reduce the steps it takes a buyer to buy a product. This means reducing the number of fields you require, show the credit card information box on the first page together with the address so the buyer has only one step to complete the purchase. If possible, ask the buyer to pay through Paypal for quick payment.

Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

An ecommerce store using Proceed to Checkout and Paypal Checkout – Source: Memory4less

You should also enable guest checkout on your site. Most people don’t want to sign-in just to make a purchase. This will certainly help them buy items easily and improve sales.

8. Build a Creative Tool

Build a useful and creative tool that gives your visitors more value. Think about how many stores exist that are providing exactly the same prices that you offer. How can you improve upon that?

Jet.com became popular after it introduced a tool called ‘price drop as you shop.’ The tool decreased the total cost when people bought multiple products at once. This increased their engagement, order ratio, and brought it in the limelight.

Build a Creative Tool

Source: Newegg.com

Similarly, Newegg offers a Memory Configurator tool that allows users to search for a compatible RAM just by entering their model number. They can then easily buy the RAM by adding it to their cart. This makes the whole process of finding compatible memory chips a lot easier than searching for them in the catalog.

9. Add Exit Popups

Another way to improve sales on your web store is by adding an exit popup. You can add promotional offers such as discounts, freebies, sweepstakes, and even more. This will not only increase engagement on the store but also reduce cart abandonment rate.

Add Exit Popups

In fact, people love to get discounts. Even if they were getting a low price somewhere else, if you have a lucrative deal, like the one available in the picture, they are surely going to stick and buy the product.

10. Let Customers Add Reviews

Majority of the users read reviews of a product before buying it online. Why not provide them these reviews right on the product pages? This is one trick that helps Amazon win the most sales. It has a product review section. Whenever users browse the products, they buy only those that have the most reviews.

Check the reviews of Amazon Echo on Amazon. Almost 30,000 people have bought it and all have given a positive rating.

Let Customers Add Reviews

Source: Amazon

11. Profit From Multichannel Selling Options

Ecommerce conversion optimization is not just about optimizing the website itself, but there are many offsite ways to sell products. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Think about all the places where your customers are: such as Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, Rakuten, and other top marketplaces. Create seller accounts and also start selling your items on these websites.

Profit from Multichannel Selling Options

Source: neilpatel.com

You can also use social media websites to sell your products. For example, Instagram offers integration with ecommerce websites. You can then tag your products within the Instagram posts to boost sales. Hunt for new avenues and capitalize on them whenever possible.

Bonus Tip: Always choose an optimized ecommerce hosting provider to ensure your online store loads with lightning speed.

12. Address Pain Points

One way to improve the ecommerce conversion rate is by addressing the pain points of the users. For example, do your competitors offer an easy return policy? Do they have a lower price guarantee available? Is the shipping cost high?

Return policies are often rigid and restricted. They are a downer for most online shoppers. If you can provide a straightforward return policy, your customers will be more than happy to shop from your website.

13. Clearly Display Prices

Another reason most online shoppers leave a site is because of deceiving prices. Some ecommerce websites offer exceptional discounts but their shipping rates are off the chart. This type of deceiving deal breaks shoppers’ trust. In fact, according to a survey by Get Elastic, almost 95 percent visitors leave a shopping website if the prices are not displayed prominently on the product page.

14. Choose a Suitable Ecommerce Platform

Ecommerce industry has both hosted and self-hosted platforms., each with its unique set of pros and cons. The expert tip here is to read up about each platforms and discover the platform that best fit the requirements of your business model.

To help you out, here is a brief description of popular ecommerce platforms:

  • Magento: Magento powers about 10 percent of the ecommerce stores across the globe. It is made for users who plan to setup stores for the long term.

Here’s why Magento is the best ecommerce platform for your business.

  • PrestaShop: PrestaShop is another open source ecommerce platform that powers around 250,000 ecommerce stores . The number is steadily growing. The ecommerce community is pretty divided on the suitability of the platform for newcomers.

Here’re 10 advantages of using Prestashop for ecommerce stores.

  • WooCommerce: WooThemes rolled out this free WordPress Plugin to serve the needs of its community. There are many reasons to love this platform, including the awesome WooCommerce community and the robust support for stores of all sizes.
  • OpenCart: OpenCart has become a trusted ecommerce platform for online store owners simply because of its multi-store management and impressive performance.
  • Zen Cart: Zen Cart, a PHP & MySQL based open source shopping cart solution, received public recognition after it parted ways with osCommerce. Here are three good reasons why Zen Cart has become a popular ecommerce application in the last few years.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is a good conversion rate for an ecommerce site?

According to WordStream, the average conversion rate across industries is 2.5%. So, if you are getting around 3% to 5% conversion rate that is more than better. However, it also depends on the industry in which you are doing business and the type of traffic you get. If it is only about paid traffic, find out what are the right keywords to target? Do your audience have buying power? And more similar questions.

Also, landing pages matter a lot. Some websites have increased their conversion rate to almost 11% by improving the design and content of their landing pages.

Q2. What is the definition of conversion rate in ecommerce?

Conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action on your website. For example, an ecommerce store receives 1000 visitors. Only 20 visitors tend to purchase a product. hence, the conversion rate will be (20/1000)*100= 2%.

Q3. Why is conversion rate important?

Conversion rate allows you to track the performance of a website. It helps understand how visitors of a website are performing and allows site owners to take measures for improvement.

By keeping a track of conversion rates, website owners can take actions to lower customer acquisition costs and increase revenue per visitor.

Q4. How should you start a conversion rate optimization campaign?

To optimize your campaigns, first create an objective in black and white. After setting the objective, create baseline after looking at the past performance. Now, start making changes to the page and test results. Here are six effective ways to improve your conversion rate optimization campaigns.

 

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Sharjeel Ashraf

Sharjeel loves to write about startups and ecommerce. In his free time, he is on the road or working on some cool project in his den.

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