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    Categories: Ecommerce Industry News, Updates and Trends

Ecommerce Optimization Guide of 2018 for Your Store

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 have written this ecommerce optimization guide so that first-timers with no one to help out could now avoid the basic mistakes that could take their store down.

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.

Choose a Suitable 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. However, here are 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Here are seven best practices for creating an ecommerce thank you page that gives an in-depth insight into its optimization.

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.

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.

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.

Sajjad Shahid :Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out Ecommerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.