- Business Talk
How could you improve your e-commerce business this year? Try these methods to rethink your design, content, and hosting.
- Perform a content audit.
- Perform a design audit.
- Verify mobile usability.
- Put new content on your site, especially pictures and reviews.
- Retool your product copy.
- Use good photos that are not massive.
- Get true 100% HA cloud hosting.
What can you potentially add or change about the way that your e-commerce company does business that can make a big impact on growth? Here are eight tactics from online strategists, web developers, and hosting experts.
1. Perform a content audit.
Has some of your content become dead weight? We all know it’s good to have a huge amount of quality content, but sometimes certain pieces or posts will no longer fit with your message. Kathryn Hawkins of Eucalypt Media recommends creating a spreadsheet and marking each content piece to retain, change, or remove. That tactic does wonders for UX and navigability, she says.
You also want to make sure you don’t have a bunch of broken links, advises Steve Silberberg, founder of the weight loss company Fitpacking. Broken links are irritating to individual users and also damage your Google search standing.
2. Perform a design audit.
You also want to carefully analyze all the design elements of your site, such as the fonts, color scheme, and amount of white space, according to Neill Harmer of LightCMS. “These elements reflect a site’s credibility, usability and mood,” he says. “While the use of different fonts enables you to showcase creativity, too many varied fonts can have a discordantly jarring effect.”
You also don’t want to have an overload of too much stuff on any one page. Make everything easy so that people have options but aren’t driven away by TMI – too much information.
3. Verify mobile usability.
If you aren’t presenting yourself correctly for mobile use, you will be unreceptive to the increasing number of people who access your site on their smartphones, comments Kindra Svendsen of Speak Creative. If you don’t use the principles of responsive design, people will likely reroute to another company.
As with broken links, failure to remake yourself for the mobile world will hurt you with Google as well. That’s actually definitely the case since April 21, 2015, when Google Mobilegeddon occurred. In fact, according to David Goldman of CNN, it’s critical to adjust to this major algorithm tweak (which notably does not affect tablet rankings). “The top spot on a search page typically attracts 20% to 30% of the page’s clicks,” he explains. “Positions two to three generate 5% to 10% of the clicks, and links below that receive less than 1% of users’ attention.”
4. Put new content on your site, especially pictures and reviews.
E-commerce businesses have placed too much of their focus in the last few years on social media, says 2 Dogs Design founder Jill Caren. Businesses haven’t been paying as much attention to email newsletters and their own blogs. That shift in focus from site to social has been too aggressive.
You can, however, integrate social content into your site. You want reviews from customers and even images from them all over the place, notes PR specialist Matt Krebsbach of Bazaarvoice. “Not only does this provide vital information that helps customers to make better purchase decisions,” he says, “but it delights your customers with engaging social experiences that drive awareness and influence sales.”
Krebsbach has actually conducted research showing that integrating social information and reviews boosts conversion rate by 3-9% and engagement by 25-40%.
5. Retool your product copy.
You want to be as comprehensive as possible with your descriptions of everything you offer so you are likelier to float to the top on the search engines. Simply transferring in copy from the vendor is a common and very bad error for Google ranking.
You also want to replace wording that is excessively complicated, according to marketer Rafael Rivera of e-printing company PrintRunner. Don’t describe the solution you are offering itself but the advantages of using it.
Video can be effective in getting your message across to some users. Keep in mind it’s all about speed and conveying your differentiators immediately.
6. Use good photos that are not massive.
You must have strong photos, says TorontoVaporizer CEO Nima Noori. Images are absolutely critical to sales. Think about incorporating lifestyle images of your product.
Delivery of the images is key as well, says Tammy Everts of datacenter networking provider Radware. “To make images render more efficiently, ensure they are compressed, consolidated, correctly sized and formatted,” she says. You also want them to be “optimized so that images below the fold are deferred.”
7. Get true 100% HA cloud hosting.
You obviously want your site to be engaging with great text and visuals that are laid out in a compelling way, as indicated by the above six elements. Your choice of a cloud hosting provider is equally important, though. Specifically, you want one that has 100% high-availability, where you’ll actually be leveraging the full power of cloud technology.
Specifically, you want distributed rather than centralized storage. Unfortunately, centralized storage is used by most cloud providers. With distributed storage, there is no single point of failure (SPOF). Even if multiple nodes fail, there will be no impact to performance. You also want to take advantage of the superior performance of InfiniBand, a far better choice than 10 GB Ethernet. If your host uses InfiniBand, you benefit from zero packet loss and 10+ times lower latency than the theoretical minimum of 10 GigE.
Want to knock one of these items off your list? Check out the packages we have at Superb Internet, where performance is guaranteed because we never oversell. Learn more.