eCommerce has evolved
Gone are the days of setting up an online shopping cart and sales roll in with little or no effort. Selling online is an extremely competitive and only the very best configured websites are doing well. Plus, there are a number of sites such as Ebay or Amazon in the UK which are powerful marketing machines with great leverage in the search engines which sell almost anything and everything. These companies spend millions on advertising and marketing.
Our eCommerce Features
- Mobile Responsive
- jQuery, Ajax and Bootstrap
- Multiple Themes
- Catalog Mode
- One Page Checkout
- 20+ Payment Gateways
- 10+ Shipping Methods
- Multiple Currencies
- Multiple Languages
- Unlimited Categories
- Unlimited Manufacturers
- Unlimited Products
- Export / Import to CSV
- Supports Downloadable Products
- Product Reviews
- Product Ratings
- Related Products
- Compare Products
- Wishlist Products
- Automatic Image Resizing
- Products Options
- Products Attributes
- Coupons Support
- Multiple Tax Rates
- Sales Reports
- Downloadale Invoice
- Intelligent SEF URLs
Look at it another way. You run your high street business and think of selling online. I call this a business add-on. You get offered a shopping cart relatively cheaply. Does anybody think that you can set up any profitable business for a a few hundred pounds? It`s unrealistic to think you can. Any website wanting to sell online will have to spend some form of extra expenditure on Online Advertsing, Keyword Research, Link Building and basic Search Engine Optimisation practices. Unfortunately, there are too many examples where a Web Developer sets up the E-commerce website and then lets the company run with it, without any knowledge of Internet Marketing.
Selling online is about doing keyword research before a single item is added to the shopping cart website.
In fact, I rate this factor the #1 most important e-commerce criteria.
Users on the Internet search using words phrases. i.e. "Diamonds Rings" or "Buy iPod online" to find the websites and information. A term probably not understood by many is Keyword Matrices. A Keyword Matrice is all the associated search keywords that are appropriate to your website theme or sales products. Probably 100 search terms is ideal to start as these are the very markets to which you are selling. When you add your shopping cart items, each individual page should reflect the most popular search words. Naturally, when the site is running online, you will then have dozens of pages all set up to attract vistors with the correct keywords. Therefore, match what people are actually searching for with your e-commerce website pages.
The Formula used for assesing Keyword Importance is (DS^2/C) = (DS/C * DS), where DS is the number of keyword searches and C is the competing websites.
Search Friendly URLS`s
Another big error I see is the way the e-commerce site is set up with regard to the actual page names. Each page name should ideally be a reflection of the sales items and page content. For example, if you have a page to sell "www.yoursite/cheap diamond rings", then the page name should read something like www.yourwebsite.co.uk/cheap_diamond_rings.html also with correct page title and H1 tags as well.
The issue here is that most e-commerce shopping cart programming is Dynamic by design. All the product information is held in a database (mySQL, SQL or Access) and called to the web page when requested by the page loads. Many sites use dynamic pages which need to be re-written as search friendly URL`s or you run the risk of not being indexed by the search engines to the full extent. Dynamic pages look like a garbled mess of characters generated as a query string. Session ID`s used to track visitors when Cookies are turned off and are another protential problem. These also create a string of unreadable characters. Most Web Servers are Linux, Apache OS. These systems are easily configured to produce friendly URL`s with Path Info, Force Type and Mod-Rewrite within the .htaccess parameters.
Example dynamic URL :233?osCsid=ed18a064edfddb204c48068b42c6a02d
There are two issues here. A few UK companies use the ".com" extension for the domain name. Only if you are selling e-commerce worldwide you really should be using this. Companies selling to a UK customer base should use the ".co.uk" domains but purchase the .com and redirect it to you .co.uk. Secondly, before September 2012, successful sites tend to have the keywords of the market in the domain name. These, Exact Match Domains used to get a slight benefit from this, now that benefit has been lost. Its leaning towards branding, company names.
Having your main keywords in your domain name is not necessarily bad, at least it identifies your website at one quick glance of the domain name.
Apart from a brief introduction, your main index page of the site should contain some product pictorial links which lead straight into the products. The "Buy Now" button for products should only be 2 mouse clicks from the index page. That means on entering your site, it should only take 2 mouse clicks to be in a position to buy the products.
Your links should be laid out well so vistors can navigate easily throught the site. Avoiding Flash Links that cannot be indexed easily or not at all. Each link for products, if possible, should be keyword related of course, with semantic connections in your meta data page information..
Remember, your e-commerce website is there to be profitable. It is not an excercise for the web designer to show off his programming or artist skills at extra cost to you. The main priority is selling and making it an easy experience for your customers, who will want to return. You can pay £4000 plus for some partially bespoke design but there are also plenty of pre built designs and shopping carts that function equally well out of the box.