Create a Successful E-Commerce Website

Elements of an SEO-friendy Successful E-Commerce Website.

A successful E-commerce website takes time, effort and organisation. But there is help available. Your site can deliver a great service to your customers and do well in the search results.

Over the past 12 years, Online Customer Solutions Director, Rob Wilkinson, has had the opportunity to manage a variety of e-commerce websites. These have offered everything from equestrian equipment to sirloin stakes.

Read more about our OpenCart e-commerce service here.

Most e-commerce sites suffer from similar issues. Usually, the problems are connected to how the business owners approach the development of their e-commerce platform. User experience and aesthetics are often placed way over search engine optimisation.

When sites overly focus on function and forget about optimisation, they lose opportunities to attract and convert new customers. A blend needs to be found.

E-Commerce Optimisation Recommendations

Unique product descriptions

Many e-commerce websites are looked after by people that are experts on their product. However, these people aren’t usually up-to-date with what SEO is or how it works.

Product descriptions are often light on detail and pulled directly from the manufacturer. This means there will be many other sites doing the same thing.

Your product description needs to be engaging, informative and unique. If it is, your site stands a good chance of being able to rank well. Although there are many other SEO factors to consider.

Try to create 250 to 300-word descriptions that speak to your target audience’s search intentions. Also, frame the products in environments where they are best suited.

Product Reviews from Customers

There are many reasons why customer reviews are essential. They are an excellent way to highlight relevant content on your product pages. They also build credibility and trust in your site, drive repeat business and they are free.

Potential customers really value online reviews. If your site has a number of positive reviews for each product, Google treat it kindly and other customers will convert more easily.

Relevant Search Query Optimisation

To allow search engines to understand all about your products, optimise them by name. Avoid using codes, colours or sizes to optimise your website pages. This will lead to duplicate content within your site. For example, use “Mens-Running-Shorts” rather than “Shorts-black-large”

Include brand names in your title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags and header tags.

Keyword Stuffing

Product pages crammed with keywords instead of quality content does not help improve search engine authority. Mention keywords because they are relevant. Descriptions that that help your visitors and describes the products will improve user engagement, enhance the organic authority and drive conversions.

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E-commerce shopping online
E-commerce Shopping cart

E-commerce sites tend to have more images than most other websites making them more visually attractive. Good images are essential and support the product description. It is important to include relevant alt text with the images so search engines know what the images show.

Search engines need to understand what each picture is of and how it relates to the page. Every image’s alt text needs to describe the product image. Include a key term that you’re trying to rank for as well as your store name.

Unique Titles

Title tags allow search engines to understand the content of specific landing pages.

Avoid creating duplicate titles across your site by forgoing the use of manufacturer or vendor titles, as these are likely the same titles they have sent to your competitors.

SEO Friendly Urls For E-Commerce Sites

Instead of including item numbers or category IDs in your URLs, try to use the actual product names that are easily understood by potential customers. URL’s that are built with users in mind help customers and search engines navigate your site.

Meaningful Descriptive Categories

Your primary and subcategory pages should have enough content to be considered authorities. Include social sharing buttons, information that resolves common questions. Make sure you speak to your intended audience.

XML sitemaps

An automated XML sitemap updates when changes are made to your e-commerce website. Product or category changes are updated so the next time the robots crawl your site, they pick up the latest inventory.

Each time new products and categories are added the sitemap refreshes. This is the best way to ensure that all of your items are indexed by Google.

OpenCart and others offer automated sitemaps. Read more about how to start selling online here.

Content development and internal linking

Buyer guides, FAQ’s and educational content help attract visitors and connect them with your products.

E-commerce sites that link articles to a specific product or category page help teach visitors about your products and service, this transfers organic authority throughout your site.

Redirects

404 errors, or page not found, wastes organic search results and frustrates customers. E-commerce owners need to keep on top of their online catalogue and redirect to a newer product model or category page.

Page speed

Because slow sites are irritating to users, Google ranks faster-loading websites higher than slower ones. A fast load time leads to happier customers (conversion) and better search results (ranking).

There are several tools to measure the loading speed of your website – use your favourite search engine to find them!

Markup and Schema

Your webmaster will be able to tag your pages to highlight product name, price, availability, description and image. Data highlighting leads to enhanced search results for people looking for your products. Google provides tools for uploading a product catalogue to Google shopping resulting in more search result options.

Schema.org offers a library of structured data markup that search engines use to offer online consumers more information around a particular product.

Running Your Own E-Commerce Site

Contact us today to find out how we can help you start selling online.

Online Customer Solutions provide successful e-commerce websites to a range of businesses in the UK.

Understanding Customer Intent is Crucial to Online Marketing

Websites, Online Marketing and Customer Intent.

Ideally, before you had your website developed, you researched how your potential new customers would find you. What would they be looking for, what would they type into the search engines and how you can demonstrate that people should buy from you.

Your website is the first stage in online marketing. “If you build it, they will come” may work in Hollywood, but it doesn’t work with websites. You need to market your website online and understand customer intent.

If you need any help with online marketing, feel free to fill out our contact form here.

Customer Intent

Search engines are putting a lot of effort into working out what people mean when they type words into a search box. AI, or artificial intelligence, is being refined to help search engines understand what people want, and help them find it.

Online marketing to find new customers is all about delivering the service or product that people are looking for. In a previous role, we ran a marketing company which had a call centre. To promote our services we advertised on google with many keywords, but one of them was “Manchester Lead Generation”. Now, consider why people might be searching for “Manchester Lead Generation”.

In a perfect world, everyone would be looking for a Manchester Lead Generation company to purchase services from them. This was rarely the case. (Before going on, I must first mention that we did refine our PPC campaigns so our adverts only appeared to people looking to buy!).

Initially many visitors to the site were looking for a job in a Manchester lead generation company. Others were looking to sell services, for example, utility companies.

Understanding that users typing words into search engines all have very different intentions saves you money. If you can identify people who are looking to buy from you, and not sell to you or work for you, then you won’t be wasting time or budget.

Social Media and Customer Intent

Most towns and villages at least have a facebook group that you can join.

Ensure that your business social media pages are ‘optimised’. This just means that they need to simply and clearly outline what you do or sell. Include keywords so people can quickly identify what you do. Once this is done, you can join the conversation and raise your business profile.

By being clear about what you offer, you’ll get visits from customers whose intentions are better aligned to what you offer.

Customer Intent and PPC

Ideally, your website will be nicely optimised and when people type in what they are looking for, your website will appear at the top of the results and you are getting lots of relevant visits.

If it’s a new website, then this is likely to take a bit of time. You may want to consider pay per click advertising.

PPC advertising is where you create adverts for your business, and when people search for something that you can deliver, you bid to have your advertisement shown to them alongside the other ‘natural’ search results.

If your advert is relevant to what people are searching for (your quality score), and your bid is higher than your competitors, your advert will be shown to the people searching and hopefully, they click on your ad. This then takes them to your website and you pay the PPC engine a fee. There are a wealth of options and variables to consider when setting up online marketing to find new customers (see our other articles, especially the one about negative keywords).

With Facebook, you can set-up your business page and promote it to the people who are likely to buy from you. If you are a child care provider, you may want to target working parents whose child is over 1.

When Online Marketing

  • Understand Customer Intent.
  • Monitor and report on internet traffic and conversion rates (be sure to split out your marketing channels).
  • Keep testing different strategies.
  • Keep your website regularly updated with fresh original content and share it online with blogs and social media.

Find out more

Based close to Manchester and Liverpool in the UK, Online Customer Solutions specialise in helping businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

make sales online with online customer solutions
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Increase Website Conversion

To find out how to increase website conversion you need to measure a number of variables.

Obviously, you need a strong website with a good sales funnel and a strong call to action. It’s essential that you are capturing visitors attention within the first 15 seconds and guiding them to what they are looking for. Assuming your site does all of this, then you need to look at the next step. (If you suspect it doesn’t then Online Customer Solutions can help you increase your website conversion!).

You might be seeing hundreds of visitors a day but delivering few sales. This might be nothing at all to do with your site, but what people might be looking for. So you need to know what that is!

This is where Analytics comes into its own, how are people reaching your site, are you advertising on or offline? What search terms, or which sites, are people coming from. You could be wasting your marketing budget attracting the wrong people. If you refined your online marketing, you’d end up with fewer visitors, but more sales – increasing your website conversion and maximising sales.

There is obviously more to it than that, but it’s a start.

Find out more

Located in SK8, just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website to improving online marketing and conversions.

about online customer solutions
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Increase Online Sales – Digital Marketing

To increase online sales, you need to increase the number of people visiting your website. But first, you need a website that can convert visitors into sales. But even before that, you can’t improve something you don’t measure. If you haven’t already, install Analytics and measure visits, source and conversion!

Online Customer Solutions specialise in helping small or medium size businesses increase sales online. We have developed a number of tools to keep costs down.

A website needs to be authoritative, expert, and trustworthy. It needs a smooth navigation, work well on mobile. A website needs to be secure and have a simple and transparent payment system.

When your website does all the above, it will start showing up in the search results.  There is more that can be done to increase online sales including.

Increase Online Sales using Digital Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Make sure people who are looking for your site can find it!
  • Social Media Marketing – get a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) – Advertise, for example, on Google or Facebook.
  • Content Marketing – Keep you blog updated! Get a channel on YouTube and create some videos of you making / serving / solving.

OCS can advise on either setting up a new website or helping you enhance the one you already have.

Find out more

Located in Cheadle near Stockport in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide services to a range of business. We specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

about online customer solutions