We’ve all taken our frustration out on the keyboard a few too many times when someone mentions those three pesky little letters: S, E, O. Or better yet, conversion rates, leads, a dash of percentage of sales and a sprinkling of indexing. We get it, from a business owner to a business owner, we know you hear this all the time. The drill has been drummed into our heads loud and clear.
We all have one goal when it comes out our e-commerce stores: To create a user-friendly website that performs as well as it looks and leads to some significant sales.
We all want it.
Many websites and business owners forget a few key tips and tricks that make all the difference in the long run on your e-commerce store. Don’t hit the keys too hard. Let us take away that frustration by culminating our top 12 tips to optimise your e-commerce store now. Let’s turn a simple click, into a simple sale.
1. Mobile Matters
Mobile truly does matter. Mobile-commerce is predicted to be 44% of e-commerce by 2024 with more users actually buying off their mobile devices. We see more and more people using mobile phones to make their online purchases. Mobile compatibility is no longer an option, but a necessity. Think about how many times you’ve bought something off a site, all from the power of your fingertips on your smartphone.
The first step is to check how your site looks on mobile, you can tell by simply searching and checking if it is clear and easy to navigate. You can also assess this from a Google mobile site tester.
2. Clear Accessibility
Not all of us have 20/20 vision or can differentiate between certain shades of red or green. It’s important that when building your user-friendly website, it’s accessible to all users – not just to you.
We recommend looking at the 508 Website Accessibility Guidelines to take a deeper dive into simple web designs to make your site easily accessible on any type of screen, and for any end-user.
By having a clearly accessible website, you’re opening up your avenues to a whole new target audience. This means you can say hello to more leads, traction and sales. Why would you deprive yourself of that!
3. Reduce Your Bounce Rate
No, this isn’t for trampoline e-commerce stores. Your website bounce rate is a percentage of viewers that left your website without viewing more than one page. The lower your bounce rate, the better.
This is key to improving your e-commerce optimisation. You can do this through:
- Adding related products or posts that the viewer may enjoy
- Interlocking blog posts
- Keep constant, updated content that adds value to the consumer
- Improve readability
- Create high quality images/ content
If you improve your bounce rate, it is also likely that your Search Engine Optimisation will improve too. Two birds, one stone – let’s go!
4. Clear as a Crystal Information
We’re not asking you to become some kind of architect of the world wide web – but your website formatting is super important.
Skim your site with a fine-tooth comb, from your front end through to the backend of your site. Our top tip: Check for wingdings (sometimes this happens when you’re copying/pasting from Word) in the backend of the site.
Plan your website into clear categories, make sure all links do their job and link AND keep your information easy to read for any audience type.
An extra tip: Think of all of your different end users, and make sure there’s a way to address them in each aspect of your website. Maybe it’s through your tone in copywriting, colour scheme or design aesthetics. Make your mark.
5. The 3 Magic C’s: Clear, Concise, Content.
Once you’ve nailed your formatting, we need to take a deeper delve into what lays beneath. The three, magical C’s: Clear, Concise, Content. Did you know that the average user skims through the content on a web page instead of reading each word? Maybe you’re doing it now! Your user will scan through the copy to assess whether it’s relevant to their needs. Even scarier, they do this in 0.05 seconds.
Take a closer look at your headings, subheadings, paragraph lengths and dot points to help break up the content. Chunky text is a big no no.
There is nothing more infuriating when you are on a website and it takes forever to load. Sometimes, we get pretty fed up with it and leave the site entirely. Your website must load between no more than 4-6 seconds. Any longer and your end user isn’t going to be so happy.
Another top tip: The faster your load speed, the better your search engine ranking. We aren’t saying that you’ll get the no.1 spot just from this tip, but Google will recognise your site as a legitimate, well-functioning website.
You can utilise recourses like Pingdom to test your website loading speed, and they have some handy suggestions on how to improve your site.
7. Browser Consistency
Browser combability is often forgotten about. So, whether you’re a Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari user, you must ensure that your website is consistent across all browsers.
Even though most of our browsers we use for day to day are efficient, some inconsistencies of course are still going to pop up from time to time. Don’t get caught out with inconsistency. A professionally designed website will set you apart from the rest.
8. Nifty Navigation
Nifty navigations are a must have when it comes to building your e-commerce site. There’s no need to make it fancy, a simple HTML or Java Script navigation will work well across any browser or device.
Keep it easy to navigate. You don’t want your customers clicking through a million tabs just to find one product. This is no treasure hunt. A drop-down menu will work just fine and if you have a high functioning search bar – bonus points to you.
9. Error Handling
Yes, we are judging you on how your website handles pressure. Error-handling on screen messages are a must. Try and think beyond the 404 and help streamline the process for your end user.
This is often overlooked because ideally, you don’t want this to happen. If it does come up from time to time, ensure you display the right error message to improve the end users experience.
We like to say something along the lines of “Uh oh, the page you are after can’t be found. Head here for the home page or send us through an email at *insert email*”.
A strong call to action is giving the end user a solution, rather than leaving them with a bad taste in their mouth. Further, you’ve made it super simple for them to contact you so you can personally give them your world class customer service.
10. Email Marketing Sign Up
Email marketing matters. In fact, it can make a huge difference. This avenue allows you to show your audience your new products, services and important updates, optimising your website to the next level.
An easy way to build your database is to have a pop-up sign-up page. This can allow you to easily remarket to your target audience that want to stay informed.
Mailchimp is easy to use when you need some easily buildable templates, without all the fussy coding. If you have a brand-new business and a limited database, under 2000 contacts is free to use alongside some customisable templates. It’s both professional and affordable.
11. Downloadable, Usable Forms
Let’s get in-formed. It’s a leads best friend. Downloadable, usable forms on your website can lead to 25% more sales (Sonia statistic) and are one of the best tools you can use that costs you nothing but your time. It might seem a bit old school, but it works for a reason. Get more out of your site by including one of these downloadable forms today and experience more leads, ASAP.
When creating your form, make sure you:
- Correctly label your fields
- Stick to your style guide e.g. same theme as your website
- Offer suggestions and tools
- Ensure correct validation
- Display on-screen message upon completion
12. Eye-Catching Colour
Yes, this may sound like simply superficial stuff. But let’s be honest, when it comes to buying off a website, we are all looking to see whether it’s a dud or a stud! By creating an eye-catching colour scheme or aesthetic design, you’re enticing a certain customer.
Think of it like browsing in a shopping centre, if the store front looks good and you like what you see on the mannequins, you’re more likely to step inside and take a further look. The same principle applies to online stores!
You did it! We hope our top 12 tips gave you some insight on how you can optimise your e-Commerce website from the comfort of your couch.
However, if this is sounding like more than a DIY job for you, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you out with all your e-commerce needs and so much more.