One of the biggest mistakes new eCommerce entrepreneurs can make is forcing or rushing the launch of a website. You only get one shot at launching so don’t mess it up. While it’s okay to purchase your domain name and throw up some sort of “Coming Soon” page, you should avoid the big reveal until you’ve laid some substantial ground work. Meanwhile, older businesses should recognise the importance of constant innovation. Once you have launched, you simply cannot afford for your site to be a static template which you simply update with new product uploads. The key to success is to never stop evolving so don’t become complacent and fail to recognise the importance of continuous learning and adaptation.
In order to remain competitive and improve your searchability, you should conduct consistent audits focusing primarily on these key areas:
We are now a generation of impatient, demanding consumers and want our pages to load within 3 seconds (if not sooner), if they don’t we will simply bounce. Site speed is not only important for user experience though, Google has now indicated that site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.
So how do you speed up your site?
Slow loading times can often be contributed to large pages and large pages are most often saturated with huge image files. Compressing your imagery is a great tool which will lessen your page size and its subsequent loading time with immediate effect.
You might also want to check that you’re not carrying extra baggage in the form of dead end pages on websites. As they will not only cause confusion and create additional work for users, but also slow down your site.
Mobile-first indexing means that Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Therefore it is crucial that you make sure all buttons, links and calls to action are tap-friendly, have the appropriate size margins to prevent errors and most importantly are featured in the thumb zone.
Do you know how secure your site is?Initially SSL was only needed in order to make a site secure for specific transactions, i.e. processing payments. Today however, Google has recognised it’s importance and provides sites with an SSL certificate a more weighted place within its search results. Failure to comply will simply end in your page being ranked further down.
At the beginning of May last year, the length of meta description on Google has been shortened. Best practice this year is to keep them from 120 to 158 characters. Whilst the allowance of up to 920 pixels on desktop may equate to up to 158 characters, the max limit for a mobile device is 680 pixels, or around 120 characters. Try to put all of the most interesting and intriguing information in the first 120 characters so the information will be displayed in any other search engine, mobile devices and social media. If most of your customers are coming to your site from Google, you should stop writing longer meta descriptions. Make sure your meta descriptions are targeting searched keywords. Otherwise, Google generates descriptions form site content.
Building links is one of the many tactics used in search engine optimisation (SEO) because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation. Try to improve yours by promoting your products on relevant and popular blogs or magazines or by writing guest posts on blogs. The more sources you have driving traffic to your website, the less you’ll spend on ads. For example, even if you write a guest post on another blog, you might not be featuring a specific product but you may get clicks to your website. Once you’ve gotten clicks to your website you can retarget them with your best selling product which will be a lot cheaper than trying to find new customers.
A friendly URL is a Web address that is easy to read and includes words that describe the content of the webpage. This type of URL can be “friendly” in two ways. 1) It can help visitors remember the Web address, and 2) it can help describe the page to search engines. Well optimised URLs are important for both search engine optimisation and user experience. As with page titles, URLs help to describe a web page to search engines and potential visitors, meaning they should be accurate, enticing, and well-structured.