This checklist covers all the essential elements that we suggest are in place when launching your eCommerce website.
Customer reviews can be incredibly powerful. Reviews provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers and can help establish trust with your audience. In general, customers reading good reviews about your brand will be more likely to visit your website.Here are a couple of ways to collect reviews;
Getting customer reviews on Google is critical to your business; it can help you stand out on Google. Business reviews on Google will appear next to your listing in Maps and Search. You can ask your customers to leave reviews, let them know that it’s easy to do and can be done on mobile devices or desktop computers.
To add your business information to Google Maps, Search and get reviews on Google, you’ll need to create a “Google My Business” listing. Click here for more information about Google My Business.
Reviews.co.uk is another good option to collect and manage reviews.
TrustPilot is an online review community that can help you connect with your customers by collecting reviews.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”, it relates to designing a website in a specific way to rank higher in organic search results on Google, Yahoo or Bing.
It’s also an important element for your business. Having a beautiful online shop is great but it might be useless unless people get to see it.
Here are some easy ways to improve SEO:
1. Keyword Relevance
Using relevant keywords in your shop title and description is the easiest way to help Google, Bing & Yahoo understand better what your business is about and what you sell.
- Your shop title: You need to use relevant keywords that define your business to rank well on search engines. Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes to understand what kind of keywords they might be using on search engines to find your brand or your products.
- Your shop description: Your description is as important as your title… Again, choosing relevant keywords to describe your shop will help search engines better understand your business.
- How to find relevant keywords? Many free keyword tools are available out there on the Internet. Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner can help you find interesting keywords.
2. Linking Strategies
Once your title and description are sorted, the next step is to plan your linking strategy. Here are some easily implementable strategies;
- Internal linking: For instance, if your “About Us” page contains the word “Delivery” don’t hesitate to link the name to your “Delivery” page.
- Back linking: It might sound pretty complex, but it’s actually very simple… Back linking refers to when another website links to your online shop. For instance, if you’re running a florist you might want your online shop to be listed on wedding sites.
3. URL Structure
Having a search engine friendly URL is also another key element that can considerably improve your SEO.
A messy URL will make it difficult for search engines to crawl your URL. It means that search engines won’t be able to index your site so you will not rank in the search engines.
Here is how to make your URL more search engine friendly;
- Avoid using characters such as ( $ @ ! * % = ? )
- In general, short URLs rank better than long ones.
- Search engines prefer dashes rather than underscores.
Using social media is a great way to connect with potential or existing customers and answer any questions they might have. So it’s time to create a Facebook page, a Twitter or Instagram account.
With over 2.2 billion active users every month on Facebook, most of your existing customers are on Facebook! Plus, there is a huge pool of potential customers for your business to target and drive back to your online shop from your Facebook page.
So if you don’t have a Facebook page yet, it’s time to set up one!
To set up your Facebook page, you’ll need:
- A name for your Page, ideally your business name for consistency.
- You’ll also need a profile photo and a cover photo that represent your business. You can use your logo or an image of your shop for example.
- Fill your “About” section with information on your business, an email address and the physical address of your shop - if you have one.
For more information on how to set up a Facebook business page, click here.
Twitter is another great way to connect with your customers and understand better how your brand might be perceived. With more than 330 million active users, Twitter is a fast way to get your message out. You can very quickly let your customers know about an announcement, a new product or a special deal.
To create a profile, you’ll need:
- A Twitter handle. Your @name is going to be your unique identifier on Twitter.
- Your profile photo. You’ll need to add a profile photo that represents your brand too. That icon will be used in every Tweet you post.
- Your bio. You have 160 characters to tell people what your business is about and your overall mission. Remember to add in your location if you have a physical store.
- A website link. You have space to add in a link underneath your bio, this could be directly to your shop or your blog.
- A Header/Cover image: you can use event photos, feature products… you can swap out this image periodically to spotlight promotions, events…
For more on how to set up your Twitter profile, click here.
With 813 million monthly users, Instagram is a great platform to increase the visibility of your online shop, drive customers back to your online shop and target potential customers.
To set up an Instagram business account, you’ll need first to create a private account and then switch to a business account.
- First, choose a profile picture that reflects your business. Choosing the right profile picture is key. You can opt for your logo or a visual that aligns with your brand. The more people who see your profile picture, the more they will remember your brand when they are in “buying mode”.
- Add some information about your business in your bio. Don’t forget to add your online shop to your bio too. Your Instagram bio is the only place where you can add a clickable link. Adding your online shop to your bio is key for driving traffic from your Instagram to your online shop.
Switching to a business account means that you’ll have access to Instagram Insights. With a business account, you’ll be able to:
- See impressions, reach and engagement per post or even get a full weekly report including impressions and top posts among other great analytics!
- Figure out what kind of content performs best.
Switching to a business account also means that your customers will easily get directions, call, text or email your business from your business profile.
To switch to a business account, go to your Settings > Switch to Business Account. You’ll need to connect your Facebook page to your Instagram account to activate your business account.
If you are selling physical products, look in to the Instagram Shopping feature that came out in 2018 for an additional marketing tool.
For more on how to set up your Instagram business profile, click here.
Your products need to be appealing to customers. Here are some ways to optimise your products for higher conversions.
1. Product Titles
Product titles influence the way people perceive products. This is why your product titles should be attractive and explain what it can do for your customers.
Don’t forget to;
- Use relevant keywords in your titles. It’s really important that you take SEO into account when choosing your product titles if you want to increase traffic to your online shop.
- Avoid using any unclear names for your products… If your titles are not clear enough and has little to do with what your product does, you’ll minimise your conversion rates.
2. Product Descriptions
Your product description is a key element that will influence your customer decision on whether they prefer to check out or abandon their cart. When writing a product description, think what makes your product stand out from your competitors.
Here are a some tips to help you master the art of writing product descriptions that sell;
- Focus on your target audience. First, it’s important to figure out who your audience is. Once it’s sorted, you’ll need to make your audience relate to your descriptions.
- Using words that fire the imagination of your customers. Using words that help spark imagination can make a product description more appealing to potential customers.
- Think what your product can do for them. Customers are mainly interested in the benefits of your products. So, consider highlighting the benefits of each of your features in your description. For example, does your product help solve problems or make your customers feel happier in their life?
- Everyone loves a good story…Using storytelling when describing your products will definitely help make them more attractive.
- Readable descriptions are a must. Your descriptions have to be crystal clear and easily readable to appeal to customers. Use short sentences, bullet points or even large fonts to get your message out in the clearest way possible.
3. Product Categories
Categorising your products precisely can speed up your customer’s purchasing process.
Allowing users to browse your product by category (e.g by type of products, seasons, deals/offers or new arrivals) will ensure shoppers can quickly find what they are looking for and hit that “buy” button.
4. Product Tags
Tagging your products is also important; it will give shoppers a simple & quick way to search for related items.
5. Product Images
Having good quality product images inside your online shop is key as these images will be the first thing your customers will look at when browsing your shop. You might lose sales if they are not up to standard.
Your images should all look consistent, not too large or mismatched. If, for instance, you start with landscape image, you should stick to this orientation in the future and avoid mixing with portrait images.
In addition to giving your online shop a unique “look & feel”, taking your own product images takes will give you much more creative freedom than using stock photography websites. Keep in mind that good lighting is key. Don’t hesitate to take as many shots of your products as possible with different angles.
Blogs can bring your business amazing value!
Here is a few reasons why you should start blogging right now:
- It gives your business a voice. Blogging can give you the opportunity to create a space where you can talk about your products, your promotions and your updates.
- It helps drive more traffic to your online shop. Blogging can help boost your SEO. Search engines, like Google, love new or updated content; note that Google does not like 'duplicated' content, so try and keep your content fresh.
- It helps generate sales. More traffic to your site means more opportunities for you to acquire new customers or retain the current ones.
What To Start Blogging About?
Here are a few suggestions for interesting things you can blog about:
- Your business & products. Blogging about your products or your business story can help build a great relationship with your customers.
- Tutorials & tips: Offering step-by-step guides is always very helpful content for potential customers.
- Promotions: Why not use your blog to promote your offers/discounts? Blogging about your offers can drive more revenue.
- Trends: Blogging about upcoming trends in your industry can help engage prospective customers.