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31 Days to a Successful Website - Part 2

Web Bureau


14 August 2012 by Web Bureau

As per our August tips and tricks to a successful website (Ecommerce Websites in particular) here are the posts for the 2nd third of August. Tip 11 to Tip 20 covers some exciting but simple web practice that should be included in your website functionality and ecommerce platforms or Content Management System.

We have decided to do this series of blog posts as common questions from clients and prospective clients have been

'How can I drive traffic to my website and increase conversions?’ or ‘What makes a successful website?’ or ‘How can I improve sales on an e-commerce website?

So here we go, welcome to the next 10 tips to having a successful website:-

Tip 11.    Vanquish reservations and instil trust

Ecommerce websites are often met with trust reservations by new users. Especially when the site is taking their hard earned cash! You need to ensure their personal and financial information remains secure. Once this is verified by an external body you can include their logo on your website to instil trust within your customers. Common credibility symbols online shoppers look for include:
-    The “MacAfee Secured” graphic
-    The “Verisign Secured” image
-    SSL security images
It should go without saying that copying and pasting these logos onto your website without an actual association with the named body, can result in serious brand damage.

Tip 12.    Control the content
If a number of people within the company will be updating the website, it is important this is a simple, quick process. This can be ensured by using an effective Content Management System, a web application that provides capabilities for multiple users with different permission levels to manage web page (content) without the need to have HTML knowledge.  For more information on how to make the best use of this system visit...http://www.thewebbureau.com/what_we_do/content_management.aspx

Tip 13.    Get involved with the Google shopping centre
Having your products show up in the Google Shopping feed is free to do. But all product feeds must be optimised which can take some time. You also have to set up your own Google Merchant Centre – this is the place product feeds can be uploaded and all related data can be seen. Your data feed is a file that will contain all the pertinent information about your products and can be in .xml format. Templates for this can be found here: http://support.google.com/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2364723. The completed feed can be submitted through your Merchant Centre. Once the feed has been validated by Google, which can take up to 24 hours, your products can start to appear in the search results. Changes to product descriptions or price can be managed through a new feed. Details should be updated frequently as products will expire automatically after 30 days and your product will stop receiving traffic.

Tip 14.    Set up 301 redirects if the URL is changing
If you plan to change the URL of your site, you will have to set up a permanent redirect from one URL to the other known as a 301. Think of this as a ‘change of address’ form from the Post Office! 301 permanent redirects can benefit your site in an SEO way and in a visitor way when used and used properly. They keep the information about your site up to date with the search engines and avoid you losing incoming links and annoying visitors. Use 301 redirects anytime you make a change to your website or blog.

Tip 15. Optimise for mobile
Is your website optimised for different devices including PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, etc? Mobile and tablet customers are a growing audience and should not be ignored. Sites see an average of 26% increase in unique mobile and tablet visitors during Q2. Click HERE to read full article.
Through Google Analytics you will be able to determine which device is most commonly used to access your website.

Tip 16.    Maximise data capture opportunities
Once a person purchases from your site, you will definitely want the opportunity to contact them in the future notifying them of new products they might be interested in or discounts on their favourite products. But what about the customers who dropped an item in their basket but didn’t complete the purchase? Or those that were just browsing? They have still shown an interest in your brand and products and may be interested in receiving information from the company in the future. Opportunities to capture customer data should be across the website in as many places as possible. Even if it is just a simple form to sign up for an ezine.

Tip 17.    Have a Search Feature on your site
Having a "Search" on your website is especially useful for e-commerce sites that sell a large number of products (and all content websites). This makes it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for, maximising the chance of a completed sale whilst improving the user experience and encouraging future revisits. For an example on maximising search options have a look at Yankee Candles Search options.

Tip 18.    Optimise organically
Minimise your expenditure on Google Adwords by adopting search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to optimise your website organically. Other avenues can include Pay-per-click advertising, social media networks, image sharing websites and price comparison websites.  Further details on optimising your website organically and SEO can be found here
http://www.thewebbureau.com/what_we_do/search_engine_optimisation.aspx


Tip 19.    Take advantage of Google’s thirst for content

 Google is always thirsty for more content and you can take advantage of this by adopting a creative Content Marketing Strategy. Frequently uploading new, topical content not only keeps your customer interested in your site but it keeps Google interested! If Google sees a site that has become stagnant with no new content, it will stop feeding it into its search engine results pages. Adding a blog/news section to your website can help with this. Even if it is only updated once every 2 weeks, your site will still reach the approval of Google!  For tips on creative content marketing strategies follow the link http://www.thewebbureau.com/what_we_do/content_management.aspx . QUENCH googles thirst with a Googletini

Tip 20.    Name all images correctly
All images should be named correctly using descriptions that relate directly to the product in the image.  When you don’t use the “alternate text” tag in your code for a given image, you have effectively made your image invisible to Google and other search engines. Instead of hiding your products, use keyword phrases to name each product image. This is a simple SEO trick that will increase web traffic to your ecommerce websites.

Well thats us well past half of August (where has it gone) and that means if you are reading our "31 days to a successfull Website" we are moving onto part 3. Part 3 is all about the real website marketing side of things. ecommerce website or website indeed.

For part 3 of our website tips, follow our blog http://www.thewebbureau.com/blog/post/31-Days-to-a-Successful-ecommerce-Website-part-3.aspx for that extra little bit of nitty gritty web marketing tricks.

The Web Bureau is a team of dedicated digital media specialists who work hard to transform initial design concepts into websites that offer the user a fluent and engaging online experience.

We can provide support for all our clients right from the initial design process right through to the marketing off the complete website. Our SEO experts can advise on improving traffic to your website, old or new.

We can be contacted on:

 Tel: 028 9073 1190

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