An Introduction to E-Commerce
Many people looking to get their business digitalised ask what is an e-commerce website? Well, functions differ, therefore the website design needs to differ to match the specific goals of the business. E-commerce websites are specially designed to have leading edge user experience functionality. This is to enable customers to engage and immerse in website content, which will ultimately encourage them to make a purchase.
It’s important to note that these website designs can take time to perfect. This is largely down to the challenges of developing and embedding new and unique site features. In order to differentiate your brand from competitors, you need to be innovative and receptive to change. This is because every target market is different. Each segment interacts with different media types in different ways on different devices. This is why we always stress the importance of having a desktop and mobile friendly website design. Our team of in-house developers can help you perfect your responsive web design.
However, do remember it’s not all about the design. You can have an amazing e-commerce website, but if you don’t know how to drive traffic to your website, you wont make any conversions. This inevitably means your online business will not be successful. Our communications team can work with you to develop SEO & PPC, PR and Social Media strategies that will enrich business success.
With this said, I feel you may now be wondering what our top tips are for e-commerce success this Christmas. Especially in light of the current times of uncertainty.
1. Maximise your organic search visibility
At Digital Glue, we are often asked why is organic traffic important? The term organic position refers to how and where your website ranks in comparison to your competitors. Essentially, organic traffic is free business. In other words. It does not cost you a penny to get those visitors on your site. However, it’s not all that simple. Mastering your natural listing in search engine result pages (SERPs) will require some strategic work, monitoring and maintenance. Our search engine optimisation team can help you by providing tips and insights into where and how you can improve your e-commerce website for a higher organic ranking.
A website audit often highlights an array of site issues. From technical SEO problems to issues with coding. These are often easy fixes. However, if they are left unresolved they can have a negative impact on your website performance. For this reason, we recommend conducting a thorough site audit on a regular basis. This can be done as part of your ongoing SEO strategy. These reviews have many benefits. Not only will they help you keep your website up to date on current trends. They will also enable you to increase your organic search rankings for maximum visibility.
The one thing to remember though, is that SEO improvements often take a number of months to have an effect. This consequently means that any changes you make to your website now are not likely to impact your SERP position this side of Christmas. Nonetheless, it is never too late for site optimisations. This is why we advise that your SEO strategy runs alongside a paid search strategy. This is otherwise known in the industry as a PPC strategy.
2. Set up Google Ads campaigns to drive traffic
PPC differs from SEO because its impacts are almost immediate in driving traffic to your website. There’s many things you need to consider when setting up your new paid search campaigns. If you are completely new to PPC. You may want to consider using a digital marketing agency to manage you paid advertising campaigns.
Google Ads might seem like a totally new phenomenon if you’ve not used them before. We quite often hear from clients that their previous Google Ads campaigns have been unsuccessful. This is largely down to the complexity of determining the correct ad structure as well as keyword and bidding strategies. Our clients frequently see a far greater return on investment after they opt for our Google Ads management service. Feel free to get in touch with us for more advice.
3. Set up a secure payment gateway
A secure payment gateway or secure payment portal is important for e-commerce stores because it allows customers to make purchases securely. It is pretty self explanatory, but there are many reasons why these online payment portals need to be secure. The main reason being that it helps ensure that you meet GDPR and site security requirements.
As we continue to travel through this digital era. More and more payment processing providers appear. All of these different providers can be integrated with your website. In order to reassure customers that their details are safe in your hands. Our team of website developers can help you decide on the best service provider for you. As well as to get the portal implemented and set up, ready for your customers to use. Examples of some of the most popular payment providers are Worlpay, Paypal and Opayo (formerly known as SagePay).
4. Get a customer review platform in place
Customer reviews are important. Whether good reviews or bad, they give an indication as to how you operate as a company, as well as to how well you respond to customer feedback. This is why we recommend that any e-commerce website implements a reviews platform with their website and product pages. Some of the most popular customer review providers for e-commerce websites are Google My Business, Trust Pilot and Feefo®. You can also use your social media networks to obtain feedback and comments from customers.
5. Social media plugins and blog pages
Integrating your social media platforms with your e-commerce website can help exhibit your brand presence to your site visitors, in addition to generating backlinks to your website. Even though links from social media are not necessarily considered as authoritative links, they can still serve as a foundation for increasing your site authority. The presence of your social media activity on your website can also help increase customer confidence in your company and brand. Pair this with regular blog posts and you’ll exhibit your industry knowledge and expertise to your guests. Some of the most popular social media platforms for e-commerce sites are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Other retailers also use YouTube and TikTok to generate awareness of their products and services. We can help you determine and action the most suitable PR strategy for your business, while developing graphics that will get you noticed.
6. Update your frequently asked questions page
Your FAQ page serves as a source of information to customers. Although these pages do not see a great deal of traffic. They are beneficial as they address the most common concerns customers might have, no matter what stage of the marketing funnel they are in. Search engines can also consider the presence of an FAQ page as a ranking factor. This is because they are thought to enhance the users experience. It is therefore important that all common questions are answered here. This will help to keep users on site and within the buying process.
7. Always deliver high quality customer service
Bad publicity can be hugely damaging to your business. For this reason we advise that you always consider the true cost to the business when making decisions. Fundamentally, if you work to keep customers happy, they will return to you in the future. Trust is everything nowadays. A bad Feefo® or Google My Business review almost always has an impact on sales. Especially if they are not responded to in both a timely and appropriate fashion. Therefore making the right choices to prevent that negative review can cost a lot less in the long run.
All in all. Ensuring your e-commerce website is well built and ‘fully loaded’ with features will instil trust. As previously mentioned, the trust factor is everything in todays digital age. The main points to consider when developing a trustworthy e-commerce website are to:
- Ensure your website has a responsive design for desktop and mobile devices.
- Work on your organic position by implement an SEO strategy, for long-term consistency.
- Set up paid search campaigns, to drive traffic and for immediate results.
- Select the right secure payment provider for your business and customers.
- Set up a customer reviews platform and be transparent with feedback received.
- Integrate social media postings with a plugin on your website.
- Create and/or update your FAQ page.
- Always deliver a high quality customer service.