Expert Advice: Spring Cleaning your E-commerce Website

With a new year and a new decade upon us, now more than ever is a good time to spring clean your website. And we don’t mean just giving it a light dusting and polish. If you haven’t updated or optimised your ecommerce website in a while then you should definitely read these top tips from EKM’s ecommerce experts.

Amy EKM

Mobile friendly | Amy, EKM Web Designer
Last year, Google announced that going forward they would be working to a ‘mobile first’ approach with their work, meaning that Google now crawls and indexes the mobile version of a page rather than the desktop version.

This means that Google will predominantly use the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking. If your site is still not responsive, Google will still continue to monitor and evaluate pages based on best practice which you can read on here.

As an example, if the same page has different content and structure on the desktop version compared to the mobile version, your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings may be affected. And with over half of all search results indexed through mobile first, if your mobile version isn’t up to scratch then it’s only a matter of time before Google switches your search results to your mobile view.

Olivia EKM

Clean up and optimize your images | Olivia, EKM Web Designer
The speed at which your site loads also affects your rankings. One way to improve your site speed and in turn further optimise your site is to review the images you use.

If your site contains a lot of heavy imagery then make sure you’re using formats like JPEGs where possible. By ensuring that you’re using the correct format, you’re already helping to reduce the size of the images that have to load on your site.

You should also consider the size of your images too as this can also affect the load speed of your site. The resolution of the image should be appropriate for the placement of the image on the site. You should also remember to compress any images that are larger than required as this will also help with load times.

You also need to remember to add in alt-text to your image so that when Google crawls your site, it has a reference for what that image is showing.

Rehan EKM

Review your SEO | Rehan, EKM Digital Marketing Executive
Your SEO strategy as a whole should be reviewed as best practice for SEO is ever changing. Your SEO is an important part of your business strategy, especially if you’re an ecommerce site.

If you’re an online-only business then you’ll have lots of competitors all trying to rank for the same if not similar products as you, organically. And this can be made even more difficult if you’re going up against ecommerce giants like Amazon.

However, there is one thing you can do to improve your SEO efforts that not all e-tailers do, and that is to generate engaging and educational content. While this may not immediately affect your sales, creating an SEO content strategy is more of a long term game.

When looking to create content for the sole purpose of ranking for different search terms, you must think about the customer journey. From awareness to consideration and education to the final decision. Each of these stages requires different types of content.

For example, the top of the funnel content, the content that makes someone aware of who you are and what you do, should be on topics that help to answer particular questions. If you sell hops, for example, do your research on what long-tailed keywords are being searched for relating to the kind of hops you sell.

You can use tools such as ahrefs.com to start your research. When typing in ‘hops’ the tool pulls back a list of related questions and phrases containing your keyword that can help inform you of what content to write. Search terms such as “what are hops” and “where to buy hops” could turn into educational content such as “The Ultimate Breakdown of what Hops Are” or “Why you should purchase hops in the UK”.

You can then repeat the process for the other parts of the customer journey and try to rank for as many search terms as possible (as long as they’re relevant) to increase your websites rank, increase brand awareness, visibility and ultimately, lead to more sales in the long-term.

Michael

Improve your user experience | Michael, EKM Lead UI/UX Designer
The way your site looks and how a customer interacts with it will dramatically affect your sales. Think about a website that looks outdated, is too cluttered and is hard to navigate. These kinds of sites are likely to be providing a bad user experience and therefore a low number of sales.

As mentioned earlier, at the very least your site needs to be fully optimised to help with your SEO but also making improvements to your sites useablility will help with your user experience and in turn help with conversions.

You can start by looking at the journey a user would take to purchase something from you. Maybe ask friends and family to test it out and ask them if they found anything particularly difficult or in an odd place or hard to find. Ask them about what they like about the site and any suggestions they might have to improve it - even ask your current customers.

The aim of this is to understand what would help your site visitors to find what they’re looking for as quickly and easily as possible. You should have some good feedback to start improving your sites usability, whether that be refining the category’s, updating the imagery and making the look of your site simpler and easier to digest.

Connor EKM

Review your advertising | Connor, EKM Senior PPC Account Manager
If you already have PPC (Pay Per Click) set up for your ecommerce site, you should look to review your advertising campaigns e.g Google Ads or Facebook Ads every so often. Today we’re going to be looking at doing a quick PPC audit regarding Google Ads.

Firstly, you will want to ensure that you have set up conversion tracking within your Google Ads account to track your objective whether this is sales or phone calls. This will help you to measure the success of your ads and without tracking you are spending money without visibly seeing the results of the spend.

Whether you are running a Search or Shopping Campaign for your ecommerce business you will need to remove any irrelevant terms that are linked to your keywords or product titles if you are running a shopping campaign. This means that you will only be spending money on relevant searches.

Finally, ensure you are optimising your bids effectively to prevent overbidding or underbidding on your keywords or products. The idea should be to see a profitable return on advertising spend. If you do not optimise bids effectively you will be either reducing profitability through overbidding or reducing visibility of your products through underbidding.

In terms of what you should be doing on your website to enhance your PPC success you should look to provide concise and relevant titles, descriptive descriptions, easy site navigation and multiple product images. The more information you can provide on your products the more likely customers are to buy your products once they reach your site. Otherwise visitors will leave without all the information they require.

If you don’t have ads set up at all yet or are looking to get them set up but aren’t sure where to start, our expert ppc team can talk through some choices to get the most out of your marketing budget. Find out more here.

Key Actions

  • Ensure you have a responsive theme
  • Optimise your images and ensure they’re fit for purpose
  • Review or create a long-term content strategy to support your SEO
  • Audit your ad content, keywords and audiences to help your conversion rate

If you haven’t got an ecommerce site set up yet, why not try EKM free for 14 days and start taking payments immediately. Get started today.

Rachel Smith

Rachel is a Digital Marketing Executive at EKM, the UK’s highest rated ecommerce provider. EKM helps people do what they love and can help you to create your own successful online business.

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