Web Ecommerce Solutions

    

The Dueling Benefits of Website Optimization

The concept of website optimization carries a number of different meanings and approaches in the online world. There are two popular practices the constitute the true definition of website optimization.

Website Optimization The first is enhancing a website's load speed. This form of website optimization is highly technical and emphasizes the optimization a website' back-end or HTML code.

The second is keyword optimizing a website for greater SEO performance, otherwise known as search engine optimization. In fact, SEO and website optimization are often used interchangeably, however website optimization primarily focuses on the on-page or on-site processes of keyword optimization.

Both approaches to website optimization, from a SEO perspective, are interrelated. That is, website load speed can also contribute to SEO, for slow loading sites are typically ranked much lower than fast loading sites. As a result, the complete picture of optimizing a website must address all of these components.

Website Optimization: Improved Load Speed

Optimizing a website for improved load speed provides two primary benefits. The first benefit derives from the standpoint of users. Individuals who land on a slow loading website are more apt to leave the website. This makes the concept of website optimization for improved load speed important to ensure visitors can navigate around your website without having to wait for webpages to load.

The second benefit of having a quick loading site is centered on search engine optimization. A web design or page that has been developed for faster loading will often result in more efficient crawling and indexing. In other words, when a search engine spider comes to crawl and index your site, it will be able to do so more efficiently. As a result, you site can rank better and quicker in the search engine results.

Optimizing a website for faster load speed requires the expertise of a web designer or website developer. The web design professional must enhance the website's back-end code structure or mark-up language. In doing so, the web design or developer will strip the code of unnecessary tags and scripts that might inhibit search engine crawling and indexing. This practice is otherwise known as search engine friendly web design. These services are often very niche and sometimes difficult to find. This approach to website optimization will often typically depend on the skill-sets of a Peoria web design professional.

Website Optimization: Better SEO

The approach to optimizing a website for search engine optimization demands proper usage of targeted keywords throughout the content of a website. In this approach, organization is key, for each page must not only be optimized, but also organized in a strategic fashion to capture the best results.

This common practice of website optimization is also known as keyword optimization. Here an optimizer or SEO will organize and optimize webpages to center on specific keyword categories. All of the optimized pages of the website will help establish greater keyword relevancy for the entire site.

A great deal of the website optimization process for SEO is performed through content writing. Targeted keyword phrases must be intricately written and blended throughout various parts of a webpage's content. Some of these parts include the page's meta title, meta description, on-page (visible) copy, and link anchor text. Strategic application of keywords in these important parts of a webpage is the foundation of website optimization for SEO.

Benefits of a Website Optimization Company

Now more than ever, businesses are pursuing the benefits of working with a website optimization company for both SEO and improved website load speed. Because these two approaches to website optimization are correlated in that they can result in greater search engine exposure many companies are investing in website optimization as a primary way to market their business on the web.

There are many companies that specialize in website optimization services. Some will even go as far as offer search engine friendly web design and development. These firms are a rare breed, however can offer the ideal packages to promote your website in the search engines.

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Best Practices of Ecommerce Web Design

When building an ecommerce website, the process encompasses a wide range skills and contributions. There are the technical components of ecommerce, which include electronic data interchange (or EDI,) inventory management, automated data collection, supply chain management, electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, and Internet marketing.

And then there are the more creative and aesthetic components such as ecommerce web design and website development. Every ecommerce website should be geared towards being user friendly and allowing visitors to make purchases as easily as possible.

Web Design for Online Shopping Sites

There are several online selling principles that web designers should consider while designing and developing an ecommerce site. These include:

1) The ecommerce site should be attractive so that it attracts as many people as possible.

2) The site should be organized so that users have an easy time navigating through the site.

3) The colors should fit the spirit of the website.

4) Users should not have a difficult time determining the owner of the website.

5) The website must be trustworthy.

6) Users must enjoy the shopping experience.

7) The site should have an edge over competitors’ sites.

You do not need training to know that these training are important since the same principles are applicable even when shopping in a shopping center, a mall, or any other marketplace. Web designers however, usually have a challenge translating these principles to the virtual Internet world. Web designers need to front websites so that there is high conversion rate. This is comparable to supermarkets that have breads further inside the shop, but where you can smell the freshly baked bread right from the entrance.

Drawing an imaginary path in an ecommerce website, a path that ensures most visitors to the site make a purchase is not rocket science, but a professional is best suited to handle it since experience is valuable. The Web designer must design the ecommerce website in such a way that customers/clients are exposed to most if not all the products. Failure to do this means the customer/client will buy from your competitor’s site.

Ecommerce Web DesignThe layout is an important component of ecommerce web design. The Web design should focus on where the eyes of the user first focus on when they visit a Web page. There has been a lot of research on this, with most of the research indicating that the mid-left side of Web page is what attracts most attention, followed by the center. With this knowledge, Web designers can mimic what supermarkets do by drawing the ‘walking path’.

Lead Driven Website Design

The Web designer should create a site that leads visitors to the right Web page in not more than 2 clicks. Web designers often use techniques that are never used for non-ecommerce sites. One way of doing this is having only one link, the link pointing towards the order form in a sales letter site. Sales letter sites are not conventional ecommerce sites since they usually sell a single product. Web designers are therefore able to exaggerate this one-click principle and to take full advantage from it. As is the case in sales letter sites, details about the products on sale must be presented in an intelligent way. The Web design should be such that the user is prompted to go to the order form page after every few lines of the description. Ensure there are further facts and customer testimonials about the product/s for customers/clients who are not convinced.

Online shops have more products. The more the products, the more complex the website will be. Different personalization technologies are used in more complex ecommerce sites to determine the best products to sell in the sites. All successful ecommerce sites today use these personalization technologies. Amazon.com was the pioneer in the use of personalization technology. The company used the technology to push books to visitors based on past orders and using statistics collected in the past. Today’s goal of personalization technology is to try to also predict what to first offer users on their first visit.

Simple Web Design Navigation

Keep the ecommerce site simple. There should be a clear hierarchy so that the navigation is consistent. Do not provide more information than is needed. Use images for your products. Human beings are visual creatures and as the old adage goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. The images should pop out when highlighted. This ensures that you have as many products on each page as possible. You could have more than one picture for each product preferably from different angles. This helps in the building of trust since visitors will see you have nothing to hide.

Give as much details as possible in your content and in the website's design. Anticipate all questions that buyers are likely to ask. The customer should never be left in doubt since this might push him/her to your competitors’ sites. A lot of attention must be put on the shopping cart page. The page should have such features as the changing of item quantity while shopping, estimation of taxes, and removal of products without starting from scratch. In other words, the shopper should have full control.

Provide answers to all the questions the clients could ask if were in a physical store. Do not let your customers doubt or question certain web design functionality, otherwise they will go to another website. There should be a search tool that works perfectly. There should be pictures in the results generated by the tool. This can be most effective when consulting with a Peoria web design company.

Ensure there are no hidden charges since this will drive away return customers. Give your phone number and real address since some visitors prefer calling while others will only buy once they confirm that you are a genuine store. The URLs should be search-engine friendly and popular searches URLs should be included in the Google sitemap. Give as many payment options as possible.

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Product Page Development Tips for Ecommerce Optimization

Ecommerce Conversion OptimizationWhether you own a land based business or an ecommerce store, you still want to make sure that every customer that walks in or visits your website is a converted sale. With ecommerce, the best way to do this is to carry our CRO (conversion rate optimization) on when developing product page.

Every business website can be optimized such that it appeals more to the impulse shopper in whomever visits the landing page. This often involves a great deal of CRO testing and could include trying out various versions of the same site just to see which one works best. The intricacies of CRO are quite abundant but as a rule of thumb, the following should be adhered to at the most basic of levels if CRO success if to be achieved.

Clear Call-to-Actions

This is perhaps the most important area as far as product page optimization is concerned. Unfortunately, most business owners are unclear on what to do here. A call to action button is basically an instructions manual as to what you want the client to do once they have landed on the product page. This should be made very clear, prominent and preferably above the fold of your product page.

The text/copy is also very important. If you want the client to buy something, write something like 'Buy Now' or 'Click To Buy' and if your intention is to get the client to sign up for a newsletter feed or for further information use 'Sign Up Here' or 'Get More Information'. The point is, it should be very clear to the client what action the button leads to.

Quality Product Images

These images are the first visual interaction your potential client is going to have when undergoing product page development. They need to be of the highest possible quality for the client will associate that with the actual product. If the image is blurry, has poor lighting or composition, the client will subconsciously relate that to the quality of value they will get from using the product. Bright colors attract and excite ecommerce shoppers. Make sure these product images portray a clear picture and are designed in such a way as to prompt someone to want to own one.

Unique and Compelling Copy/Text

In ecommerce, content is king. This is your sales pitch to the client. Besides the other integral bits like your search engine rank depending on the quality and relevance of your text/copy, this is the one thing that your client uses to decide whether or not to buy from you. The copy should clearly highlight to the potential buyer the product features and various benefits that they stand to receive by using your product. Statistics show that a landing page has only 8 seconds to grab the visitors attention. Make the text simple, striking and outstanding. Something that prompts the client to stay and read on, not mundane everyday information.

Product Highlight Videos

People more often than not will opt to watch a short video on about the product rather than read a long 'pros and cons' text about it. The most compelling videos are those of the product being used in real life. This leads the client to identify with the product as part of their home as well as learn more about it. Besides, chances are that if someone else is using it, then it must be good. That is the normal human thinking.

In essence, CRO is an absolute necessity for ecommerce websites, that is not in contention. It is how you go about it that determines your sales conversion rate.

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13 Tips for Building the Ultimate Ecommerce Website in 2014

Ecommerce Web DevelopmentWith the ecommerce market at an all time high, capitalizing on smart and effective online business strategies is an absolute must. When building a properly structured ecommerce website, there are a few key elements that must be employed for optimal results. In this article we are going to break down 13 "must do" tips for building the ultimate ecommerce website.

1 - Use A Simple and Straight Forward Navigation - Using a simple and straight forward navigation on your website isn't just encouraged, it's a necessity. The internet average for page view duration is between 10 and 20 seconds. This means if the visitor doesn't get exactly what they want in that time, you can bet their going to be clicking the back button. Not only will this help you with conversions, Google rewards sites with simple navigation's via SEO presence.

2 - Use High Definition and Unique Images - Since you are building an online store, the visitor will not be able to touch or feel the product, this is why images are the lifeblood of your conversions. Using high definition images from many different angles will help visitors get a better feel of the object without actually getting a feel of it.

3 - Use Video - Video has been proven to increase conversions in almost every type of online business, and ecommerce is no different. By creating product review videos or product specification videos in the ecommerce site's design, you can change a visitors mind from "browsing" to "buying".

4 - Make Your Site Social - Having a social media presence is almost expected by online buyers these days, and without it your significantly hurting yourself. On top of making potential visitors feel more comfortable because of your social media presence, share buttons can drastically increase exposure and viralability. Most brands these days have an established presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus just to name a few.

5 - Use Proper "On Page" SEO Practices - If you are not experienced with SEO, it might be more beneficial to outsource this task to a third party ecommerce SEO company. But the use of proper on page SEO can drive hundreds of thousands of free visitors to your website from the search engines. One of the key elements about effective SEO for ecommerce websites are the vast competitors and competing ecommerce websites They can have anywhere from 10,000 to 10,000,000,000 pages depending on how big the site is. Knowing how to use meta tags, descriptions, H1 tags, and other information can allow you to tap into a large variety of keywords.

6 - Use Proper "Off Page" SEO Practices - Once again, if you are not experienced, it might be more beneficial to outsource the SEO. However, link building can be extremely beneficial for getting your site ranked higher in the search engines for targeted keywords.

7 - Use an Email List - Even though you are building your ecommerce website, the bottom line is that you are building your business. Build an email list by giving out a free coupon or product. Then email your list with special deals and promotions to further increase profits. Repeat buyers are the lifeblood of any business as they already trust your brand and website.

8 - Offer Related Products - On every product page, offer related products to the one the visitor is shopping. If a visitor is on the fence of buying a certain product, similar products could be exactly what they are looking for.

9 - Use Product Reviews - Put product reviews on the product pages of each item. By allowing a user to freely browse what the community thinks of an item, it greatly increase conversion rates. It also allows the buyer to leave a review which makes them feel involved in your brand's community. The more interaction in the community = more sales.

10 - Don't use Ads - While Google Adsense and other advertising platforms can be a smart monetization strategy, your ecommerce website already has a strong monetization strategy. Ads will just divert the visitor's attention, and if they click through you will lose them forever.

11 - Use a "Featured Products" Section - On the homepage of your website, use a "featured product" section that diverts visitors to the best selling items in your store. If the items have been proven to be best selling, you know for a fact they convert well. This means increased conversions and more money.

12 - Offer Multiple Payment Options - By offering multiple payment options, you are allowing the visitor to buy with no problems. It would make very little sense to lose a buyer because you don't offer payment from a certain credit card. I highly suggest looking into an online payment processing company such as Authorize.net or 2Checkout; these companies have all major credit card processing abilities built into their framework.

13 - Create a Well Thought Out "About" Page - The biggest concern with online customers is the legitimacy of an online store. By creating a well designed "About" page, you show transparency which puts trust in the visitor. You should also put your contact information somewhere on the site that is easy to find, and easy to read.

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6 Tips to Craft a Mobile Website Optimization Plan

With Google's new mobile search algorithms, and continual changes in the world of SEO, businesses have to create a great mobile website optimization plan in order to stay ahead of the curve. A mobile website is pivotal to online success today; without a mobile site, you might as well give up on online marketing and SEO altogether.

Google Mobile

Since most people visiting your site today are on some kind of mobile device, you have to develop a site that is user friendly, scalable, navigable, and one which will work on nearly any mobile platform which site visitors are visiting your site from. These are some factors to consider in developing the mobile website optimization strategy.

1. Understand Google's Preferences

One of the biggest changes made to Google's mobile search algorithm is giving higher ranking preference to sites with mobile sites. Not only user friendly mobile sites, but navigable, good looking mobile sites, on all mobile platforms. Understanding this change, along with all other factors Google looks at (which include: blogs, back links, SEO keyword terms, references, dynamic HTML, responsive site, etc), will help you outrank competitors in your field.

It is imperative to know what Google looks for, in order to make the right changes. At the present time, it is catering to a mobile audience, developing a navigable site, and creating mobile content users can easily access from anywhere.

2. Responsive design

Given Google's latest affinity with mobile design, responsive site design is critical in your mobile website optimization strategy. Using separate CSS files triggered at mobile devices is key to this responsive design.

A website design theme with responsive option built ins should be purchased and coordinating with a web developer, to create a smooth transition from your desktop site to your mobile site, will also help in creating a more responsive site. The faster the pages load, the higher your site will rank.

3. Know your limits

Part of creating a responsive design is understanding the limits in mobile design. Some of these include:

  • Scrolling (mobile users hate scrolling).
  • Timely information should be prominent.
  • Percentage rather than pixel basis for images.
  • Allowing mobile users to access desktop site.

This, and other limits which you have with mobile site development should be considered. Not only will it help make your mobile site faster, but it will also look better, and is easier for site visitors to navigate through.

4. Cater to mobile SEO

On this front, mobile SEO needs don't greatly differ from desktop needs. So, remember, you need proper page titles, spacing, meta descriptions, and headline tags, to help rank your site. One big thing to keep in mind is mobile keywords will vary, so it is important to keep this in mind as you are developing a mobile SEO strategy for your pages rank.

5. Troubleshoot

Using Google's mobile-friendly testing tool, online optimization matrices, and other online optimization strategies and tools is imperative in testing your site and mobile speeds. You have to test the site speed, load speeds, site layout, and navigability. Where issues are found, the right mobile optimization tools will allow you to fix site inconsistencies, make changes, and address issues visitors are having on different mobile devices. The more navigable and easy to use on all mobile platforms, the better your mobile visibility. Using the troubleshooting tools will allow you to fix, edit, modify, and otherwise make changes to the site as necessary.

6. Continually improve

Google just updated their algorithm, which will affect your rank via Google search on mobile devices. However, this, and other search engines are continually updating their algorithms. As a business owner, you have to continually improve your site, improve mobile navigability, and find ways to make your site more user friendly on mobile devices. Doing so not only guarantees a higher rank, but also more site visits by your consumer and target audience.

There is no right or wrong way to develop a mobile site. However, having a mobile website optimization plan, with viable goals, and matrices in place will help you develop a site which will outrank competitors in Google. Keeping these factors and tips in mind, and using the right tools, will not only help you develop a navigable responsive site, but also one visitors truly love. Further, it will help you move up in ranks, for your business to truly shine in Google mobile search rankings today.

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5 Powerful Web Design Platforms for Small Businesses

Web Design PlatformsWhen running a small business, it can be difficult competing with large corporations with consumers worldwide. To combat this, small businesses everywhere have started creating their own websites. But how do businesses choose which web design platforms are right for them?

In this article we've compiled a list of five web design platforms for small businesses to help make the decision easier.

Wordpress

First on the list of five web design platforms for small businesses is Wordpress. Wordpress is perhaps the most popular web design platform used today. Its easy to use interface requires no coding or HTML background. Wordpress is a great choice for beginners because it is so user-friendly.

Wordpress also offers a great menu management system to make websites easier to navigate. In addition to this, Wordpress also has thousands of graphics templates to choose from to make your website stand out to consumers. Wordpress is a very popular choice of web design platforms for small businesses.

Exponent CMS

Next on our list of web design platforms for small businesses is Exponent CMS. The most prominent feature about this open source program is that it requires no coding knowledge to use. Everything about this platform has been simplified to make building a professional website as easy as possible. Exponent CMS was designed by a specialized firm that offers SEO, web marketing and design in Peoria, so it's highly SEO-friendly for businesses interested in optimizing their website.

Exponent CMS offers not only selection of templates, but also a selection of specialized templates. This means that they can be used for different pages like ecommerce or blogs. Because the Exponent CMS system handles the structure of the website, installation is easy and hassle-free. Exponent CMS is one of the most user-friendly choices for web design platforms for small businesses.

Squarespace

Next on the list is Squarespace. Squarespace takes its pride in its visual appeal. The designs of the templates to choose from are very modern and state-of-the-art. However, this does not mean that the interface is difficult to use.

On the contrary, Squarespace is one of the most user-friendly platforms on the web. Plugins and widgets allow your website to become more interactive. Squarespace also offers an ecommerce space with the option to integrate a shopping cart. Squarespace is a great option for those looking for a more modern website.

Weebly

Weebly is the next web design platform on the list. Its simple interface is easy to comprehend and will have your website up and running in no time. Weebly offers a variety of simple templates that can be integrated into a mobile-friendly website.

In addition to this, widgets and plugins can be added to a Weebly website including photo galleries and polls. Weebly also offers another way to make money by supporting Google AdSense, a popular choice of ads for small businesses. Weebly is another good choice of web design platforms for small businesses.

Wix

The final web design platform on the list is Wix. Wix is one of the easiest platforms to understand when it comes to editing. Not only is the interface easy to understand, but there are also tutorial videos and a FAQ section should you get stuck on something.

Wix offers only the most professional templates for its websites. It also supports multilingual websites, which is a plus for businesses with consumers around the world. Like the previous platforms, basic widgets and plugins can be added to websites. Wix is ultimately the best choice for businesses with international customers.

Due to the world of web design platforms, small businesses can now compete with large scale corporations. Using these five web design platforms for small businesses, you can now choose which one is right for you and your small business.

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