Let me first ask you one question before we get into the details of creating an ecommerce website. Which one do you believe is more likely to succeed. A website that is clear, professional, and targeted to a niche market. A website that uses flashy animations, graphics, or audio to distract from its primary purpose of converting visitors to customers.
A professional and clear design will be more effective in converting online visitors into paying customers. Pay attention to these things when designing your website:
Your homepage should grab visitors’ attention in the first few seconds. Otherwise, they will lose interest quickly and go elsewhere. You should aim to grab the visitors’ attention within the first ten second of their visit, and convince them to keep browsing your website. Your headlines and subheadlines should be catchy and compelling to get your visitors to keep reading.
Your salescopy is the language that grabs visitors’ attention and drives them to buy. You can effectively present the product’s value by balancing salescopy with graphics on your website. You don’t need to be focused on one aspect of your sales process. A good balance of both will ensure that you have the best chance of selling.
It is essential that navigation be consistent. Your navigation links should be clearly named. Additionally, your navigation menu should be consistent in its placement on your web pages. Your visitor should be able access all the information they need with no more than 3 clicks.
You can collect email addresses by using the opt-in form. Your site should not only be used to get visitors to purchase from you. It should also serve a secondary purpose by collecting their email addresses so that you can send them product promotions in the future. Your opt-in offer should be prominently displayed on your website. To get the highest opt-in rate, place your offer in the upper-left corner of the homepage.
One thing you should remember when designing your website is that it serves as a platform for your products to be displayed to customers. Your website’s goal is to convert visitors into buyers.
Keep in mind that the goal is to guide the visitor through each step of the sales process. Clear instructions and directions should be provided to the visitor so that they can follow the steps. This is a key factor in determining the conversion rate of your website.
Your site’s images should only include photographs of your products. Avoid animating or displaying ‘cartoon’ graphics on your site. These will make your site look unprofessional and can drive people away.
All your image files should be saved in JPG format. This format is ideal for displaying your photos with high quality and small file sizes. Remember to keep your website’s loading time as short as possible.
GIF files are best for images such as your logo and navigation buttons. These images do not need to be as sharp as your photos, and the GIF file format is the most suitable for such files.
Keywords and Search Terms
When designing your website, it is important to consider search terms and business keywords. Your website will be optimized for search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN by choosing your keywords before you start designing it. These are the steps you need to follow for search engine optimization.
Before you start writing content or sales copy, brainstorm keywords that are relevant to your business. Yahoo! Keyword Suggestion Tool The Keyword Suggestion Tool from Yahoo! is very helpful for creating a list keywords. The number of products you have will determine the exact number of keywords.
These keywords should be included in page titles, meta tags, and heading tags when designing your website. This will help you rank higher in search engines for these keywords. When writing page content, it is important to include your keywords throughout the page.
The online community uses Internet Explorer as well as other browsers such Netscape Navigator. You must ensure your website is compatible with other internet browsers. Otherwise, your website may look messy. You should ensure that Netscape users can view your product catalog with ease using another browser.
Things to Avoid
Use too many banners, graphics and colors. Too many banners or pictures can distract visitors from the purpose of their website – to browse your products and then make a purchase. Your website should be simple and professional. It should only have one purpose: to encourage your visitors to purchase from you.
Slow loading. You have probably left a website within the first few seconds of visiting it. This was simply because you were too impatient for the whole page to load. Your website should load in the first 2 to 3 seconds for average broadband users. If possible, reduce the size of your graphics.
Colorful backgrounds with patterns. Are professional websites such as Amazon.com and Yahoo.com using colorful backgrounds or patterned backgrounds? In most cases, a white background will be safe.
Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are unacceptable. Your website text must be correct in grammar and spelling. Poor spelling and grammar can quickly diminish your credibility.
You must pay close attention to the design, navigation, images, keywords, as well as the browser compatibility of your website. When designing your website, avoid using fanciful graphics and slow loading times. Your website should be able to convert visitors into paying customers.
Before launching an e-commerce website, take the time to understand your website’s infrastructure. This includes the operating system, the web server, the log analysis program, and the database (an integral part of most e-commerce sites). And, of course, the hardware on which these applications run.E-Commerce is not just about conducting business transactions via the Internet. Its impact will be far-reaching, and more prominent then we know currently. This is because the revolution in information technology is happening simultaneously with other developments, especially the globalization of the business.