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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
If you have come here looking for SEO help, you have found a blog that can help you. There is much information here to be held and please feel free to comment anytime...Even with a question.

July 2, 2007

Successful E Commerce Design - What do You Need?

The video is short and Great! It will save you from yourself if you listen to the advice. We are going to cover those items and even more considerations when designing a E Commerce site.

There is a lot of planning that goes in to any website, but an E Commerce website is really one of the most worthy of a great plan. I suggest you start with a graph paper tablet and some brain juice for this project. Sketch out the main page and the navigation structure, ask others for their opinions. Lets cover some factors you will want to bear in mind as you create your selling machine.

  1. Great page design, current and up to date. This lets your visitors know the site is cared for and that is perhaps a token of how you might care for them.
  2. How many "clicks" does it take to buy an item, does your cart have too many screens? Many would be customers will just click that big X if there is too much "paperwork".
  3. Do customers have to sign up before they can shop the first time? If so kiss them good bye!
  4. Unique pages for items or at least small group landing pages. This makes the site bigger, and landing pages in their own niche act like their own site, with bookmarks, and backlinks, and submissions, to achieve a more deeply indexed and linked website for maximum exposure to the index and customers.
  5. Can users "view" the contents of their cart anytime they wish and easily update it?
  6. Make sure your search feature is both functioning and easy to find (in the same location on all pages).
  7. Ideally you want to pattern all pages after the main/splash page, this promotes security, page read depth, and customer loyalty.
  8. Tell your guests what you offer that others do not or cannot, how will they know if you don't?
  9. Create a privacy page. This is becoming a big deal everywhere, people want to know how you may use their information. Additionally look for Google to be checking for these in adherence with TrustRank in the future. Call it Privacy policy or Privacy Statement, don't get too creative you want Google and your customers to know what it is.
  10. Put your promo or best selling product in the cut line(area about 25% down from the top of the web page, said to be the natural 1st position of the users eyes in most cases upon opening any web page) area on the main/splash page.
  11. Have a system that user can log in after they have purchased from you and view past purchases and shipping information, this is a great place for a coupon code too!
  12. Create a shipping page and tracking search. Describe in great detail your shipping/delivery process, so there are no surprises, you will see a large increase in conversion for existing sites just by adding this!
  13. Fully describe all products and categories, text is good. You need text for several reasons. People are more comfortable with reading the information than emailing or calling generally speaking, and it helps your optimization a great deal to generate the traffic from indexing to begin with....go forth and describe.
  14. Do not hide you contact information. Create a contact page and list is prominently in your navigation. I suggest you use a form and drop down or radio button topics for the subject/department (sales, shipping, support, etc.) this helps the customer decide where in your hierarchy the email should go and makes the email subject clearer for your staff to understand. Clearly post your phone number and address. If you want to be successful answer the phone.
  15. Provide online support. You can have a Java chat room, custom instant messaging, email, or what works really well for "tech" related products is a forum. This is nice because you will come to trust many regular customers to answer questions in your absence.
  16. Use arrows, and colors and other "visual" type navigation features to help your customers find their way.
  17. Allow customers to click, buy and go. They shouldn't be forced to reload the cart and then checkout for a single quick purchase, what you might have gained in ill gotten purchase funds you lost in loyalty and word of mouth advertising!
  18. Skip the Ads, put them on a different site...sell your stuff here. No pop ups.
  19. "alt" descriptions on all links and images help your customers and your SEO.
  20. Consider a blog or writing articles to promote your sites and staffs "expert" level. This also builds links and traffic.
  21. Spell check, spell check, spell check!
  22. Allow the user to see what page/where they are in your navigation setup.
  23. Allow customers several search options including price.
  24. Give the option to click and "show all products in a category".
  25. Tell the customer BEFORE its added to the cart if it is out of stock, and preferably when it will be in ( an option to receive an email when it is in will possibly save a sale here)
  26. Offer shipping and delivery options. Many customers want shipping insurance as well.
  27. Send and email order confirmation detailing the order and shipping information and including you company's contact page information.
  28. Cross promote on every single item details page. For example I click to view the details of this Burton snowboard, and under the item description I am reading are the link to the snowboard boots and stomp pad I was also looking for.
  29. Last chance offer or coupon. This is the last screen a customer sees when an order is processed before they are returned to the site. Many companies sell a "members club" type purchase there. I prefer a return coupon code. Just give them a coupon to return to the site and let you help them out again. If you can please them twice you have earned their endorsements and continued business.
  30. Offer customer testimonials on products, especially big ticket products. Video or audio is extraordinary, but text is fine too. Satisfied customers are generally more than willing to do this.
  31. DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SEO. Optimize your website. You can visit the DIY SEO site for help and there are numerous articles on the SEO NEWS BLOG that detail exactly how and what you need to succeed with SEO.
Peace and SEO