Three Valuable eCommerce Features that Require Development

When you partner with an eCommerce platform, you gain the suite of development options offered by that platform. While these options are often more than sufficient for setting up an eCommerce site for any business, there is no way for platforms to offer all of the features their clients would like. When developing your eCommerce website and comparing it to other sites in your industry, you might quickly develop a list of features you would like for your site that are not baked into your platform.

In order to add these features to your website, you need a webpage developer who can physically code them in. By hiring a development team familiar with your eCommerce platform, customization is virtually limitless.  Web development can greatly improve the appearance and function of your website, leading to greater user retention.

Mega Menus

Mega menus are an amazing feature for your eCommerce site. Unlike a standard drop-down menu, these menus often feature categories and subcategories so your customers can browse a wider range of options at a glance. While standard menu options are a standard feature for all eCommerce platforms, they do not include options for creating these comprehensive menus.

Developers can easily create gorgeous mega menus with any of the options your business needs. Whether this includes several subcategory options or the inclusion of images with your menus, almost anything is possible with the right coding.

Search Features

Another common feature that requires development is custom search. Most eCommerce platforms come with search features that allow for faceted search. This allows users to customize their search in terms of brand, size, color, and other common facets.

If your business requires a more specific facet, you’re going to need a custom search. For example, if you run a business that sells plants, you might have customers who want to search your products by how much light they require. This functionality will be valuable in assisting your customers to make purchases, but no platform is going to have a “light level” facet built into their search functions.

Auto-completing search terms are another feature that customers appreciate. Several developers are able to add coding to your search features to include auto-complete and recommended search features. Features like these make it easier to navigate your site and add a professional touch that users appreciate.

One Click Purchasing

Another valuable function that many platforms do not include is one-click purchasing. Made popular as a feature for Amazon Prime, the eCommerce giant now offers this to all of its customers. Rather than adding a product to a cart and then moving to checkout, one-click purchasing takes the customer straight to checkout.

For sites that link customer payment data to account, this can even be used for instant purchases with no further steps. These tools are extremely valuable for cashing in on impulse purchases and streamlining the purchasing process. Having customers view their cart before checkout can lead to indecision. The faster you can allow a customer to go from the initial desire for a product to purchase, the less chance that your customers will reconsider.

 

To learn more about features that will improve your eCommerce site’s performance, turn to Genius eCommerce. Our experts are here to keep you up to date on the latest tips and news in the world of eCommerce.

 

Choosing a Design Theme for your eCommerce Site

The web design theme you use for your eCommerce site can have a major impact on your business. Whether this is positive or negative depends on how much research you put into your decision.

Consider your users: The number one criteria when choosing a theme is your user base. Many businesses that are trying to appeal to a young and trendy audience will have the most success with modern minimal templates. This style is currently in vogue and does not provide an abundance of distractions from your call to action. Flat themes typically feature light backgrounds and darker text, making your content really pop off the page.

A full-width template is a great option to achieve a very contemporary look. For a more traditional design, a boxed width design is another great choice. These templates include a border around your content and tend to be perfect for websites marketing to other businesses.

No matter what theme option you choose, you will have some empty space on your page. While it might be tempting to fill that negative space, it’s important to avoid over-saturating the user. If you have a lot to say, consider a simple link to another page where you can go more in-depth.

Choose the right header: A strong header sends a strong message. As soon as a user lands on your page, the header should be the first thing that draws their eye. A bold, bright image is truly worth a thousand words. You can tell an entire story about your brand with the right combination of graphics and text at the top of your page. If that story appeals to your user base, it will leave them hungry for more information.

You also want to be sure that your header leaves enough space for users to want to continue their journey through your site. A header that takes up half of your page might make your website appear underdeveloped.

Instead of extending your header vertically, you might want to extend its width beyond the rest of your content, guiding users from the literal big picture to the important details about your business. The right balance between the “curb appeal” of your header and the substance to back it up will be what keeps users interacting with your website.

Check out your competition: If your business has competitors with a successful website, take some time to navigate them. It’s never a great idea to use the exact page template as a competitor, noting their successful layout features will help you improve your own site.

Does your lead competitor place their menu above or below the header? How do they lay out their links or organize their products? All of these factors can contribute to their success and might be a huge help when deciding what your customers want to see for your business.

You should also consider the inverse, what does their site lack? Are there clunky or unnecessary features on the competition’s website? Avoiding their mistakes is a great way to give your site a superior layout.

Menu designs: Your menus are your user’s travel guide to the rest of your website. You need menus to point users towards your products and more information on what you offer as a brand. Whether you feature a simple dropdown menu or what a custom designed mega menu, making your site easy to navigate is key to retaining users and increasing visit durations.

Factors like whether you want to include subcategories to your menu can affect the ease of use for your website. A challenging menu will lead to increased bounce rates, but having too many subcategories can be confusing to users. Be sure to test your own menus and make sure they serve as an efficient gateway for visitors to understand you and your product line.

Branding: What is more important to you, your brand or your products? The idea of your brand is important, and how you feature it on your site will send a message to users. You definitely want your pages to prominently feature your brand logo so visitors will see and remember it.

If your brand is the focal point of your business, you will want that logo front and center. This works well for businesses that are selling a “lifestyle” that goes with their products. For markets like footwear, sometimes having a popular brand of shoes is more important than having shoes in general to consumers. These businesses will want to display that brand first and the products second.

If you want your products to speak for your brand, placing your logo off to the side or in a corner might be a better choice. This placement will give visitors an idea of who you are, while still maintaining your site design’s focal point to display your products. For businesses that want customers to display their product’s utility, or do not have powerful brand recognition, this product fronted design will focus visitors’ interest on what you have to offer.

 

Keep your business up to date with Genius eCommerce. Our experts compile news and tips on every facet of eCommerce so you can always find new ways to improve your site and your business.

eCommerce Migration and Your SEO Campaign

Sometimes you need to migrate your eCommerce business to a new platform. If you need your website to feature functionality your current eCommerce platform doesn’t offer or you’re overpaying for features your business doesn’t need, it might be time to consider a migration

One important consideration to make when you migrate your business is how it will impact the efficacy of your SEO campaign. SEO campaigns can last for months to years and often involve an extensive network of links. Moving your platform means all of that work and link equity might be placed in jeopardy.

Protect your Links

If your migration is going to affect your URL structure, you will need to implement 301 redirects to your old links. Without doing this, your SEO backlinks from offsite content will no longer direct to your website and Google will no longer associate your business with them. This can quickly drop your Google search rankings.

For internal links, be sure to physically actually change them rather than using more redirects. Too many redirects will slow your website down and negatively impact the user experience.

A new platform will also mean new SEO options. Making sure your SEO data is compatible with your new platform is crucial. If you know that search engines will analyze your new pages differently, you will have to adjust your strategy to match.

Use a Sandbox

Sandboxes exist for a reason. Before you implement your migration, test the new website and make sure all your links work properly. Generate a migration checklist and ensure all your concerns have been addressed before you pull the trigger. By testing your links before you move, you can make sure that your migration doesn’t affect the SEO equity you have spent months building.

A sandbox is also the perfect place to test your new website’s functionality. Making sure your website maintains all its features will ensure that the work you’ve put into your SEO pays off in high visit durations instead of bounces.

Check and Double Check Everything

If you want to avoid significant content errors, it’s important to index your website. A thorough analysis will help find any broken links or duplicate content before you migrate your data. Migrating is the perfect time to take care of these problems so they don’t follow you to the new site. Too many broken links can negatively impact user experience and Google’s opinion of your site.

You will also want to check your analytics before you implement your migration. Knowing factors such as average traffic rates and keyword rankings will be crucial once you migrate. Comparing your pre and post-migration analytics will be the basis for determining any adjustments your SEO strategy might need.

You will likely notice at least some drop off during migration. This is completely normal and is no reason to panic. You are migrating for a reason that will help your business, and your traffic will increase as long as you continue to execute an effective SEO campaign.

At Genius eCommerce, our goal is to keep vendors up to date on the latest in eCommerce. Check our blog to find more information about SEO strategies and tips to help your business succeed.

The Google Site Diversity Update and Your SEO Campaign

Google’s latest update aims to change how their algorithm arranges its search engine results. When people search Google for a term like “women’s shirts,” you would naturally expect them to be met with a slew of results from eCommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart. With the expansive scope of products that these companies offer, it comes as no surprise that users will be directed to at least a few pages from each of these major brands.

This is because Google’s algorithm deals with structured data. Their algorithm is incredibly skilled when it comes to finding the best results for search queries based on the data it has gleaned. Despite this, the algorithm does not always consider the idea of user experience.

When users turn to a search engine to find a product, they aren’t looking for the major brands they already know. Users want variety, and Google has listened. To increase the number of options presented to its users, Google has updated its algorithm to increase diversity in its results.

The biggest impact this update will have is that now, unless they are extremely relevant to the particular search, Google will limit websites to only having two links in their top results. This means that now there is going to be more real estate available on Google’s coveted first page for smaller businesses.

This update is still new and will require further refinement. You may still see the same website occupying multiple positions and Google is working hard to determine when this is appropriate. For example, Amazon deserves more than two links on the first page if the user is searching for information about the company itself, but will only be given two links in relation to a query about a general product.

So how will this affect your business?

More room on the board means it will be easier for smaller brands to achieve these top result rankings. This means that your SEO campaign just became that much more valuable. In light of this news, it’s time to revisit your SEO strategy to make sure your site is a strong contender for these new openings.

This update could also mean that your business will start appearing on the front page, especially if you have been climbing the rankings recently. The vacuum this update has produced means that competing companies will be gunning for these spots as well, so be sure to continue building links and focusing on your keywords if you want to keep your new rankings and the resulting increase in traffic to your website.

Though Google has yet to announce exactly what criteria can result in a business being featured more than twice in the top results, more information on this point might affect future SEO strategies.

 

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Measuring SEO Success: The Metrics You Should Know

Achieving SEO success takes time and patience. One way to stay on track in your approach to SEO and stay the course with your strategy is to know that it’s working, even if on the smallest level.

How can you measure your SEO success? There are so many different performance metrics you can track, so you should know which ones you need to focus on and understand so you can accurately track your progress. Today, we will look at the metrics you should know.

At Genius eCommerce, this is who we are and what we do. We aim to be a guide for you through your eCommerce SEO efforts, informing you of trends, tips, and tricks to achieving SEO success.

Organic Traffic – A strong indicator of SEO success is in organic traffic. If your SEO campaign is working well, you should be seeing more organic traffic and conversions. If you don’t see much of an increase or very little early on, don’t let that discourage you. SEO takes some time to go to work and the early metrics can give you some insight on what is working. For example, if organic traffic is increasing and conversions are not, you may need to look at the keywords you are using and see if there is a better fit for your business. If your organic search traffic isn’t increasing but conversions are, you have likely improved the quality of traffic reaching your website.

Conversions from Organic Traffic – Conversions are the real measure of success in eCommerce. In Google Analytics, you can see the revenue, transaction, and eCommerce conversion rate under the eCommerce tab. These are the numbers that show how your business is doing. Compare these results to the results you got before starting SEO to get an idea of how your SEO campaign is working. SEO is designed to bring more visitors to your website, but conversions are the number that really matters.

Bounce Rate – Are you getting clicks to your website and then having people leave right away? This is what the bounce rate measures, the number of people who reach your website and then leave almost immediately for whatever reason. If your bounce rate is dropping, it can mean two things, that you are getting more relevant traffic to your website or that visitors are spending more time browsing the website and looking at multiple pages. Usually, a decreased bounce rate can come with an increase in conversions.

Time on Site – In a similar way to bounce rate, the amount of time people are spending on your website is an indicator that more relevant traffic is finding its way to you. The longer people stay on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase. If the average time on site is increasing, it means more visitors are finding a way to stay engaged and active on your website.

Rankings – When you finalize a list of keywords, the goal is to improve your rankings. The higher your rankings are, the better the campaign is performing. It can be easier to start by targeting tail keywords, keywords that have more than one or two words so that you are targeting things that are more specific and have a lesser search volume. These keywords tend to be best because they are more specific and cater to the visitor who knows what they are looking for and wants to be directed to that right away. There is a better chance that these keywords give you more qualified traffic. While rankings are an indicator of SEO success, it is not everything to SEO. You don’t want to get so caught up in the rankings that you start to try to produce content specifically to improve rankings and not offer anything relevant to the customer or show your authority or expertise in your industry.

Now that you know the areas you should be familiar with when it comes to analyzing your SEO success, it’s time to get out there and start to improve your eCommerce business with an SEO campaign. At Genius eCommerce, you can get the best tips, tricks, and trends to stay updated on the best practices of SEO throughout your campaign. This is who we are and what we do.

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