You’re Already Making These 5 E-commerce Mistakes
E-commerce is a tricky business. You may think your e-commerce website is up-to-date and ready to tackle a steady flow of customers that will hand you money hand over fist. Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news. There are several mistakes you are already making that are preventing you from realizing your dream:
Mistake #1: Your site is not optimized
There are about three trillion websites. When you perform your average Google search, a lot of things happen instantly. These three trillion websites are run through several hundred criteria. Google then spits out the most relevant results related to your intended search.
Let’s assume somebody searches for used college textbooks. If your business involves unloading the massive amount of college textbooks you accrued at your university of choice. If you have pictures of the textbooks you are selling along with a description, the only people who are going to find your website are your friends and family.
What’s the key to optimizing your e-commerce business for search engines such as Google? Keywords.
Keywords are words or phrases that essentially represent search terms. In our college textbook example, “used college textbooks” would be a great batch of keywords. Another would be “used textbook seller.” These keywords should be peppered throughout the content of your website. Search engines such as Google check websites for relevance to the search term. If their term is one of your keywords, then the chances of your site appearing within the first few pages of a search have been increased. Scatter the keywords throughout the pages of your site, and don’t be afraid to put them into the actual links of your site.
Mistake #2: You tried too hard
When you came up with your great idea, you had clear expectations. You were probably tempted to put every bit of creative genius you had into your site. The result? Your Web-based business appears as cluttered as the local antique shop. You’ll be lucky to have people click through the quagmire to make an order.
Take a hint from Drudgereport.com. (Ignore the political leaning, and just take a look at the site.) It’s extremely clean. Graphics are at a minimum. The background is a simple white. The product — news headlines feeding into news sites — is the primary focus. They are easy to find, and easy to click. Keep that mentality, and take a closer look at your e-commerce business.
Mistake #3: Improper hosting
The current web hosting service you use may have seemed easy to use and fairly driven in their marketing approach. But something just isn’t right. WebHostingBlueBook.com can be used to suss out the best Web hosts. Depending on what the needs of your site area, a resource such as this can send you in proper direction.
Mistake #4: You’re not social media-friendly
Your business may have a presence on Facebook or Twitter. There are so many other social media outlets to get your business noticed. Use Instagram to post pictures of your new product as it is developed. If you are selling a cookbook, use Pinterest to get one of your prized recipes noticed. Sure, you’re giving away some product for free, but you’ll also attract more leads.
Also, don’t be afraid to update your blog accounts. Facebook can be fine for reaching a large group of people. For a bigger, slightly more respectable bang, head over to WordPress. You can create a blog about anything you want. Update it daily, and generate your buzz.
Mistake #4: You’re not customer-friendly
This mistake can mean a lot of things. The whole point of your e-commerce business was to make money selling your wares, correct? Once your site has been given the SEO treatment, and you’ve solved your other issues, your focus should remain on retaining your customers.
So, how do you retain customers? Depending on your product, you may be able to offer similar products. If you have an Etsy store where you sell hand-knit items, go ahead and design your own patterns, and include one with every purchase. If you’re in the financial newsletter game, there are loads of opportunities for customer retention, including special reports. In today’s digital age, they are practically free to produce outside of man hours, and they can lead to your customer base having faith.
Mistake #5: Failure to embrace the mobile age
Under no circumstances should you ignore mobile device optimization. The second quarter of 2013 saw the purchase of 432 million mobile devices, notes IDC. That is one gigantic client pool.