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Ways to optimize your Online Shop

Published by Paul Pyrlik

The year 2010 should be used to optimize your existing eCommerce Platform. Many Online Shops I see out there have enormous potentials for improvement. Some of them can't be implemented easily, e.g. Clean URLs (URLs which just reveal their resource, but not their technology) - here you are often limited by the technology and platform you use. However, there are many things you can do in the field of technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For this purpose one option would be to create a whole new template to get started. You can overhaul the GUI (graphical user interface) and optimize the template for all the search engines like Google and Yahoo. What needs to be done for this can be listed quickly:


Valid HTML

  • XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • CSS 2.1 (and parts of CSS 3)
  • Javascript Library jQuery 1.3.2
  • Basic SEO through semantic and compliant code
  • Less limitations in layout and construction (no frames, tables, ...)
  • Outsourcing of CSS and Javascript, or rather putting them at the end of the code but the content further at the beginning
  • Optimizing the construction of the title tag - incorporating page content followed by the shop name
  • Displaying the description tag
  • Incorporating the canonical tag
  • Clean usage of formatting elements (H1, H2, ...)

Advantages

  • Separation of layout and content
  • Easier maintenance
  • Flexible upgrades
  • Everything what search engines need and rate

Browser you should optimize for

  • IE7
  • IE8
  • Firefox 3
  • Safari 4 Mac
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera

Layout Optimization

  • Watch out for what can be seen in a standard resolution of 1024 x 768

Landing Page

  • Include Call to Action areas and buttons
  • Discuss actual shop advantages
  • Show payment options
  • Allow easy navigation and search
  • Show certificates, e.g. PCI compliance (if applicable)

Catalog / Category View

  • I would recommend to show 4 products per line at the maximum. If you want to show more you could consider to provide your visitors 2 or 3 alternative views with more or less information
  • A useful functionality is to have a selector where your customer can limit the number of products shown per category. For example they can select products only with a specific colour or size
  • Provide big (visible) buttons to navigate to next or previous pages

Product Detail View

  • Use high quality product images
  • Show logos of product brands and properties
  • Display product rating
  • Use a short / brief description and direct to a longer description
  • Display price and crossed out "old price"
  • Display all product attributes (sizes, colour, etc)
  • Buy now button (Call to Action)

Checkout

  • Remove all navigation and everything else what could distract a customer from buying your products

If you need help to implement some of these tactics or if you are looking for an All-in-One Solution to manage your Online Shop visit BigTurns.com.

Paul Pyrlik
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1
info@BigTurns.com

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