So, you’re finally ready to launch your first eCommerce website.
You’ve spent ages choosing the right platform to build your site, selecting a beautiful, professionally pre-designed theme and tinkering with it until it creates just the kind of impression you want to give your customers.
You’ve even brought in some outside help to create the kind of compelling homepage content that lures customers into the heart of your site, and that’s where things start to get tricky.
After all, you’ve spent a long time on your online store, not just with building the website itself, but with all your market research, business plan creation and all those countless other things that go into starting a successful company.
Now, the last thing you want is for the whole thing to be let down simply because your actual product pages aren’t working quite as well as they should be.
Think about it, aren’t those products the very essence of what your site’s really all about?
You could have the best homepage in the world and a whole army of tools and interactive features going on, but if your customers don’t feel inspired enough to hit that ‘Buy Now’ button by the time they land on a product, what does any of it really matter?
Don’t despair just yet though.
Here’s just a few tips for optimizing products on your eCommerce website, provided to us by leading eCommerce platform experts.
A picture speaks a thousand words
Apart from the ‘Buy Now’ button itself, your product images are the most vital component of your entire product page, so make them count.
Most top eCommerce tools and shopping carts give you the option to upload multiple images for any given product, so really go out and make the most of it.
Don’t just show the product itself, but show it actually being used and enjoyed so that your customers can envision themselves using and enjoying it too.
Don’t forget the alt tags
Alt tags, sometimes referred to as ‘alternative text’ or something similar, are text-based descriptions of each image you place on your site. When you upload a new one, you’ll likely see a box where you can include these alt-tags.
As easy as it is to ignore them, we highly recommend filling them in.
Not only do they serve their primary purpose of helping those with visual disabilities use your site, but they also fulfill a handy secondary role of improving your Search Engine Optimisation efforts and drawing in more customers.
‘What’s in it for me?’
As much as this might come as a blow to the ego for some folks, most of your customers don’t really care about you, your business, or even your products.
What they care about is themselves, their lifestyle and how those products can benefit them. When it comes to writing your product descriptions then, put yourself in the shoes of your customers, who’ll be landing on that page and asking ‘OK, what’s in it for me?’
Tell us that your new garden furniture is made from durable materials, and the likely response is ‘So what?’
Tell us instead that those durable materials mean our new furniture won’t require us to spend more money on replacing a new one or on maintenance, and we’re likely to be more interested.
Don’t go overkill with the key words
If you’ve read anything at all about Search Engine Optimisation, you’ve probably read all about keywords and how important they are. So it’s understandable that to improve your place in Google’s search rankings, you’re now tempted to use your product keywords in every sentence of your product description.
Don’t do it.
Taking this approach to SEO can do more harm than good to your search rankings as Google is likely to see it as spam and penalise your website. Instead, use that keyword once and then move on to make that copy fluent and easy to read. Or, to put it a better way – Write for humans, not Google’s machines.
What are the biggest challenges you face in making a success of your online store? Let us know on Twitter @WebDesignDIY or send your questions to us on Facebook and we’ll answer your questions in an upcoming blog post here on Web Design DIY.