Design And Layout
Before we cover the basics of designing an ecommerce website, let me ask you a simple question: Which do you think is more likely to succeed? A website with a clear, simple and professional design, which is well targeted at the niche market? Or a website with flashy animation, graphics or audio that detracts from its primary purpose – to convert visitors to customers?
Obviously, a clear and professional design is better able to convert online visitors to paying customers. When designing your website, pay attention to the following:
When designing your website, there is one crucial point you need to keep in mind – your website serves as a platform to display your catalogue of products to your customers. The aim of your website is then to convert the visitors of your website into buyers.
Remember to focus on leading the visitor through the sales process step-by-step. Produce clear instructions and directions to tell the visitor what to do, and not leave the visitor to figure out how to make a purchase. This is an extremely important factor influencing the conversion rate of your website.
The images you display on your site should mainly comprise of photographs of your products. Do not include fanciful ‘cartoon’ graphics or animation – these make your site appear unprofessional, and drive your visitors away in a hurry!
With regards to the image file formats, all your photograph files should be in the JPG format. This is the best format to display your pictures with excellent quality and low file size at the same time. Don’t forget – the time it takes for your webpage to load should be capped at a minimum.
On the other hand, images like your business logo and navigation buttons should be in GIF format. These pictures do not require resolution as high as your photographs – and the GIF format offers the lowest size for such files.
Keywords And Search Terms
Your business keywords and search terms are also critical considerations when designing your website. Deciding on your keywords beforehand optimizes your website for the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Given below are the steps to take for proper search engine optimization.
Before writing your content and salescopy, first brainstorm a list of keywords related to your business. The Keyword Suggestion Tool from Yahoo! Search Marketing is very useful for producing a list of keywords. The exact number of keywords depends on the range of products you have.
When designing your website, include these keywords in the page titles, meta tags and heading tags. Doing so will definitely improve your search engine rankings for those particular keywords. Additionally, you should also sprinkle your keywords uniformly throughout the page when writing the page content.
Apart from Internet Explorer, the online community also uses other internet browsers like Netscape Navigator. When designing your website, you need to ensure that it is compatible with other internet browsers, or your website will appear with a messy layout. Ensure that visitors using other browsers like Netscape can also view your product catalogue with ease.
Things To Avoid
In conclusion, you need to pay attention to the design and navigation, the images, the keywords, and also the browser compatibility for your website. Avoid fanciful graphics, slow loading time and inaccurate spelling when designing your website. Remember – the single critical aim of your website is to convert your visitors into paying customers.