Your Online Shop - Part 2
Building Your Shop
18 July 2019
If you want your online venture to be successful, you have to start with the right product for your shop build. Using software with limited capabilities to run your online shop is a waste of your time & investment. A web build that isn’t responsive, accessible & user-friendly, is a glorified business card.
It is important to make sure that your website works well on mobile devices.
Web Browser Compatibility
It is imperative that your website has been tested on all browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari, etc.
Remember you are designing for the visitor. By many countries laws, websites have to be accessible now. You risk litigation if your website doesn't comply.
Often so much time is taken on the technical challenges of a website, that they forget the simple things like content. Proofreading content is very important. It sucks if you miss out on producing a search result because your keywords are spelt wrong. If you are selling products, what can they be used for? If you are selling services, how can that service benefit others? Providing locations of where you sell & provide your services is just as important.
Images & Photos
Especially important for those building their own websites, or responsible for filling in the content of a pre-built website, or content managers. Always keep the aspect of the image the same as the designated space you are inserting it into, unless the software automatically crops. Another sin is enlarging a smaller image beyond its original dimensions. It will become pixelated and be of poor quality. Images & photos can also slow a web page down if they are too large. Images need to be optimized for the web.
Make sure all the links are working on your website. Not only for your user, but also for search engines. You don't want to send them off to a dead link.
Good quality SEO is important during the web build, prior to launch and when the website is live on the web. Poor SEO or no SEO will make it hard for visitors to find you.
If you have engaged a good professional web team, they will optimise your website for the search engines as they build. This is always a good start, as website semantics are also important to search engines. Pages should be formatted correctly, with adequate headings & labels. Pages should have optimised title tags. The pages should have the right META tags. If this is something you are unfamiliar with, then it's a good idea to hire a SEO professional.
If you’re taking charge of your own SEO, you will need to spend time researching the right practices. What was an acceptable practice last year, might not be this year. Algorithms have changed several times over the years. Something simple can be the difference between being on page one in the search results, and being on page 100. Research websites that do well for your keyword search, see what they are doing right. Watch them on social media & see how they use their website, blog or shop to push more traffic.
If you are moving an old site to a new domain, or you have rebuilt your website & some of the pages have changed position, don’t forget to set up 301 redirects from all important pages on the old sites/pages.
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