Building an eCommerce Website: What You Need to Know
Building an eCommerce Website
There are few things more exciting than starting an ecommerce website and becoming part of a growing industry of online selling and small business ownership. Even so, starting an ecommerce business requires getting acquainted with the ecommerce industry’s best practices and learning how to leverage an ecommerce site not only as a center of buying and selling, but also as an authoritative website that can educate and entertain customers, keeping them in the fold for long-term relationships that benefit the business’ bottom line and market performance. Here’s what aspiring ecommerce business owners need to know to establish themselves as a strong online storefront.
1. An eCommerce Site’s Domain Name Really Matters
An ecommerce site needs to communicate with potential customers through its domain name, and it needs to do this in a few ways. First and foremost, the domain should be a “.com” rather than any other suffix. The “.com” domain name is viewed as the most authoritative, and it will elevate the ecommerce company’s reputation almost immediately. The domain should also be short, descriptive of the ecommerce company’s products, and representative of the company’s mission in the marketplace.
2. eCommerce Sites Should be Highly Secure
Engaging in ecommerce without the proper layers of security is a big risk for both the ecommerce business owner and everyone who buys the company’s products. Business owners should look for highly secure ecommerce shopping cart solutions, and they should pick a web host that offers SSL encryption technologies so that customer financial data is never revealed to malicious hackers.
Website owners should also ensure that the entire backend of their ecommerce website is protected with highly complex passwords. Shy away from dictionary words, common phrases, or numbers that represent birthdays, holidays, or other common dates. If necessary, use a password generator to create a highly effective, virtually hacker-proof password that protects products, customer data, and website administration tools.
3. eCommerce Selling Must Be Paired with Authoritative Content
Websites are ranked not only based on their products for sale through ecommerce storefronts, but also based on their content’s authority and reputation. Ecommerce website owners need to write informative and authoritative blog posts that will educate their customers, impress the major search engines, and place their business on the first page of a keyword-targeted search result at Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other top-tier sites.
Focus on blog articles that relate to the company’s products. This might involve showcasing one way that the company’s products transform daily life, or it might involve discussing how the product was designed and tested. By educating customers and giving insight into how the company’s ecommerce strategy works, its products will be more prominently displayed at search engines and the company’s reputation will increase dramatically in the eyes of both search providers and potential customers.
4. Search Engine Optimization Takes Center Stage in eCommerce
Every block of text on an ecommerce site is an excuse to engage in great SEO, boosting the site’s visibility at search engines. Whether it’s thoughtful and authoritative ecommerce blog posts, well-written product descriptions, or storefront blurbs, make sure that each block of text on the ecommerce site uses relevant keywords with the proper density and placement for great search engine rankings.
For this reason, website owners need to familiarize themselves with the industry’ best practices for keyword targeting, keyword density, and effortless website promotion. This is even more important in an era characterized by the Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. In this reality, less keywords can actually attract more visitors. By following Google’s guidelines and adapting a site to ongoing algorithm changes, storefronts will more often find themselves on the first page of targeted search results.
5. Customer Outreach Means Taking eCommerce to Social Media
It’s important to remember that search engines are not the only game in town when reaching out to potentially loyal and interested customers. Indeed, social media has become a major way to introduce a new product or storefront to customers who are likely interested in what’s for sale. Social media sites offer both free and premium ways to promote a business, including creating a business-specific page, buying pay-per-click targeted advertising, and reaching out to customers whose interests align with what the company is selling.
Perhaps best of all, a social media outreach strategy allows the ecommerce company to humanize itself and relate more easily to the concerns and interests of its target demographic. Time and time again, social media is shown to be a leading way to manage and even boost an ecommerce company’s reputation among those most likely to buy its products.
6. Pick a Market Niche and Stick to It
An ecommerce website thrives when it caters to a specific demographic that is in search of a very specific product. This gives website owners the ability to narrow down how many products and services they offer, producing several key benefits:
- Overhead is lower because bulk product purchasing remains low
- Customer support costs are lower because there are few products to learn, manage, and support
- Customers are not overwhelmed by available options, making it easier for them to buy one of the company’s few offerings
- The ability exists to expand a product line over time as the ecommerce company’s financial situation improves and its market position becomes more dominant
By picking a niche, sticking to just a few products, and marketing to a very specific subset of online shoppers, ecommerce companies can minimize their expenses, maximize their profits, and impress their target demographic.
Great Opportunities Await New eCommerce Business Owners
With so many types of customers just waiting to be reached by a company that understands their needs, there has never been a better time to start a new online business. By following a few simple guidelines and recommendations, the business will stand a great chance at success and a new demographic will find a reason to stay loyal to a new force in the marketplace.