We all evaluate our online businesses at the beginning of the year. Follow this handy checklist to get your site back on track with an online shop review.
What Went Wrong
Get the new year right by turning back the clock for a moment to look at what went wrong last year with your site. If your traffic isn’t what it should be, put SEO efforts at the top of your list. Are you drawing plenty of traffic but it isn’t converting? Take a look at your store from your users perspective to see if their experience is what it should be. If you’re experiencing fulfillment or shipping issues, address your supply chain before you start tinkering with your site.
Refresh Your Products
If your business is like most, your product line isn’t static. You’ve added new products in the last year, while others may have been discontinued or downgraded. Make sure your new products are properly tagged and have compelling descriptions, while also ensuring that you’ve noted the status of any legacy products.
Evaluate the level of service you are receiving from your e-commerce platform. Pare down if you’re coming up against quantity limits and a fair amount of that is inventory you won’t be getting back. On the other hand, plan ahead if you know there are many new things coming. Sometimes, regardless of the platform it just makes sense to get rid of products that aren’t moving like you need them to.
Update Your SEO
When you refresh your products take a long, hard look at your SEO. Update your images and product tags. Rewrite the product page snippet that Google uses in search engines. If you’ve deleted old products, set up 301 redirects to suggested products that can be purchased in their place. When you find 404 page errors, troubleshoot them. Customers will buy from a competitor before going on safari through your site to look for a missing page. When you locate the errant URL either fix it or turn it into a 301 redirect.
Remember the Fundamentals
Technology isn’t static. Sometimes developers make changes that break that special layout that you worked hard creating. Fundamental elements that were so important when you started out online are often deemed obsolete and deprecated. Try your site on a variety of browsers, platforms, and operating systems. This will identify immediately fixes to make. Often you will discover something on one browser that doesn’t show on another. Also look for display and menu issues on phones and tablets as these are commonly overlooked.
Think of Your Customers
Continually evaluate your site from a customer’s-eye view. Are the menus logical? Is the flow from landing to purchase smooth and quick? Do pages load quickly and cleanly? Also make sure your site’s XML sitemap is up to date. If it’s difficult for Google to crawl your site, you will be penalized for it.
This online shop review can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours depending on the number of products. Make it a habit to monitor your site’s usability and function. You’ll have fewer lost sales, and many happier customers.