However, the ephemeral nature of technology means that you always have to be one step ahead. You can’t leave your site static for too long. Customers are very visual. Sure, you might provide excellent services and sell high-quality products, but if the customer doesn’t find your site attractive, he or she will go elsewhere. So you always need to be finding ways to engage your customer from a technological standpoint.
That’s why a site redesign may be a good idea, especially if you haven’t made any changes to your site in quite some time. A website redesign comes with many long-term benefits, such as a user interface that’s easier to use and increased revenues. However, it can be a complex undertaking. There are many elements to consider when preparing for an eCommerce site redesign.
Focus on Your Goals
Like all businesses, your main goal is to make money. In order to make money, you need to increase traffic. Customers can’t buy anything if they never make it to your site. Therefore, the main focus on your site design should be to increase traffic. Every page, feature, and design element should be on your site with the purpose of increasing revenues. If not, reevaluate the purpose of that element and decide if you really need it.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’ve worked hard to gain the top spot in the Google search rankings, you may be concerned about how a site redesign will affect your ranking – and with good reason. At first, a new website is going to confuse Google. As such, your site might get knocked down a few spots for a few weeks or so. That’s why you’ll need to prepare by assessing your new site’s architecture and using proper technical elements such as site maps and 301 redirects for pages that are permanently moving to a new URL.
If done correctly, you’ll soon see an improvement in your rankings. Do a poor job, and you’ll see a huge decline in your ranking and have to do a lot of SEO work to get back to the top.
Improve Upon Site Structure
When you first created your eCommerce site, you might have included pages and categories that you thought were necessary at the time. Reevaluate your structure and see if it still works. Try to streamline your site, if possible. Are there categories or unnecessary pages that can be deleted? On the flip side, maybe there are pages that you can add to bring in more traffic.
If your business has grown tremendously since your last site update, then it might be worth it to add a page or two that will focus on specific products, services, or customer needs. If you’re feeling stuck, look to a couple of your competitor’s sites for inspiration.
Let’s face it. We are all visual creatures. We like things that are attractive and have negative feelings toward things that are … well … ugly. Think about when we go to the store and are attracted to bright displays and colorful product packaging By the same token, customers like sites that are visually appealing.
Take a look at your site’s organization and visual elements and see what can be improved upon. Consider adding brighter colors, better quality photos, and perhaps some videos or interactive elements. Think about the sites that you have seen that really catch your eye. You don’t necessarily need to make your site multi-colored with sparkling lights, but a consistent look and feel along with some vivid images and a clean design will draw customers to your site.
Listen to Your Customers
Ideally, you should have received feedback from customers. Are there certain features they particularly like? Does the site have issues that are causing customers to become frustrated? The new site should retain the elements that are working while fixing the issues that are causing customers the most concern. Always look to see what can be done better. Remember, the goal of a redesign is to improve upon the previous site, not keep it the same or make it worse.
Focus on Convenience
Customers want convenience. They shop online because it’s quicker than going to the store and having to push a cart through all the aisles. Customers will move away from your site if it’s slow to load of if they have to go through dozens of screens to purchase an item. Make it easy for them to order. Accept various forms of payment. Make the pages load as quickly as possible. If customers are satisfied, they’ll keep coming back.
Most people can’t function without their smartphone by their side. Many even use them to search the Internet and shop online. Take advantage of this market by making your eCommerce site mobile friendly. Because mobile devices are smaller than computer screens, you’ll likely come across resizing issues. Do some testing to make sure your site is fully optimized for mobile devices. Catering to this demographic will increase your revenue, so don’t overlook it.
Don’t Forget Your Data
Data is important if you want to have a search function, as most eCommerce sites do. The best sites have extensive search functions. Uploading various types of information such as color, product type, size, and cost can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it in the long run. Think about the elements your customer base is looking for, and import that information to help your customers quickly find the products they need.
There’s a lot to consider when redesigning your eCommerce site. Take these elements into consideration and, in no time, you’ll have a beautiful site with more customers.
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