Launching a brand-new ecommerce website can be a large undertaking. From search engine optimization to gaining a following on social media, some post-launch tasks for new ecommerce site owners can be daunting. Following these ten suggestions will increase the odds that any new ecommerce website will be a success right from the start.
1. Get to Know the Admin Interface
Practically every task related to managing an ecommerce site is performed through the admin interface. Regardless of which ecommerce platform a given site uses, some kind of a management or administrative interface is available.
New ecommerce site owners should know how to create and run promotions, add new products to the catalog, go through the billing and shipping process, and perform other common tasks.
2. Configure Analytics
3. Perform Initial SEO Tasks
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making a website rank more highly on search engines for a variety of common queries. While getting the topmost spot on Google for a high-frequency query is very challenging and expensive, a few simple changes can make any website rank more highly on search engines and bring in more traffic.
First, be sure that the website works well on any device. Google generally ranks mobile-friendly websites much higher than those without a responsive design.
Next, using the information gathered from an analytics solution, determine which keywords and search queries visitors might use to access the ecommerce site. Optimize your content and page metadata to include key terms and phrases that are often used by visitors.
Finally, make good relationships with influencers. Getting links to your website from other prominent websites or social media accounts is a great way to drive visitors to a website and improve its search engine rankings.
4. Make a Backup and Security Plan
Although many ecommerce platforms are hosted, secured, and maintained by the same vendor, some ecommerce site configurations require do-it-yourself maintenance and hosting. Depending on the particular characteristics of a given ecommerce site, backups and security might be the responsibility of either the site owner or a hosting provider.
If the responsibility of backing up and securing the site falls on the owner, it’s important to avoid neglecting these important duties. A compromised site can be devastating to business, especially since ecommerce sites process potentially sensitive information like credit card numbers and identifiable customer information. If a natural disaster or some kind of human error destroys the website, it’s possible that all would be lost without a proper backup.
Security tips differ significantly between different hosting platforms. Be sure to do some research and follow the appropriate steps for the relevant technology powering a given ecommerce site. The same is true of backups; owners with root access to the server would make different backup decisions than someone running a small site on shared hosting. Regardless, make absolutely certain that backups are stored in a completely different location so that a large-scale disaster is unable to completely wipe out every bit of data.
5. Make a Sitemap, Robots.txt, and Meta Tags
Keeping up-to-date website metadata is a great way to improve search engine rankings and increase the odds that a visitor on social media clicks through. Sitemaps provide machine-readable data allowing crawlers (like search engines) to reach every website page. Robots.txt files give website operators control over which pages can and cannot appear in search results. Meta tags are a way for web developers to provide a description of the content on a page to services like chat apps and search engines. With properly configured meta tags, links to a website sent through chat apps or appearing in Google results will have the correct description and image next to the link itself.
6. Spread the Word Using Social Media
Social media is an important part of the marketing strategy for most ecommerce websites. From sponsoring popular influencers to posting new products on a company account, social media can be used in a variety of ways to drive traffic to ecommerce sites. Be sure to make a plan for how social media will be used.
7. Submit a Product Feed to Google Shopping and Similar Sites
Google Shopping powers the carousel of product results that appear on top of Google search results for some queries. By submitting an up-to-date product feed to Google Shopping and other similar product aggregators, companies can be sure that the information displayed on these sites is accurate.
8. Start a Product Calendar to Continually Add New Products
By always adding new products and updating old ones, ecommerce storefronts can keep their customers engaged. Like department stores with catalogs full of seasonal products, ecommerce site owners should strive to match the seasons and changing customer tastes with their new products.
9. Run a Newsletter to Keep in Touch with Customers
Email-based direct marketing turns former customers into returning customers. Although sending newsletters too frequently can be annoying and increase unsubscribe rates, sending regular but occasional messages to customers can be a great way to improve customer retention.
10. Create or Commission Engaging Content
Oftentimes, visitors won’t visit an ecommerce site just because they want to browse the catalog. Engaging content, like blog posts and videos, are a great way to bring in more visitors who otherwise would have no reason to browse the website. Whether companies create this content themselves or commission it from third parties, continually adding new content to drive traffic from social media and elsewhere is an important marketing tool.
It’s understandable if these post-launch recommendations seem overwhelming. However, understanding and performing these tasks is crucial for a successful ecommerce business.
If your ecommerce site runs on Magento and you need help implementing these changes, you can always hire a Magento developer. Elogic is here to help throughout the design, launch, post-launch, and maintenance phases.