Optimize Your Site!

By Chris Hoell | Small Business

Optimize Your Site! image iStock AffiliatesOptimize Your Site!One of the biggest components of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don’t need. Plan a garage sale to showcase older versions of products at steep discounts. For your website, you should go through the same process. Dispose of old items that are taking up precious white space on your pages and make room for new and upcoming releases. Don’t hoard! Thoroughly clean areas of your site that really need extra attention. Skip items that have been recently scrubbed and focus on the parts of your site that have been neglected all winter long.

Are you ready to tackle your ecommerce project? Dive in and deep clean your site using our spring cleaning, best-practice guide by page:

Home page

Take a look at your main page and condense! Take advantage of the natural urge that comes each spring to get rid of items that are weighing you down, and begin fresh with a more streamlined lifestyle. Use this time to clear out your stuff. Replace old products with new releases. Announce future releases. Make sure to include a feature product as a centerpiece. With this centerpiece, include a box shot and the price. Make these things clear; they should be visible from a distance. If your site has international capabilities, advertise it by including a language and currency drop-down. Ensure that you have direct-to-cart links, especially for your top selling products. Customers love speed!

Product Detail Page

If you need a little help in your cleaning endeavors, try to get the family involved. Even the most unwilling helper can make a big difference in the work load. By family, I mean your loyal customers. Engage them and allow ways for them help you to generate revenue. Capture free-trial customer information. Ask for newsletter sign-ups, and provide a way to recommend the page to a friend. Include your social networking credentials, and ask your family to join and endorse you. Try establishing a reward for sign-ups if they’re difficult to get. Think about creating a product comparison chart if you have multiple products. This will clarify and organize your information, guiding your consumer through your purchase path.

Interstitial Page

There are times when life is just too busy for cleaning… especially for deep spring cleaning! Thankfully, you can make a big impact on the look of your site by cleaning a few key areas. One easy fix is to make your interstitial page look new again, or get rid of it completely if it’s not benefiting you and your shoppers. This page, lodged between the product detail and shopping cart page is easy to forget, however it can create a lasting impact if utilized correctly. Use it to feature bundles and up-sells to increase your average order value. On this page you can place important customer satisfaction survey questions, or use it for your newsletter sign-up. Make it brief. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. If there isn’t a reason for it to exist, don’t slow down your consumer and spring clean it out!

Shopping Cart

Spring is a time for getting rid of old and unused items and also redecorating. Find time to redecorate and update the look and feel of your website. Eliminate the clutter, and keep the shopping cart area organized. The shopping cart page is critical, and the goal here is conversion. Your brand is key! Make it evident here too, ensuring that this page matches the rest of the site, and the customer feels right at home. Add security logos, breadcrumbs and a type of download security service. If there are bundles available of a single product in the cart, give the customer an option to purchase the bundle at a higher price. Finally, have a clear call-to-action button. What is the final goal of your website? What would be your ideal outcome? Make that apparent to your customer. Use font, color, style and other design elements to make your point stand out.
Maintaining throughout the year may make spring cleaning an easier task going forward. Every month, take a look at your website, and make at least one minor update to each page. When things are broken down into five to ten minute chores, it’s amazing how simple these become to complete. Good luck!

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