The single biggest decision when starting out in ecommerce website design is deciding exactly what you want your site to achieve, your route to market and the specific products you wish to sell. These decisions will form the basis and will define the complete structure of your ecommerce website.
Once you decide on the subject matter of your ecommerce website you can then start to look at relevant keywords relating directly to your products or services. Make a comprehensive list via a brainstorming session. Then expand your list using keyword tools such as Google AdWords keyword suggestion tool or Wordtracker to help you expand your list and establish a comprehensive database of keywords that can later be refined for use in relations to your website.
You will now want to look at refining your keyword list. Use scoring attributes like
for each keyword, categorising and re-listing the keywords in a sensible and structured manor. For example sort keywords with the highest scores appearing high in the list for easier referencing. This optimised keyword list can then play a large part in creating your optimised category taxonomy for your ecommerce site. When building a web tree of your website, it helps to build a visual representation of your site hierarchy from home page down to sub categories. It’s best to try to keep to a “three to four click rule” of website navigation to get to your individual product descriptions.
Domain names can be purchased from registrars such as 1, 2, 3-Reg, Go-Daddy, Fast host and such like. When purchasing a domain you ideally want to target a domain name with either your company name or keywords as this is a big contributory element in SEO and being able to rank for those terms. Do a little trial and error to find the best domain available to suit your website.
Ok, so you now have a good idea what you’re doing and where you want to go. You now need to find suitable software to take you there. There are many ecommerce website platforms to choose from with varying levels of functionality. If you’re a beginner i would suggest using an online platform with price plan. By using a predefined format you get lots of functionality with a decent Content Management System (CMS) and additional support on hand, should you need it.
If not supplied as a part of your software package, you will need to purchase and install a SSL certificate to ensure your site is secure when processing payments. This certificate is installed on your web server.
This is where we start to put the meat on the bones. You need to create the taxonomy you outlined earlier within the CMS and build the structure and raw ecommerce website design, including the shopping cart. Most software packages will have built in templates for pages and products you can edit to make a unique site.
You now need to create the text based content of your site including terms and conditions, privacy statements, the about us pages, news and any other text based pages you wish to include. Remember to utilise your keyword list featuring your keywords high on the page and within “h” tags to optimise your pages.
As our site is taking shape, we want to start to add all the products on, that you wish to sell, this can be a timely job but is worth getting right first time. A couple of things to avoid are copy and pasting manufacturer’s descriptions and keyword stuffing, this will work against you in terms of optimisation.
Before going live with any ecommerce website, you should test all the features and functionality thoroughly including the shopping cart, before publication. The last you thing you want to do is tarnish your reputation before you have even begun.
It’s time to go live, publish your site to your domain name and start writing keyword rich articles and start pursuing back links to your website. For quick results using a PPC campaign could be prudent at this stage, this will also help with further refining your keywords highlighting popular search terms you can include in your text pages.
You will need to manage and maintain your site whilst performing SEO techniques to rise up the organic rankings on search engines. This can take time and will require hours of research to perfect your keywords search terms and back link database, but its worth it in the end when you start to appear in the top places in Google and see your traffic multiply.