When you set-up new business, you build a new house on the eCommerce land. You choose a place where you would like to settle – your niche in a market. You consider its size and direction – you select the product to be sold. You look around and study your neighbors – your business competitors. Having made these steps you think that you are already at a halfway to your aim, but in fact, it’s just a beginning. And now it’s time to make another step and proceed to the next stage of your business creation.
Think about your store name
Name is one of those weapons which can help you to conquer the eCommerce world. Your task is to make this weapon sharp. There are several rules you should stick to in order to get a positive result. The first thing to keep in mind is simplicity. A customer won’t spend his precious time memorizing a lengthy name he cannot get his tongue around. As Albert Einstein once said:”Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”.
Speaking of the ways you can choose to create your business name – there are some options you can try and decide which one is best for you. It’s important to mention that there are two main approaches you can take, i.e. use the word which already exists or create your own one. The first one seems to be easier, but it also has some peculiarities. The word must fit your target audience and the product you sell. Even gender factor can play a role here. For instance, women have a better response to the gentle and exquisite names while men have better reaction to names which are strict and less emotional. The other approach presupposes turning on your creativity and generating a unique word no one has heard about. In this case you can tweak a word or combine some of them and get a new one. The most important thing is to make your name different from those which competitors have and catchy enough to make it roll through people’s heads.
Having completed a list of all possible name versions, you can carry a Google test. Find out whether your name has chances to get top positions in SERP (Search Engine Result Page), especially if it’s a generic one. For example, if you decide to pick “Cinnamon” as a name of your company, it would be extremely difficult to rank high in SERP with this keyword. Besides, you will have to select a suitable domain name. Preferably, domain name should match your business name. Don’t forget that you can make use of business name generators like GoSpaces, Wordoid, NameStation, Dot-o-mator, LeanDomainSearch etc. It’s necessary to underline that whatever name you select, you must check whether it’s eligible for trademarking. To do this you can consult some trademark search systems (e.g. in the US it is offered by UPSTO) or a professional lawyer who will keep you from any delinquencies.
Create a captivating logo
It’s not a surprise that business logo as well as name should follow the rule of simplicity. It must be memorable because, as we know, complicated stuff is difficult to keep in mind. Besides, this feature will ease identification of your online-store among the rest. Probably you have noticed that famous brands usually have no odd frill in their style. Furthermore, check whether your logo is readable and legible in mobile version. There is no doubt that setting-up your online-store you truly believe that it will be prospering not for a year or two, but at least for several decades. Therefore, your logo must fit this point and stay relevant even in 20 years.
Any logo should also talk to the customers. It should tell them about your company and the product it offers. Even the image you chose should coincide with the store items and your business policy.
It’s clear that a high-level logo demands a qualified pro, but what to do if you cannot afford such a top-notch service. The way out is to use some logo generators, offered by Spaces, Hipster Logo Generator, GraphicSprings or other services. Moreover, you can choose DIY option or crowd sourcing. In any case your main task is to get a logo you really need and make sure it differs from the competitors’ versions.
Website design: make it speak
Another crucial issue to take care about when setting your business is a design of your website. Creation of a site which will capture customers’ attention requires intimate knowledge of the basic principles. The first rule says “Do not overcomplicate it”. Clients are eager to get to the item they are looking for as quickly as possible. They have no time to learn the website structure. Therefore make your website look as customers’ old friend, whom they already know and who can prompt them to a right direction. In short, give preference to flat website architecture, i.e. homepage-category-product. At the same time don’t forget about its attractiveness. Taking into account the factor of a target audience, make your website look in a way the customers will consider it stylish and snazzy.
A good-looking website is great indeed, but it must be also useful. It’s important for a site to be SEO friendly, i.e. have URLs which include keywords and fit SEO demands. Don’t forget about the sitemap and micro formats, too. Besides, your website must also possess mobile legibility.
The next task is to fill your website with the well-written and understandable content. But note that there mustn’t be too much text. The information you provide your clients with should be laconic and comprehensive at the same time.
Having got a sketch of your store website, run the diagnostic tests – check for any bugs, broken links and spelling or grammar errors. Make sure its navigation works seamlessly and you have added all the necessary data including your contact information.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization
SEO factor has got a great affect on your online store promotion. Following the main SEO principles you increase the chances to be noticed by search engines and be shown to the public. It helps search engines like Google to get what your business is like and what services or items you offer. Moreover if SEO work is of a high quality, you have all chances to reach a top rate.
In SEO practice, keyword research is of a vital importance, as it helps to learn what vocabulary is used by your potential customers, when they are looking for the staff you can provide them with. To carry analysis of the keywords and make a list of those which are the most effective for your website, you can use Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
One more thing to be aware of is the uniqueness of your content, as Google is smart enough to spot the duplicate stuff. Besides, show that your store is trustworthy – get as many positive reviews as possible, because this assists in winning Google’s favor, too. What is more, stay in contact with your customers using various social networks and fan zones. Let Google know you are popular and people like you.
It’s time to build your store
All your bright ideas for the store website need a solid basis where they could be realized. And this basis must possess all the necessary features to satisfy any of your business whims. Nowadays there’s a wide range of ecommerce platforms offered at the market. Your task is to find the one which suits namely your online-shop requirements. The factors to be taken into consideration include the number of products you’ve got and the type they belong to. Besides, draw attention to the payment methods offered by the platform and whether it is self-hosted or not. Obviously the price you will pay for it should fit your budget, too. Among the platforms, which nowadays are considered to be of the top level, you can find Magento , WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce etc.
You may also need developers’ help for your online-store in case you need excessive functionality and are not familiar with programming. To find specialists, who will be able to bring your online-shop to a new and higher level, you can use several methods. The first presupposes getting in contact with the tech company which is known for its professional staff. The other option is to search some freelance platforms as Elance or Upwork, but in this case don’t forget to check candidates’ knowledge, skills and their practical application.
Some other issues, you should pinpoint your attention upon while building your store, involve the quality of products descriptions and photos you post on the website. Make sure this stuff is not hackneyed and is captivating enough for your potential clients.
10 Usability tips to follow
Building your store website, do not underestimate its usability which can turn out to be a deciding factor for your potential customers. Here are ten tips to make your website really usable.
- Get rid of extra info. Long texts make customers tired and bored.
- Make your info visible – place it where customers’ attention is concentrated most of all.
- Speak the same language your visitors do. If you operate on multinational market, It’s recommended to translate your website to several languages.
- Inform users about the latest changes and news you have got.
- Don’t make visitors learn your website structure by heart. Make the website simple enough to surf it intuitively.
- Provide your users with a customer support option. No matter how simple the website layout is, a visitor may need your help.
- Take care of a quick load time. Don’t try your visitors’ patience.
- Check whether a search box size satisfies the users’ needs. Small search box can cause significant inconveniences.
- Avoid orphan or dead-end web pages.
- Use heatmap services. It will help you to understand users’ click behaviour and, as a result, optimize you website. You can use free “In-page Analytics” by Google (part of Google Analytics) or more advanced services like Hotjar of Crazy Egg.
As you can see there are plenty of issues you should take into account when setting up your online-store. Such things as name, logo and online-shop design are crucial for business development as well as SEO friendliness and usability of your website. Omit any of them and you already risk losing your positions at the market. Thus, try to make maximum use of the info mentioned above in order to build a prosperous business.
If you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned in this blog post or anything else related to Magento, please feel free to drop me a message via this form. I am on the team performing Magento development for large Magento projects.