Optimizing the Digital Core – Multichannel Merchant

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Your e-commerce website needs to be a living, breathing channel of content to generate meaningful success. Why? Business goals, audience preferences, digital capabilities, and best practices are constantly changing, and your site should reflect these changing expectations.

In fact, it’s a general rule for businesses to rebuild their e-commerce website every three to five years to maximize technological advancements. With 75% of consumers making judgments based on website design according to Web Credibility Research by Stanfordyou really can’t afford not to optimize your site all the time.

We are going to look at three areas of your website to continuously optimize them for better results.

Performance

When browsing an e-commerce website, what are the factors that give a positive impression to the user? It’s probably speed, content and ease of use, right?

Unbounce found that page speed alone impacted 70% of consumers’ willingness to buy. With median landing page conversion rates steady at 4.6%, there is plenty of room for improvement on most websites. Your eCommerce website should be fast, easy to navigate, attractive, and visually appealing.

A solid foundation makes it easier to create and optimize content, and brings important clarity to your customers’ UX. At a minimum, you should invest in tools or services such as:

  • A complete CMS or Digital Experience Platform (DXP) to easily create fresh new content.
  • Quality and on-brand creative design and thoughtful UX to build credibility and brand recognition.
  • Google Analytics to track traffic, site speed, mobile usage and audience demographics.
  • Tools to monitor heatmaps and understand where users are spending their time or getting frustrated.
  • Experimentation tools to test variations in content, design, etc. in order to increase conversion on your site, especially on underperforming pages.

Together, these tools make it easy for you to find out what’s working and iterate on what’s not, to continuously up the game of your eCommerce website.

Content reigns supreme

It’s true: content is king/queen. Website copywriting informs and persuades users on what action to take, while photography, video, and visual cues work together to capture interest and guide users through your site.

Additionally, longer form content, like blog posts or thought leadership, helps users engage more deeply with your products or brand and fuels marketing efforts through search, email, PPC and social media.

Ultimately, fresh content keeps your audience engaged, provides reasons for repeat visits, and fuels your marketing engine. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that 62% of B2B marketers and 59% of B2C marketers have a content marketing strategy in place.

Content marketing strategies should start with a comprehensive audit to take a holistic look at what content is driving engagement and what isn’t. Identify topics, themes, audience segments, media types, and posting cadences to incorporate into a solid content plan. Finally, the fun part: creating and marketing the content.

Just as the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, so is your business. Content on your e-commerce website is a critical part of sharing those updates with your audience and giving them reasons to engage with you.

Get Discovered: SEO

A fast, attractive, and content-rich website needs a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to thrive. SEO is a combination of art and science – like most aspects of digital marketing – and expands your audience reach, boosts sales and fuels your lead generation goals.

In fact, BrightEdge found that organic search drives 53% of all website traffic – which isn’t surprising considering how often you turn to Google.

SEO should be regularly evaluated to align with changing user expectations, algorithm updates, and your overall content strategy.

Take advantage of tools like Moz and Google Search Console to receive feedback on areas for improvement (especially technical issues or site errors). Update keywords, page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and even alt text and review any pages that are underperforming to identify weaknesses. Maybe your content needs improvement or your on-page SEO needs updating to reflect current changes.

SEO doesn’t have to be daunting, rather it’s another opportunity to improve your website’s success and capture a wider audience.

Iterate + always optimize

Constantly improving and modernizing your e-commerce website is an investment in your business, empowering your teams (developers, designers, marketers – even sales!) and providing a better user experience for your customers.

Randi Mohr is Vice President of Customer Success and Marketing for To know

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