SEO Tips for Designing a Top Ranking E-Commerce Website
edited: Monday, December 10, 2007
By Rosemary J Donald
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2007
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Websites that achieve top rankings on the first page of search engine results on Google, Yahoo & MSN ultimately have common attributes that set them apart from their competitors.
Websites that achieve top rankings on the first page of search engine results on Google, Yahoo & MSN ultimately have common attributes that set them apart from their competitors. Top ranking websites typically have:-
• A great website design and content
• Website visitors flock to their websites and more importantly enjoy the experience.
• Learned how to successfully market and promote their website online with little or no paid advertising.
• Learned how to easily build their customer bases and attract repeat sales
• Worked out how to effectively optimize their website for the search engines
• Learned the ‘insider secrets’ of how to rank well on the search engines and stay there.
This article will examine the key website design features that help create a Top Ranking Website. From an SEO perspective at a very minimum ensure you include full content management, a marketing module and comprehensive website statistics in your initial website design.
Key design specifications of Rank 1 Websites
1. Complete content management control – including the ability to add, edit and delete pages, boxes, tables, hyperlinks and the footer in ‘real time’ without the need for a programmer. Plus the ability to add hyperlinks to pages, images and documents.
2. Customer databases – to collect member and customer contact information for ordering and direct marketing purposes.
3. Marketing module – to send out emails, monthly newsletters, product updates, order notifications, dispatch notifications and new member letters to customers & members in your customer databases.
4. Comprehensive website statistics – to monitor the daily, weekly and monthly progress of your website’s SEO campaign, online marketing campaigns, linking campaigns and site popularity. An excellent website statistic collection software tool is ‘Awstats’.
5. Visually appealing home page design that incorporates your company branding.
6. The inclusion of a footer at the bottom of the home page and subsequent web pages for search engine optimization.
7. Fast website download speed for web pages, images and documents to reduce the incidence of ‘bounce out’ traffic.
8. Easy to use site navigation with a flat site hierarchy .ie. each page is accessible from only 1 to 3 clicks away from the home page.
9. A home page design with a mix of text and images ideally in a 60/40 ratio .ie. 60% text and 40% images/graphics for maximizing keyword text content for SEO.
10. Easy to view font style, font colour and background colour in the website design and content.
11. Easy to navigate shopping cart software
12. A currency converter for international trade
13. Automatic payment gateways for credit card processing and Paypal in ‘real time’ with flexible payment options for customers.
14. SSL Certificates installed and logos prominently displayed for secure online ordering.
15. A professional website design versus a DIY website design – professionally designed websites attract higher website traffic levels, higher online sales, higher site popularity and better search engine rankings than DIY website designs. Allow $10,000 AU for a professionally designed E-commerce website with branding specialist fees included.
16. A website design that accommodates the global reach of the Internet – ie. English translations of site content, a currency converter, economical freight delivery methods for international customers, automatic calculations of freight costs, compatible payment methods for overseas customers.
17. Member logins – to facilitate easier ordering from customers especially repeat sales, direct marketing purposes and wholesale logins (if required) to keep your wholesale prices confidential from the general public and competitors.
18. Avoid the use of ‘Pop-ups’ – for adding products to the shopping cart, online forms and product images as some Internet protection software on a User’s PC can block pop-ups and interfere with the browsing experience, the ability to complete online forms and place online orders. Program pages & images to ‘refresh’ rather than pop-up in your website design.
19. Interesting & fresh website content for your website visitors – including clear detailed product photographs & product descriptions, interesting page content relevant to your products/services and industry, free articles of interest and PDF downloads, DIY projects if applicable, promotion of specials, affiliate advertising, complimentary reciprocal links and resource pages.
Tip – Select a horizontal page orientation for your website design that fills up the entire internet explorer browser window or alternatively ensure that you minimize the gaps running down either side of a vertical page orientation site design. The reasoning behind this is that eyes of users are automatically drawn to negative spaces before they focus on filled spaces. You can also add boxes to balance out and fill any negative spaces on the outer left and right hand side of home page designs. These boxes can be filled with information about specials, promotions, affiliate advertising, sales and so on.
Remember that first impressions, in particular a great home page design will determine whether website visitors stay to explore your website further or ‘bounce out’ in the first 60 seconds, that’s all the opportunity you have.
For more detailed information on the key design features of top ranking websites see my SEO ebook the ‘Insider Secrets of Rank 1 Websites’ by Rosemary Donald for just $29.95 AU.
© Rosemary Donald, Rank1 Website Marketing 12th September 2007