bounce back after covid header

Since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, the ecommerce landscape has changed rapidly. All of a sudden, 'non-essential' brick and mortar stores were closed down and customers were forced to fulfil their shopping needs online. If you run an ecommerce store, this is music to your ears, right?

Well, with a massive surge in digital shoppers and increased pressure on supply chains, some ecommerce stores have struggled to keep up with demand while others, like luxury brands, are seeing a significant drop in sales as fewer people have excess cash to splash.

So, while some ecommerce stores are seeing a huge spike in orders, others are falling behind. Wherever your ecommerce business falls on the spectrum, we're sure you're starting to think about your post-lockdown strategy. Here are a few tips to help make sure that your business bounces back after COVID-19.

Think about the context of searches

The way that people search - and the context behind certain queries - has changed over the last few months. It's important that your ecommerce store responds to this shift in intent appropriately to ensure a steady flow of sales. But what do we mean by a change in context?

Let's take, for example, a popular beauty brand like Boots. This time last year, it's likely that Boots had a high volume of traffic from users searching for face masks.

Of course, in this context, people were mostly looking for face masks of the cosmetic variety. With hundreds of skincare brands on offer, Boots was well equipped to give these users what they wanted.

Now, of course, users searching for face masks are probably looking for something completely different: a face covering to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although the keyword face masks is the same, the intent behind this search has changed.

So how have Boots responded to this? They've added a section to their website that focuses predominantly on face masks and face coverings. This category features prominently on their homepage and ranks highly for the term face mask (as shown below).

Boots search result for face masks

We recommend looking at the keywords and queries that are most valuable to your business in relation to COVID-19. Do these terms still hold the same meaning that they held 6 months ago? If not, it might be time to reconsider your product line and optimise your website accordingly.

Adapting your website to meet demand

As someone who runs an ecommerce business, you already know how important it is to make sure users can find what they're looking for quickly. With competition for certain products at an all-time high, optimising the user experience can make the difference between a sale and fail in the post-lockdown market.

Moz's Luke Carthy pointed out in a recent article that searching for coronavirus on Holland and Barrett's website previously showed no results, which is hard to believe when products like hand sanitisers, paracetamol and other medications that they offer were highly sought after.

Holland and Barrett website

Image taken from Moz.com

What went wrong here? It's possible that the health and wellbeing giant didn't look at their on-site search box to see how customers were searching at the time. Therefore, they didn't have a page set up to show relevant products when a search for coronavirus was made. Without a dedicated page for coronavirus-related products, it's likely that Holland and Barrett missed out on sales!

Learn from this and apply the same logic to your ecommerce website. Take a look at the things people are searching for on your site. Do you see many searches for coronavirus or other related terms? If so, what results are your users seeing? Make sure relevant products appear - it could boost conversions and win sales over competitor sites.

Improve filters

As well as adding new landing pages, sections, and products to fill gaps in the market, you should also consider making it easier for users to tell what you do and don't have in stock.

With online shopping booming and supply chains under immense pressure right now, your users might be looking for things that seem to be out of stock everywhere! Reduce hassle and keep your customers happy by:

  • Adding a filter to your site so users can quickly see what's in stock and what isn't
  • Creating a form that allows users to sign up for an email notification when a certain product is back in stock

The filter might help you secure a sale there and then, while the email notifications can help make sure customers return to your site rather than going with one of your competitors.

Offer alternative products

Even if you make all the changes that we've suggested so far, there may still be times when you just can't fulfil the exact needs of your customers. However, there are still things you can do to boost your post-COVID sales.

Let's say, for example, that you've seen a huge influx in orders for your bird feeders during lockdown because people are spending more time in their gardens. That's great, but you had no way of predicting this unusual spike in sales and now all of your bird feeders are out of stock!

What can you do to combat this? We recommend adding a section to the bottom of your product pages to show your customers other relevant items that are currently in stock (e.g. a bird bath or bird house). Although this isn't exactly what the user was looking for, it might capture their imagination enough for them to place an order.

Adjusting your prices

As lockdown restrictions are eased, social distancing measures need to be implemented in all work environments.

As an ecommerce business, it's likely that you have a warehouse or depot where your products are kept. Just like pubs, hairdressers, and offices up and down the country, you'll need to put some new measures in place to keep the working environment safe and hygienic.

Whether you're providing sick pay for unwell employees, ordering PPE, or making physical modifications in the workplace, everything comes at a price. Your customers shouldn't be too surprised about a justifiable price increase to help cover these unavoidable costs, but be mindful of the way you go about it. After all, you don't want your customers to feel like they're being ripped off!

An incentive to buy

While you might need to increase the price of some items, there's nothing stopping you from giving people an extra reason to buy from your brand. As we move into the transitional post-lockdown period, people are returning to work and might be looking for a bit of a pick-me-up.

Whether you contact loyal customers and offer them an exclusive discount code, or you offer a multi-buy discount on your best sellers, people are more likely to make an order if they feel they're getting a good deal.

Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of how your ecommerce business can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the months ahead. If you're interested in an ecommerce website makeover to make your brand stand out, you can get a free, no-obligation quote here.

Ecommerce Web Design   Contact Designer Websites

New Ladders UK Direct website

Because ecommerce website design is something of a speciality for us here at Designer Websites, we frequently get enquiries from business owners who are looking to boost the visibility of their online stores.

We recently received such an enquiry from Ladders UK Direct, an ecommerce business selling a wide variety of ladders and work platforms. They wanted to improve their website's usability and drive more organic traffic to their products, and after looking at some of our previous projects, they decided that we were the right team for the job.

The new Ladders UK Direct website is now live - click the link below to have a look!

Visit Ladders UK Direct >>

Here are some of the improvements we made:

  • Fresh new website design
  • Search-optimised landing pages
  • Improved site navigation and product pages
  • Brand new back-end admin console
  • Ongoing SEO and marketing support

If your business needs a brand new website, the Designer Websites team can help - request a free web design quote today!

How to Promote Ecommerce Website

So you've got yourself a modern, professional-looking ecommerce website and you're ready to start selling your products online. There's just one problem - you don't have any customers yet!

There are numerous different ways to promote an ecommerce website and grow your online customer base. Here are just a few options for you to consider...

Promotions

Promotions - such as a seasonal sale or site-wide price reduction - can be a quick and easy way to generate interest in your brand and products. If users get a good deal, they will be more likely to tell their friends about it, and and if the product exceeds expectations then the customer may even return and purchase something else after the promotion has ended.

Blogs

Blogging can be a very cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your website. Not only can blog posts be used to highlight new products and special offers, they can also rank for popular search terms and hugely increase your brand's visibility in the Google results. Try to identify common questions within your industry, then write blog posts that answer them - you'll be amazed at how much organic search traffic a well-written, informative blog post can generate.

Social Media

Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter offer businesses a near-limitless amount of opportunities to reach new customers. You can start a simple social media campaign by posting appealing content and linking it back to your ecommerce website - this method of promotion is completely free, and can draw in a lot of potential customers if you take the time to build your audience and consistently publish engaging, relevant content.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

An SEO strategy is an important consideration for any website, but ecommerce websites especially - every category page and every product on your website is another chance to get seen in the Google search results. Ideally, each page on your website should target a different keyword (or set of keywords) that is specifically relevant to that page and that page alone. This will help Google and other search engines to work out which page to show for any given search term.

You can read our SEO tips for ecommerce websites here!

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Some ecommerce websites do reasonably well without spending a penny on paid advertising, but platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads can make a huge difference if you're looking to get your brand in front of a wider audience. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising only costs money when people actually click through to your website, meaning that you won't be charged unless your adverts are generating traffic. Of course, you'll have to work hard to make sure that your website is converting as much of that traffic as possible into actual custom for your business!

Product Reviews & Working With Influencers

Reaching out to bloggers and other influential people within your market is a great way to spread the word about your business quickly! The best approach will depend on the nature of the products/services you offer, but you might consider sending out some products for people to review, or inviting a popular vlogger to visit your premises for a video. Try to choose personalities who already have a large online following, and bear in mind that some may charge a fee for promoting your brand.

Here at Designer Websites, we specialise in ecommerce website design as well as search engine optimisation, PPC advertising, blog writing, and a variety of other techniques that can help you to grow your customer base. Use the links below to find out more about our services.

Ecommerce Design >    Request a Quote >

Life Gear Website

We recently finished work on a brand new ecommerce website called Life-Gear.com. This site is home to a huge variety of different products, including:

  • Climbing equipment
  • Protective clothing
  • Festival gear
  • Off-road essentials

The website itself has a user-friendly design that adapts to the screen it's viewed on, allowing adventurers of all stripes to make purchases on the go using their smartphones. In addition to the secure online checkout system, this site includes the option to pay in three different currencies (pounds, euros and Emirati dirhams), enabling the company to sell their products to a huge international market.

Visit Life-Gear.com now to browse the website for yourself, or click here to request a quotation for your own ecommerce web design project.

Sweets in the City Website

Sweets in the City is the company that's jointly owned by BBC Apprentice winner Sarah Lynn and her business partner Lord Sugar. If you watched the latest series of The Apprentice on BBC One, you should already be familiar with Sweets in the City and the beautifully-presented sweet gifts that they sell. These customisable products make perfect presents for birthdays, anniversaries, and all sorts of other special occasions.

Sweet Gifts

As you may be aware, we at Designer Websites have worked with a number of Apprentice winners in the past, including Ricky Martin, Dr Leah Totton, Joseph Valente and Alana Spencer. After the 2017 final aired and Sarah was revealed as the joint winner (along with recruitment consultant James White), she approached us to ask if we would be willing to work our magic on the SitC website. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity!

The new Sweets in the City website

Work on the new and improved Sweets in the City website is now complete, and you can view it at www.sweetsinthecity.co.uk.

Here are some of the new features that we hope will make 2018 a sensationally sweet year for Sarah and her business:

  • Brand new design - Our skilled designers gave the SitC website a completely new look. We think it perfectly encapsulates the company's high-end credentials (their products are sold in Harrods and Selfridges, after all) while still retaining a strong sense of sweetness and fun.

  • Improved site navigation - We have made it easier to browse SitC's product range and find exactly the right gift for any given occasion. Website users can now search by price, recipient, occasion or theme.

  • Letterbox treats - One of the big ideas that secured Sarah's Apprentice victory was the option for customers to send small, letterbox-friendly sweet gifts through the post. This idea has now been realised, and the new SitC website allows you to choose from 10 different box designs, add your own personalised text, and fill the box with whatever sweets you think the recipient might fancy.

  • Option to buy in bulk - What if, instead of purchasing a lovingly hand-packaged assortment of your best friend's favourite sweets, you just want to order yourself three kilograms of cola bottles? Well, thanks to SitC's new 'bulk buy' page, now you can!

  • Improved back-end functionality - In addition to the above, we gave the back end of the SitC website a complete overhaul, making it easy for the company to control the content of their web pages.

The new Sweets in the City website is a fantastic example of what the Designer Websites team can do. Our designers, developers and SEO experts are adept at creating sites that are carefully tailored to the client's requirements and target audience - if you need a new website for your business, please get in touch now to request a FREE quotation.

BBC Apprentice Winners

Dr Kelly & Associates Website

From Doctorcall to Dr Leah, we at Designer Websites have a proud history of producing high-quality business websites for clinics and healthcare providers. Today, we're able to add another name to that list: Dr Kelly & Associates, a private clinic in the City of London.

Dr Kelly & Associates have been providing independent healthcare since 1989, and they offer a diverse range of services for individuals and organisations:

  • Private GP appointments
  • Home visits
  • Travel vaccinations and visa medical examinations
  • Employee health screenings
  • Walk-in STI clinic
  • Flu vaccinations

Why did Dr Kelly & Associates come to us?

The Dr Kelly team contacted Designer Websites because they needed a functional, professional-looking website that would allow them to showcase their wide range of services to corporate clients and potential patients. They also wanted to make it easier for users to:

  • Book clinic appointments online
  • Request doctor's visits online

We're pleased to announce that the new Dr Kelly website is now live - visit www.drkellys.co.uk to see our latest work. Not only does the website look great, we believe that the online booking system makes it super-simple to select the type of appointment you need, choose your preferred date, and pay for your appointment online.

Do you need a new website for your business? Contact Designer Websites now to request a free quotation!

Top .NET and Ecommerce Developers

We at Designer Websites are very proud to announce that we've been featured in not one but two lists of the UK's very best web developers. Clutch, who describe themselves as a 'data-driven field guide to business buying decisions', included Designer Websites Ltd in the following lists:

As ecommerce specialists, we were particularly pleased to learn that we'd made Clutch's list of the UK's leading ecommerce developers. Our experienced designers and developers work hard to provide high-quality ecommerce solutions that are tailored to each individual client, and it feels great to be recognised for the quality of the work we do.

Visit our Ecommerce Web Design page to find out more about the bespoke ecommerce solutions we provide here at Designer Websites.

More Useful Links:

UPDATE 30/01/18: We have also been named among Clutch's Top UK Inbound Marketing Agencies!

 

Whether you're a Millennial, a Generation Z, or just someone who spends a lot of time online, in this day and age we now expect to be able to get what we want almost instantly. Need somewhere to eat? Google it. Need new headphones? Amazon it. Need to get hold of someone? Facebook them

The internet has given us all the expectation that instant gratification can be had at the push of a button, but how impulsive are we when it comes to parting with our money? How has the online search game changed the way we shop?

Well, although it is much easier now to shop online than it is to elbow your way through in-store January sales, many will still choose to research a product before buying. This will vary between shoppers; some will choose to look at a product in a shop and find it cheaper online, and others will do some online research before going into stores. Either way, online research and instore/online shopping now come in hand in hand and that's something to keep in mind when creating your online marketing campaign.

Here are some of the ways search effects the buying process and what you can do to capture this traffic: 

Online Inspiration

People want, but they don't always know what they want. It's human nature; we get an idea but we want to know what everyone else is doing before making a final decision. So to start the research process we turn to a search engine; "cool room inspiration", "Secret Santa ideas", "hair inspiration", sound familiar?

With so many options to browse through its no wonder that people look online for ideas when they at a loss as to where to start.

Pinterest has built its empire on people's desire to be inspired. Losing the need for any written information, this visual platform gives us everything we need to get inspired all in one place. Social media is a great way to capture customers in their research stage. For visual inspiration, Pinterest and Instagram are great. To extend your reach and try to inspire those who didn't know they wanted to be inspired, Facebook and Twitter are very helpful too. Use hashtags to appear on relevant searches and capture this attention.

For more product specific searches, such as "flooring inspiration" a blog is a fantastic way to inspire and inform at the same time. Blogs are a vital way of not only inspiring customers but also for getting them to the products you actually sell, which is often where social media can fall short. 

Relevant, well-ranking blogs don't only attract organic website traffic, they can also give the customer examples of options they can get from you. Although they still may not be ready to make an actual purchase, your brand will be in their mind when they do.

Research and Rethink 

We want answers and we want them now, and luckily it's actually as easy as that. Of course, the internet is full of bias and misguided articles, but we still seem to trust a lot of what Google tells us. For instance, let's look at two of the biggest searches from the Christmas period:

"Which is better, Android or Apple smartphones?"

"Should I get an Xbox or a PlayStation?"

So following my initial search of "which is better, Android or Apple smartphones", Google gives me three relevant, recent articles. However, none of which give me my answer in the visible description, I could click but with my need for instant gratification my eye quickly goes to the "People also ask" snippet which gives me an instant answer: 

The top result in the snippet box actually seems a lot more bias, with a leading question of "Is an iPhone better than an Android". It seems like the same question I asked originally, but before i've even read the description it gives me the impression that Apple has the edge, later confirmed by the description, so I don't even need to read the full article. Despite this being an older article than the top result, it answers my question quicker. 

Without even searching for my next question, Google anticipates that I'm also needing advice regarding my Xbox/PS4 dilemma, another 2016 article lets me know that PlayStation comes out on top. So there we go, I'm getting an iPhone and a PlayStation 4 for Christmas (lucky me, right?). 

Of course, it's not as simple as that, many people will do further research before parting with the money particularly for these pricey items. Which is exactly why blogs are still so important for capturing organic traffic for those who do want more information.

However, it does highlight how important Google featured snippets have become, which is why we have previously written a blog about how to capture a snippet. With any of these products, a large part of it is personal preference, but for those with no opinion formed already, search research may be the thing that swings them either way. 

It's important to find out what your target audience is trying to research and create useful content that answers their questions, remain informative and interesting to get your opinion across - and do it quickly.  

Browse before you buy

In a way, search does also make the selling process far more competitive than when people shop in person. Although you may be able to find a product a couple of quid cheaper somewhere else, half the battle is won by the time you're in the store. Often, it's easier to be slightly unaware that a product is available for a couple pounds cheaper in a different store than to physically go store to store checking, and having to go back to find wherever the cheapest one was. 

But that's easy to do online so can make all the difference. It takes seconds to whip out your mobile phone and find out where to find the cheapest deal can be found. Amazon even makes a point of pointing out to you that you can find it cheaper somewhere else, which is great for me as a consumer as I look for that new PlayStation 4 of mine: 

Now I can see the cheapest option, the reputation of the seller and the delivery cost. If I'm quick I can pay a bit extra and get it tomorrow - instant gratification indeed.

Clearly, this puts pressure on ecommerce websites who now need to stand out in an over-saturated online market. Be sure to compare your prices and deals with your competitors, ask yourself: How much am I charging for my product/service? Is it still a good deal after delivery? Does my website make the product/service stand out from my competitors?

We recently did a blog on how to make your ecommerce website stand out, which you may find helpful. You can find it by clicking here

In Conclusion

The way we research online before means that creating relevant content is more important than ever to not only attract traffic to your website but to inform potential customers that what you're selling is worth buying, whether they buy from you instore or online.

Inspiring them to aspire to have your product/service is the first step, then its time to explain why you're the best place to make that purchase. Keep an eye on your competitors, the quality of your website and products, and what your customers need from you in order to make the most of search

If you want any advice on your online marketing, from website design to SEO we can help. Contact us today to get help from our friendly specialists.

New Label Source Website

Label Source are a UK-based business who supply a comprehensive range of labels, tags and signs to customers all over the world. Their product range is too diverse to list in full right now, but here are just a few examples of what they offer:

  • Asset tags
  • Electrical warning labels
  • Workplace safety signs
  • Pipeline identification tape
  • Quality assurance labels
  • Warehouse markers
  • Shipping labels

Label Source recently asked us to give their old website a new, more modern-looking design; more specifically, they wanted to make it easier for smartphone and tablet users to view Label Source's products and make purchases online.

We're pleased to announce that Label Source's new and improved website is now live - visit www.labelsource.co.uk now to see how it looks.

What's new?

In addition to the clean, professional new look that we created for the Label Source website, we also made the following changes:

  • Responsive Design - As mentioned above, one of this project's key aims was to ensure a good user experience on smartphones and other mobile devices. The new Label Source site has a fully responsive design that looks great and is easy to navigate on screens of all sizes.

  • HTTPS Encryption - The entire Label Source website is now under HTTPS (as opposed to HTTP). This means that all information entered on the Label Source site is now sent securely, so the company's customers can place orders safe in the knowledge that their data is encrypted.

  • Improved Back End - We also updated the back end of the Label Source website to make it easier for the company to manage their product options and category pages.

Do you have an ecommerce website that's in need of a redesign? Contact Designer Websites for a quotation!

SEO Tips for Ecommerce Websites

SEO for ecommerce websites can be a challenging feat. Building a long lasting SEO strategy that delivers results for your online business requires a lot of constant work and it can be daunting even to the most experienced of ecommerce websites. It's especially challenging when you consider that every ecommerce site is trying to improve SEO rankings for all of their products too. It's even more daunting when you consider your competitors are implementing the same ecommerce SEO tips to grab customers. Thankfully, there's a reason for this; following these tips all work! 

Ranking on page 1 of Google or Bing is not as simple as it might sound - especially if your products are very popular e.g. mobile phones. Improving your website's SEO ranking may seem impossible, but with a little work and effort, you should hopefully see your website grow and get more traffic. 

 

The fundamental requirements to rank well are a high-quality, user-friendly, very fast and mobile-friendly website. Once you have these in order, you can then utilise the following techniques to improve your ecommerce website SEO. With that being said, let's dive into our SEO tips for ecommerce websites:

If your website is built on an old platform, loads slowly or is not secure, then you need to address these issues before wasting time trying to optimise your site any further. Here are some tools for testing the quality of your website:

Now, let’s go ahead and assume you have a good quality ecommerce website and you just want to focus on the further optimisations. Below you will find our ecommerce SEO tips that will help improve your SEO ranking. 

Research and use unique keywords per page

You can and should research keywords for your industry, products, services, etc. Find out how your potential customer searches for your products or service by utilising tools like:

Once you have your list of keywords it’s a good idea to map each keyword phrase to a specific page on your eCommerce website. For this, we would recommend that you use a spreadsheet as it can get lengthy and disorganised unless in some sort of manageable order. 

Now, a big no-no in the world of optimisation is duplication, whether that’s duplicate paragraphs or just duplicate keywords. If you’re targeting the same keyword with multiple pages then Google will likely choose to only display one of those pages in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), which may mean you miss out on opportunities to be seen. Look for unique opportunities to target search terms. Targeting unique and specific phrases is an easy way to avoid duplicates and improve your ecommerce SEO.  

For example, let’s say that you have an ecommerce website that sells safety harnesses. You could just label all of the products a “safety harness” and still be factually correct, but the chances are you likely have a “Climbing Harness”, a “Rescue Harness”, a “Fall Arrest Harness” and so forth. Therefore, in order to capitalise on a wider number of searches, you should first find out how your customers search for safety harnesses. Look at how they phrase their search and even the types of questions they ask surrounding that product. The next step is to make sure you address each of those searches with a page for that product, using the keyword phrase that you’ve identified. 

I know the question you’re about to ask... in those examples, isn’t the word harness repeated? Well-spotted. Yes, it is, but rest assured that Google is not that pedantic and will be able to tell the difference in your meaning (they’re quite clever in that way). Duplication is usually picked up from repetition of the same words in the same format. So, if you try to rank 2 pages for the keyword “Rescue Safety Harness” then you would be better off setting the copy on one page as “Confined Space Harness” and the other as “Rescue Safety Harness”. This way, Google will see the difference and potentially rank both pages, whereas if both are just set as the latter then it is highly likely that only 1 of those pages will be indexed. Not only do you avoid duplication, but you also give your customers more accurate search terms. Google and Bing prioritise accurate web-pages that fulfill the searcher's needs, so by providing specific pages without duplication is a great way to improve SEO rankings and keep your customers happy! 

Ecommerce websites quite often have hundreds of pages for each of their products, so this may seem like a tedious task. However, you should see this as an opportunity to rank for hundreds of different keywords. If you optimise your copy well enough, you may find your website reaches first page positions for a wide range of searches, which will result in much higher volumes of traffic.

Depending on the amount of copy on the page, it is usually recommended to stick to just one keyword per product page. This will allow you to target that keyword more efficiently, than if you were attempting to target multiple keywords at once. If you are instead writing a category page or a home page which usually has more content, you can try to target 2 or 3 keywords if you feel it’s necessary.

Ensure every page has a unique title tag/meta description

When looking at the SERPs, your title tag is your first opportunity to get your consumers attention. The meta description is then the snippet of information which will convince your consumers to click through to the website. This is why it is so important to get these aspects right to improve ecommerce SEO. 

Google specifies that it is ‘important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page of your site’. This is because it needs to be clear to the consumer what that page entails and shouldn’t be too similar to a page displaying an entirely different product. It is also important to try and include your chosen keyword in your page title and meta tag as this will clearly show Google what your page is about. 

Google recommends branding your titles with your company name, but this is optional and certainly doesn’t have to be done on every page. We recommend including this at the end of the title if you have enough space for it (we recommend no more than 63 characters including spaces), and also separate it with a delimiter such as a hyphen, colon or pipe. This means a good title tag will look something like this:

SEO Tips for Ecommerce Websites | Designer Websites

Your meta description also needs to clearly explain what your page is about in a couple of sentences. In previous years, meta descriptions were only allowed to be around 160 characters before they were truncated by Google. Now, new SERP changes mean meta descriptions can now be displayed up to 278 characters. This should be more than enough length to include at least one instance of your keyword and create a unique and concise description of the contents of the page. 

Utilise an integrated blog to improve your SEO rankings

A blog on your e-commerce website is not only good for keeping your customers updated, it’s a great way to target more keywords. When you’re planning each page of your website and choosing unique keywords, there are sure to be a few that don’t make the cut. These can be targeted with blog posts. Blogs are also ideal for responding to trending topics such as news stories without updating the whole of your website. It's important to note search engines particularly respond well to accurate and recent data. Do not underestimate how much keeping a blog for your eCommerce site and improve your website's SEO ranking. 

Plan ahead and write blog posts around these keywords in an attempt to bring more users through to the website. Try to provide informative content which will help your customers in some respect. This will not only help bring customers to the website, it will also create a level of trust between your company and the consumer. Trust is a great way to improve SEO rankings of web-pages. The more reliably you can answer a customer's query, the more trust and authority your web-page will get, which will improve your SEO ranking. We know it's a lot to produce weekly, even daily content on a blog, but there's a reason it's a tried and tested way to improve eCommerce SEO. 

Another way blog posts can be utilised is to try and achieve the ‘featured snippet’ on the Google SERPs. Even if you’ve not heard of featured snippets before, you’ve most likely come across one. This is the result that usually appears at the top when you ask google a question.

Here’s an example:

Example of a featured snippet about webs slings

To achieve a featured snippet, you need to answer the question better than anyone else. It needs to be clear to Google that you have answered the question as accurately and concisely as possible. That means getting straight to the point and no filler writing (or keyword stuffing).

Featured snippets have been referred to as search position #0 as they come above the search position #1. It has also been found that achieving the featured snippet can increase traffic to your ecommerce website by as much as 500%, in some cases.

Utilising your blog to target keywords and attempt to achieve the featured snippet is a great way of increasing traffic to your website and improving your SEO ranking.

We hope these SEO tips for ecommerce websites have helped you plan your next steps in the digital marketing world. If you are looking for professional help with your ecommerce website, then please get in touch anytime. 

 

Ecommerce Website Design Ideas

When you're trying to succeed in the world of ecommerce, there are lots of different factors to consider. Nowadays, most online shoppers expect ecommerce websites to meet each of the following criteria:

  • Secure checkout system
  • Appealing, mobile-friendly design
  • Minimal loading times
  • User-friendly site navigation
  • Extensive product information (so that people know exactly what they're buying)
  • Competitive prices
  • Positive feedback from other customers
  • Ability to contact the seller with ease

Consumer trust is key to the success of any ecommerce website, and you will probably need to tick all of the above boxes in order to earn the trust of the average online shopper in this day and age.

With this in mind, here are three helpful ecommerce website design ideas from the ecommerce experts here at Designer Websites:

Use engaging, good-quality product images.

Most people won't purchase something online unless they're certain of what they're paying for. Detailed product descriptions are important, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and a few good images will generally sell your product a lot more effectively than a few paragraphs of text.

Both quality and quantity are important here. You need detailed images that make your items look enticing, but you should also try to offer a variety of images for each product. Try to cover all bases: one no-frills image that clearly shows what the product looks like; one or two photos of the product in use; a picture to show what the product looks like in its packaging, and another to show what's actually inside the box. You get the idea - your product images should aim to answer every question the average customer might ask.

Of course, you should also ensure that the images on your website aren’t so large that they slow the whole page down. Loading speed is a critical issue for Internet users these days, and even an extra second or two can have a disastrous impact on your website’s conversion rate, so make sure those beautiful images are optimised for a smooth, speedy browsing experience!

Put lots of emphasis on customer reviews.

We all seek approval from other people, and this tendency can be clearly seen in the behaviour of online shoppers: by and large, we're far more likely to buy something if several other people say they did the same and had a good experience.

For this reason, you not only need to gather reviews from your satisfied customers, you need to put those reviews right where everyone will see them. Your ecommerce website design should ensure that every potential customer sees all the 5-star ratings and positive comments that your other customers have left. It should also be clear how many people have reviewed each product, since a 5-star average rating is a lot more persuasive if multiple people have given the product full marks.

Shoppers see positive reviews as seals of approval - they have a hugely reassuring effect on the potential buyer, so make sure those ratings and recommendations aren't buried way down at the bottom of the page.

Make it easy for users to find what they're looking for.

The modern Internet user is an impatient creature, and the more barriers you put between them and what they're looking for, the more likely it becomes that they'll leave your website and shop with one of your competitors instead. As we mentioned before, it's important to ensure that your pages load quickly, but it's just as important to make the journey from one page to the next as seamless as possible.

This can be achieved in a number of different ways:

  • Make sure your website's search function works properly, and ensure that the search bar is easy to find no matter what page the user is on

  • List 'related products' (or similar) on your product pages. That way, if the user decides that the product they're looking at isn't quite what they need, it's easy for them to find a suitable alternative.

  • Put important information - your delivery options, your returns policy, and so on - somewhere that's reasonably easy to spot so users don't waste time trying to find it.

  • When designing your site hierarchy (i.e. your categories and sub-categories), put yourself in the shoes of your average user and try to come up with a sensible structure that's easy to navigate even if you've never seen it before.

  • Make your homepage as helpful as possible. It may be tempting to simply fill your homepage with the products you're most keen to sell, but this may not be best for the user. Again, you should endeavour to put yourself in their shoes: if someone arrives on your homepage, are they looking for a specific product or piece of information, or are they just browsing for ideas? Do they want to know about your company, or do they want to see the newest additions to your range?

Essentially, your aim should be to minimise the number of clicks / actions the user has to perform in order to achieve their goal.

If you need a bespoke ecommerce website designed by professionals, we at Designer Websites are the people to call. Request an ecommerce quote here!

Slide Candy's new website

Ski season is upon us once again, and with many thousands of people set to hit the slopes between now and the spring thaw, Slide Candy - a ski equipment rental company serving the Méribel and La Tania resorts in France - wanted to make sure that their online presence was in peak condition.

The Slide Candy team asked Designer Websites to give their site a modern new look that would appeal to skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels. Their new and improved website is now live - visit www.slidecandy.com to view it.

Here are just a few of the features that we built into the new Slide Candy site:

  • Responsive Design - Slide Candy were concerned that their old site was difficult to use on mobile devices. Our designers came up with a stylish new design that (in addition to looking great) is totally mobile-friendly, making it easy for skiers to book equipment and make use of Slide Candy's call-out service while out and about.

  • Improved User Interface - The Slide Candy site allows snow sports enthusiasts to reserve their equipment in advance via an online booking system. While overhauling the website, we made this booking system better-looking and simpler to navigate, making it easier than ever to get the right equipment for your French skiing holiday. You can even choose whether to pay in pounds or euros.

  • Product Information - On the new website, the products that Slide Candy sell (including skis, snowboards, boots and helmets) are conveniently sorted into four different categories: Blue, Red, Black, and Kids. This makes it easy to find the right ski equipment for your ability level, and the high-quality product images make sure you know exactly what you're hiring.

If you like the look of the new Slide Candy website and you want the Designer Websites team to create a responsive ecommerce site for your business, please get in touch today to request a quote.

Optimise Your Ecommerce Website This Christmas

Phew, Black Friday is finally over! So now it’s time to relax, right? WRONG. 

Do you run an ecommerce website? Well, you can sleep when you’re dead, my friend. Okay, perhaps we are being a little bit dramatic, but when you’re this close to Christmas it’s actually time to put more energy into your website, not less.

It’s the busiest time of the year for most retailers, and ecommerce has seen a huge increase in sales over the last few years. So if you are trying to make the most of your ecommerce website this Christmas, here are some tips.

Make it Mobile Friendly

These days it’s not uncommon for people to have multiple devices, and different people will favour each for different things. In fact, last year there was evidence to suggest that many people used their mobiles or tablets to browse and research products before making a final purchase using their desktops.

Whatever way someone chooses to access your website, you need it to perform perfectly - if your website doesn't work well on a platform it's not likely that someone will check if it does on another.

Be sure that your website is responsive across all devices, allowing everyone to have a good shopping experience whatever way they decide to buy. 

Deals on Delivery

We’ve all done it, one second you’re trying to get a new hoover and the next your shoulders deep in impulse buys including a TV you don’t need and gadgets that you won’t be able to work. But there they are, all ready for checkout… then suddenly, you’re struck by a delivery charge that snaps you out of your hypnotic-shopping-trance.

Willing to spend hundreds of pounds of stuff you don’t need? Perhaps… Willing to spend £5.99 on delivery for said stuff? I think not.

We aren’t saying delivery should always be free, but make sure you compare with your competitors. Up to 61% of people abandon during checkout because of extra costs. If they have seen your competitors offering better deals on delivery, it may be just the thing that gets them clicking away from your website.

Deals & Discount Codes

Similarly to delivery, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing here. Everyone loves a bargain, some people shop purely for the satisfaction of getting a good deal. 3 for 2 deals, discount codes, free next day delivery deals - all of these (and similar deals) give customers the impression that buying now is getting them the best value for money. Around Christmas this is particularly important, if you have a lot of people to buy presents for you'll feel particularly thankful for anywhere you can make a saving.

Another thing to remember is with SO many brands having deals on this time of year, you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. 

Email Marketing

T'is the time of year where your inbox is full of Christmas themed emails, but it really is a great way to remind customers that your website is worth visiting. Whether you're letting them know about a deal you're running, products coming back into stock, or sending a notification about an abandoned shopping basket (which have a 40% open rate), emails should attract attention and hopefully website traffic. 

It's important not to be too spammy, no one likes being bombarded with emails, but reminding customers your sale ends in a few days for example, is a great way to encourage them click directly through to your site. Make sure your emails are useful, engaging and to the point

Reward Loyal Customers

Everyone loves being rewarded, the satisfaction of a job well done! What did your customers do to deserve a treat? Well probably nothing in particular, but it's still nice, isn't it? Giving exclusive codes to those who have shopped with you before or perhaps those who follow you on social media reminds customers that it's worth being interested in your brand.

Ideally, you want to keep customers coming back and this is easy to do when they share good experiences with you. Peer to peer recommendations is also one of the best ways for your brand to gain trust, we appreciate our friends and family's opinions so it's always worth making sure every customer you have is happy with their service. 

If you need help creating an ecommerce website we are more than happy to help. Our team of specialists are experts in creating bespoke websites that best represent your brand and services. Request an ecommerce website design quote here.

Kitchen Economy

Since 1978, Kitchen Economy has been Cardiff’s local Euronics provider of high-quality home appliances. They work closely with some of the biggest names in white goods including Beko, Zanussi, Cannon, Belling and Hotpoint. Alongside selling a wide variety of these great products, they also have a dedicated spares department to help fix any issues you may have with your appliances!


They work to provide the best possible service to Cardiff and the surrounding area and you can find them situated in their long-standing appliance store in Roath. As they aim to cater to each and every one of their customers, Kitchen Economy opted to go for a full redesign of their website to make it as user-friendly as possible.
They found their old website had become out-dated and came to us to achieve a more modern look for their brand. Alongside a fresh new look, they also wanted their website to become fully responsive across all devices.

What did we do?

Our design team worked to provide a modernised version of their existing functional e-commerce website. The redesign included making the website more visually appealing, with large and high-quality images, alongside clear call to action buttons. We also integrated the Kitchen Economy blog onto the category pages to provide new and useful information while customers browsed the website.

Looking to compete with the likes of AO and Currys with their modernised new design, we worked to provide a responsive, secure and attractive new website. The Kitchen Economy website is now served entirely over HTTPS, meaning that all information users send via the website is encrypted and secure.

We are very proud of the new website and if you’re in need of any new electrical appliances, we’d love if you checked it out today!

Here’s what they had to say about their new website:

Kitchen Economy Tweet

Are you also looking for a fully responsive, secure and SEO friendly website? If so, get in touch with us today for a free quote

Beer Pong Shop Website
 
Invented in America sometime in the mid-20th century, beer pong is a drinking game that has achieved international popularity in recent years - it's become a staple fixture of student house parties, and it's not hard to see why! While avid players have come up with countless different variants, the basic rules of beer pong are very simple and incredibly easy to pick up: all you have to do is throw a ping-pong ball at your opponent's formation of cups, and if the ball goes in, they have to drink that cup's contents (usually beer). Empty cups are removed from the game, and play continues until one player runs out of cups.
 
This deceptively straightforward premise has spawned a whole industry: you can now compete in beer pong tournaments, hang out with your friend at beer pong bars, and purchase all kinds of beer pong products and accessories to help you play. All of which brings us to Designer Websites' latest project: www.beer-pong.co.uk, an ecommerce website dedicated entirely to beer pong!
 
The Beer Pong UK website has a fun, modern design and a layout that's as simple as the game itself. From one page, beer pong fans can browse beer pong sets, brush up on the rules, and download handy printables (including a tournament bracket and a 'how to play' guide). The website also has a 'Drinking Game Ideas' blog in case you need any inspiration for your next big party!
 
We're very pleased with the finished version of this new website, and its responsive design means that you can buy your beer pong gear via smartphone or tablet just as easily as you can on your PC. Visit the Beer Pong UK site now to take a look at our latest work, or contact Designer Websites if you need a quote for your own online project.