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Recent figures reveal that 26% of retail sales are online, which is likely to increase over time. This growing trend of shopping online means any product-based business must have an ecommerce website. 
Whether you are combining a physical store with online sales or are a digital-only retailer, an ecommerce website provides an excellent opportunity to maximise sales revenue. However, the very nature of ecommerce sites drives the need for consistent, ongoing maintenance to ensure long-term success. 
There are several aspects that need to be maintained to ensure your online shop continues to perform well and be profitable. So, what do you need to do to keep your ecommerce website performing well? 

Website design and usability 

According to a recent Adobe poll, 59% of people prefer viewing a website that is ‘beautiful and well-designed’ over a simple site. Indeed, how your website is designed and presented can influence a buyer’s purchase decision. So what key elements are needed for a good website design? 
Navigation – users want to be guided through your website with ease. Navigation links and CTAs should appear on every page; product groups are better organised in priority, and menus and sub-menus must be clear so that users can find information quickly and easily. 
Page layout – avoid over-complicating and over-crowding page layouts. If it’s too busy, it’s likely to be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for. 
Readability – is the content easy to read, visually pleasing and balanced with plenty of white space? Most ecommerce sites are visually led, so your images and other visuals are important in allowing users to skim the content quickly. 
CTAs – it’s all about guiding the user to buy your product. Therefore the position, size and colour of CTAs are key to persuading users to take action. 
Search – make it easy for users to quickly find the product they’re looking for by adding a search function. 

Link checking 

There are several significant benefits to website links, but two stand out – navigation and SEO. Ensuring the correct hyperlinks (page links) are inserted on the site provides users with easier navigation between the website pages. For example, you can link secondary product pages to a primary product page. 
Secondly, search engines use the links on your ecommerce website to crawl the web. So, search bots will crawl the links between your website pages and those between other websites. 
Conducting link analysis as part of your performance maintenance allows you to find any problems or broken links before consumers do. It is a thorough audit of all the links pointing to your web pages and your website before your site visitors do. 
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Page loading speed 

How quickly your site loads on desktops, laptops or mobile devices is crucial in keeping users on your site. Let’s give some of the latest statistics around page loading speed to give you an idea of why page loading speed is so important. 
The average website page speed is 3.21 seconds. 
The average page speed of a first page Google result is 2.65 seconds. 
Conversion rates are 3x higher for ecommerce websites with a 1-second page load speed. 
82% of consumers say website pages that load slowly impact their buying decision. 
When it comes to ecommerce websites, performance is a major factor, and page loading speed should be top of the list when carrying out maintenance. 

Content management 

Not only do consumers like new, updated content, but so do search engines. In fact, developing a content strategy for your online shop will ensure better content management and higher conversion rates. 
Use different types of online content, such as images, videos, case studies, blogs and even testimonials. However, keep the content aligned with your brand and consistent with your message. 
Keeping product information updated is vital in delivering a better user experience. It also drives increased engagement, particularly when promoting sales, special offers or membership benefits. 
Effective content management will help you build better customer relationships, creating a bond with customers that will enhance customer loyalty. 

Search engine optimisation 

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When optimising your ecommerce website for online search performance, make sure you have done the following: 
Optimised all meta titles, descriptions, and headers with the most relevant keywords and phrases. 
Utilise short, keyword-rich URLs. 
Ensure all content is original, i.e. create your own product descriptions rather than copying the manufacturers. 
Optimise internal links. 
Link your social media channels to your online shop. 
Keep your Google Business Profile updated to optimise local SEO. 
Conduct regular keyword research. 
Optimise your website for mobile devices. 
Consider creating dedicated landing pages, particularly for promotional events. 
Add Schema Markup (structured data) to provide search engines with information on page content. 
Include (and test) CTAs on every page. 
The ecommerce world is changing rapidly. Keeping up to date with the latest trends and consumer demands gives you the inside picture when it comes to the maintenance of your online shop. 
At It’seeze, we are specialists in professional, affordable web design in Bristol, providing a range of ecommerce website packages that will generate results. Together with ongoing expert local support, we build high-quality, easy-to-manage online shops combined with effective web design services ideal for start-ups and small businesses in Bristol. We also offer a free Website Health Check and website maintenance to ensure your ecommerce website is consistently performing at its best. Make the website of your ideas a reality by contacting us today. 
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