Although owning an eCommerce store is a rewarding and exciting business venture and incredibly demanding. In the first 2-3 years of an endeavor, every owner will likely attest to the fact that they rarely get any sleep; the days are long and stressful, and you’ll be learning as you go.
But, if you reach your 1-year anniversary with enough sales to keep going and stay motivated for another year, there are a few things you’ll have to think about with regards to your site.
If you’re not thinking of changing your ecommerce software but simply wish to see how your site is measuring up, there are many online tools that help to keep your ecommerce website functioning well. These are a few of our picks.
Looking at Your Website Speed
A slow page loading time doesn’t just affect your search engine rankings, customers also have very little patience for it.
Around three seconds is said to be the maximum waiting time for a page to load, and if you’re not hitting that mark, then I highly suggest you check out the tools I have already discussed.
Other than the WordPress plugin and CDN providers mentioned in the article, you’ll definitely want to compress images, reduce the server response time, enable browsing caching, and prioritize above-the-fold content your site. Google’s own Pagespeed tool is also a must-use for checking how fast your site loads.
Inspecting Your SSL Certificate
Earlier this year, Google released a statement regarding the unsafe SSL certificates provided by long-standing software company Symantec. When the biggest search engine in the world has to step in and sort out Symantec’s issues, you know that online security has become a big deal.
In fact, Google is actually in the process of penalizing your site with a “Not Secure” tag in the browser if your site doesn’t have an SSL – that’s serious stuff for an eCommerce site.
Symantec claims that it will clean up its act in the meantime and get things sorted, but if you need more proof than that, it’s also easy enough to utilize an SSL Checker Tool. Use this to enter your URL into the search bar, then not long afterward, you’ll receive a report that will state if the SSL is installed correctly and if any potential security gaps are present.
Visitors’ Viewing Behavior
Although it’s not a completely foolproof method of feedback concerning your visitors’ viewing behavior on your site, Heatmap Tools are still a useful weapon to have in your arsenal.
It’s very helpful to literally see data like how far people are scrolling on the page, which links are being clicked the most, and conversely, which areas are being avoided.
Understanding what are the least popular areas of your site can let you know if major changes are needed. Are there too many distracting elements? Does your content need to be improved? Is there a difference between desktop and mobile users of your site? A heatmap can tell you.
Finding a free heatmap isn’t easy, but there are a few options listed here which at least offer a complimentary trial. Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange, and ClickTale are considered some of the best in the biz. A heatmap alone won’t be the savior of your ecommerce checkup, but when used in tandem with the other tools, you’ve got some very useful data to visualize.
Some Basic Tips for New eCommerce Owners
- All your writings should be proofed for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors
- Business contact details should be easily found
- Your site should have responsive design
- All forms should submit data correctly
- Add Alt tag to your images
- Customers should receive a ‘Thank you for your purchase’ email.
Of course, your 1-year site anniversary checkup doesn’t have to end there, as there are many more small things that eCommerce owners will have to look at – as stated before, you’ll rarely sleep and there is a lot of stress! However, if you genuinely love what you do and the things you sell, then all the pain and pressure will be worth it in the end.