Starting a business can be a big step, and it can be frightening too! Every company and business should invest in a website. Without a website, you are prone to leaving potential clients and customers behind. A lot of sales and inquiries come from websites. Here are 5 simple checklist items that can help you start up a successful E-commerce store!
First things first! Before building a website, you should look into domain names for your E-commerce store. You want to make sure that your actual company name matches with the domain name. If it doesn’t quite match up, it could be misleading to your clients. Search and see if your domain name is available for purchase. If so, we would recommend that you purchase it for as long as it allows so that you have the rights to the name. Once it expires and you fail to buy it, it can be up for sale for anyone to purchase.
When choosing your hosting company, you need to make sure that it’s reliable and it can be compatible with the CMS that you choose to go with. Just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean that it’s always better. There are different hosting plans such as split shared, split dedicated, and so forth. The amount of traffic that drives to your website will determine which plan is the best for your business. You also want a hosting company that provides 24/7 support. You never know when your website could go down. Anytime your website is down, there is a potential loss of sale or lead.
SSL – Secure Sockets Layer
SSL is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client-typically a web server (website) and a browser. In other words, it will protect your customers’ and clients’ information so that it won’t be revealed if the website were to get hacked. It shields passwords, credit card information, etc. Another common way to determine if the website is secure is to see if the domain is preceded by “Https://”.
For every transaction you make on your website, it will need to go through to a merchant account. If you want to accept payment and credit card transactions, it is an absolute must that you have a merchant account. You, as the merchant, need to take full responsibility when opening an E-commerce store. If you decide to not have a merchant account, you can consider using a third party payment processor such as PayPal.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Even before you build out your website, you need to consider the effects of SEO if you want to drive traffic to your website. For instance, you can consider inputting a blog onto the website so you can consistently write about fresh content that will provide value to your customers. If you have a fashion website, you can have different topic discussions about the latest fashion trends, summer must-haves, fall favorites, etc. The more content and new information you have on the website will help make your website found more easily on Google search. You also want to discuss how your website’s URL structure will be. How well your website is internally and externally linked has a great impact on your website’s SEO. But of course, there are many other ways to optimize the website as well. You also want to make sure that the website has all the image tags, meta descriptions, etc all set up properly. You can learn more about the importance of SEO from our SEO History blog post.
Once you have studied this checklist, make sure all the items are in order and that you have prepared yourself before creating an E-commerce store. These are just 5 small things to consider before building an online shopping cart website. For any questions regarding website design, marketing, graphic design, or SEO services, please call us at 626.400.4511 or contact us!