Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James Hein who is a web developer with 10 years experience.
With around 13% websites using Magento for their eCommerce purposes, Magento becomes world’s second most used platform for eCommerce solutions.
Considered as one of the ideal most platforms for intensified functioning and foolproof customizing, Magento becomes the right package for performing essential eCommerce functions like store management, customer services, feedback, improving sales, rewards, and other functions.
In a competitive global market, you cannot afford to avoid fundamental development mistakes in your Magento store. For the highest quality customer services and top class functionalities, it is essential to prioritize visitor and customer requirements along with adapting to modern needs of the web for improving your sales.
For putting your store on fastest selling wheel, avoid these five pitfalls in your Magento store development.
1. Layered Navigation Problems
Layered navigation refers to different options available on one page. In layered navigation, different categories are aligned on one page, allowing the customers to select their desired options.
Different types of problems occurring in layered navigation include obscured images, overlapped categories and very slow page loading speed. The visitors will immediately close such pages resulting in decreased sales.
Given here are different ways to solve this problem:
- Use Ajax navigation to allow visitors to filter the products.
- Don’t allow search engine crawlers to crawl through your pages.
Add Magento Premium Extension like Layered Navigation Pro to remove this error, which is available from Magento Ecommerce extension library.
2. Using Default Settings
Default Home Page
Have you visited Magento stores with ‘Home’ title of Home Page? The SEO rule for the title of your Home page is to use a primary keyword followed by the secondary keyword. For example, a clothing store named Pink can entitle their Home Page as ‘Pink Clothing Store’. For updating the title of your Home Page, go to Pages section in CMS and click ‘Edit your Home Page’.
The second problem is the Default Descriptions. Lack of product description not only reduces your SERPs but it also cuts professionalism from your customer services. Product descriptions are one of the most viewed and read part of a product page.
Some websites selling products of other manufacturers use ‘manufacturer’s description’, thus generating two types of problems. Firstly, manufacturer’s descriptions may or may not be sales-oriented. Secondly, search engines would identify the descriptions as copied or duplicated content with other websites selling same products. It automatically reduces your search engine ranking and increases competition.
The best way of overcoming this problem is using unique, plagiarism-free and sales-oriented content for every product.
Default Magento XML sitemap
Sitemap refers not only to Google but also to Yahoo and Bing. Well, this is quite obvious. But a common problem is that many developers don’t add Sitemaps when developing the Magento store or forget to refresh the settings when putting the website live.
Different techniques to resolve this problem are given here:
- Create a new sitemap or upload one
- For Magento-Go users: Directory > Google Sitemaps > Add
- For normal version users: System > Configuration > Catalog > Google Sitemap > Add
- For making your website functional to automatically refresh after regular intervals, go to Admin and select Automatically Refresh.
- Use Premium Magento Sitemap Extensions.
3. Shared Resources and Server
Technically, Magento powered stores can be shared with other stores and websites. It reduces the website loading speed and makes the website vulnerable to hackers’ attack. Shared resourcing is one of the major factors to influence your Magento store sales.
It also affects your online store reputation. To keep you safe from harm’s way, Magento stores can be customized and configured to any other server of your choice – MySQL and PHP5 are the recommended ones.
4. Poor Choice of Themes
There’s a huge collection of themes to customize your e-store with. When developing a Magento store, many developers make the mistake of choosing a theme of their choice and not the one with maximum compatibility to customer choice and store theme. The second mistake in the same category is of choosing heavy themes which decrease page loading speed after adding new products or services to pages.
Here a few things to look out for when picking a good theme:
- Choose a simple theme with many options of customization.
- Make sure that adding tens of new products will not reduce the page loading speed. Your Magento store pages should be loaded within 20 microseconds.
- Select a theme that is appealing to your audiences and that best suits your company theme.
For more information on improving the speed of your website, check out: 5 Quick Tips To Speed Up Your E-commerce Website
5. Unresponsive Site
The number of people using mobile now outnumbers those on desktops with the gap expected to increase even more in the next few years. A responsive website that automatically adjusts to all screen sizes including mobile phones not only adds to your branding quotient but also prepares your store to host visitors of all types. An unresponsive website can drop your sales to ocean bottoms.
Lack of keyword-based optimization is also a primary pitfall. The keywords can be incorporated not only in product titles and descriptions but also in product URLs. Keywords are one of the keys to unlocking the door of your skyrocketed sales. Keyword research for brand marketing is different from content marketing. You need to focus more on the audience than the product. The right type of audience will automatically boost your sales.
For improving your sales, it is not essential to develop your Magento store from scratch. A few minor modifications as suggested in the article will boost your online sales to surprising numbers.
About the author
James E. Hein is a web developer with 10 years of experience. He has immense interest and knowledge in the technology area. He is also working as a strategist in projects related to business and technology. The firm TIS India has been helping him out with all the statistics and concepts in order to prepare his articles. You can follow James on Twitter @jameshein11