Are you improving your website with this recommendation?

Across the Web in forums and really on this site there’s loads of information regarding how to enhance your ecommerce business.

Whilst all information is provided with the best intentions, you need to understand that it might not function for you. The bottom line for each ecommerce website should be how much profit it’s making. There isn’t any purpose”improving” your website if it reduces your bottom line.

To this end, before you undertake any significant change to your website, measure the before and after effects of this change. Occasionally a change that everyone expects will enhance your website can actually damage it.

Metrics are basically boring. But they’re so important that you need to not ignore them. The important metrics are (a) how many people visited your website, (b) how many converted to paying clients, and (c) how much money did you make out of them. As your website grows, as well as your metric data also grows, you may start to collect more data, like the ideal landing pages, the bounce rate of these pages, and clients’ navigation through the website. All this information can help you discover the strong and weak points in your website. Analyzing this data can provide you ideas of what areas you will need to change and what you can leave for today.

So whatever your source of ideas, either from here or analyzing your personal data, the important fact remains: You need to test the change, track the metrics, and be certain that the change has really improved your website.

If you think that your website desperately needs a live chat support, or a correct one-page checkout, or a super advanced search, then examine those features. Sometimes you might be amazed by the results. Sometimes what’s the perceived great idea may prove to be a lemon.

By way of instance, I’m testing the implementation of bar codes on my ecommerce website. When people are shopping, there’s an increasing tendency to compare prices. They increasingly look up online what they see in a brick-and-mortar store and see if it’s cheaper online. They have a tendency to do so with their telephones, by scanning at the bar code and hunting on that. I don’t have enough information on this yet, but for my market I see a rising amount of searches using only these codes. This has a substantial influence on my organic search traffic. I’m assessing my search engine optimization and search-engine optimization to determine if I can improve my results for these searches.

Do I place the bar code from the page name? Can I actually show it to the page? Can I add it to the item title? Can I add it to the alt text on the image?

If I raise the search visibility of the bar code, then I will naturally decrease the visibility of another keyword. Does this matter? Is someone looking on the bar code much more inclined to purchase, as he’s currently in the buying frame of mind? Can I get a better conversion rate on this search term?

I’m imagining that focusing on the bar code this way will enhance my website. However, I don’t know for certain. Using good metrics takes out all of this uncertainty and provides answers.

The last caveat is to implement a single change at a time. If you do two changes and one doubles your traffic and the other halves them, you will notice no overall change. You won’t realize that one change is crippling you.

So the next time you change your website, be sure that you understand it had been a change for the good.

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