E-commerce businesses solely rely on their online presence—their websites— for revenue. And just like any other business venture, an e-commerce website requires regular maintenance, be it monthly, quarterly or annually, for a smooth-running operation. Any issue encountered by any e-commerce business, such as old content, expired domain name or broken links, affects both the business’ profitability and usability.
The slightest problem can cause ripple effects throughout the whole operation of the business. So, to avoid any issue that could affect profit, consider the following maintenance list for your e-commerce website.
- Website content
Your site’s content is what visitors, consumers, and users consume whenever they visit. Outdated content negatively affects your site’s credibility and overall user retention. Content should provide value so keep it fresh and current. Articles and blogs must be active, meaning there should be new entries every two weeks or monthly, whichever suits your business.
Site owners often overlook the copyright on your web page’s footer, so annually check and updated them.
- Product updates and price changes
Operational costs including product prices fluctuate on a regular basis, so price changes must also be reflected in your e-commerce site. Make sure seasonal promotions are relevant and updated. This keeps your site alive and makes users constantly check your site for discounts, coupons or seasonal promos.
Regarding product updates, you have to check on 3 areas—product description, discontinued products and sold out or out-of-stock products. Save customers the hassle of looking at an item only to find out that it either is out of stock or discontinued. Remove those particular items from the pages. Keep every product list fresh and updated.
Also, product descriptions should not be stale. Give them life by regularly updating them, especially if they are seasonal products. Product images should from time to time be updated, so customers will not think that those products are old stocks and to freshen up your site.
Much like updated site content, you also need to make sure your SEO is relevant. Check if your current SEO tactics drive traffic to your site or have increased traffic flow. Check and optimise keywords used in product descriptions and other content on your site. Make sure images, descriptions and content include title tags and URLs.
- Web security
It is imperative that you update your site’s security since your users will provide sensitive information. Outdated security leaves room for malicious attackers to steal login details and other sensitive data from your site, negatively affecting your business’ credibility and decreases consumer trust.
Also test SQL injection, malware, XSS and other possible vulnerabilities on a regular basis since attackers these days have become more hi-tech when it comes to cyber hacking.
- Test and remove broken links
Not only are broken links bad for your e-commerce business, but also these affect ranking in search engines. Google offers Google Webmaster Tools for free to test for broken links. This tool also monitors your site’s health based on an SEO viewpoint.
Also check site navigation to discover problems such as issues with intuitive flow, nonperforming pages and broken images. Regularly update CTAs also.
- Contact details and forms
Test all forms on your site—products forms, signup, contact, checkout, etc.—if they are properly working. Double check if all these forms lead right back to your email address or to the site’s business email address. If changes and updates are necessary, fill out all forms and test again if they are properly working.
- Backup your site
Similar with backing up data in your drive, it is now essential that you keep a good copy of your site and update the copy regularly because you never know when you will fall prey to hackers and ransomware or when your site suddenly crashes.
Since you will have to update your copy regularly, also test the copy if it works after updates. And for increased security, you can always store information offsite.
- Review checkout process
Place a test order regularly to check whether or not your checkout process is working smoothly since it is vital to cementing sales. Also, a smooth and uncomplicated checkout process reduces bounce rate and cart abandonment.
- Check speed and uptime
Critical web parameters that affect site rankings include speed and uptime. Any load speed more than 3 seconds needs to seek professional help, while any uptime south of 99.9% requires web host consultation. Increase site load speed by cleaning up cluttered and outdated web design, unnecessary files such as unused plugins or outdated ones, remove broken or bad links and of course remove outdated content. Use CSS for faster loading time.
To increase revenue and make the most of your e-commerce website, maintenance combined with attention to detail is crucial for site operation. This will impact not only SEO but also customer retention and trust. Reap the benefits of well-oiled e-commerce websites in London by following the listed checklist.
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