At the recent WebmasterWorld Conference in Las Vegas, I attended a few sessions about optimizing e-commerce sites. I will summarize the takeaways in this blog.
Acquiring traffic and driving sales are two different processes that need to be considered. The most common reasons for people leaving a site are: the user intent is not met, poor page design, and dead links. You should look at the search terms that are driving traffic and try to discern what the visitor is expecting of that query, and make sure the content matches that intent.
It is also about the formatting of the content. Be consistent in navigation and use recognized naming conventions, don’t get cute.
There should be multiple navigation options: primary navigation, a site map and an internal site search utility. The internal site search can dramatically increase conversions. This function is also great for reporting the most popular searches & allows customization of search results. Create a custom search. For instance, if there is something you don’t have, instead of yielding 0 results, show similar items that might be of interest.