Here is a set of tips for Magento website development. This article is originally from instantshift.com. InstantShift is leading design and inspiration related community for web designers and developers daily resource, inspiration and premium web design and development. About the author: Meg Bryson has been in Marketing and Advertising since 2011. She is passionate about helping clients and creating awesome content. Image courtesy of OutStyle via Bigstockphoto.
Considered to be one of the most search engine friendly platforms, the Magento eCommerce platform is considered progressive when it comes to web development. As an open-source platform, Magento is free of charge to all merchants who wish to use it.
Making the switch to a responsive design scheme has never been more important than it is right now. Those sticking to an adaptive design cannot compete with the enterprises that maximize the potential of their websites by including social media, eCommerce, and online and mobile marketing. The Magento eCommerce platform allows this and so much more.
But, to exploit fully the potential of Magento, you must be well-versed with all that it offers.
Why Choose Magento?
An eCommerce website gives you the ability to sell products or even online services to your clients globally. One of the most beneficial things about the platform is that it offers a comprehensive variety of features, all of them together in an organized structure to make them easier to locate.
Magento is written in PHP. This means that new features can be added easily, and there are literally thousands of extensions to include on your website. This makes Magento the smart choice for large and small online businesses.
It is also a configuration-based MVC system. This allows you to create a file/class which is automatically picked up by the system. Each module has a file named config.xml, which contains all of the relevant configuration. When running, all these files are loaded into one large configuration tree, which results in less work for the operator.
Magento’s Impact on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is something every online eCommerce website business should be concerned about. As a business owner, you want to attract customers. Advertising and getting your brand out there through word of mouth is one thing and can get you some initial customers.
However, to be successful as an online merchant, you need a stream of customers. Not everyone who comes to your website and makes a purchase will remain a long-term customer. Because of this, you need to gain organic reach and traffic to your website to get additional customers.
One big way to do this is through SEO. Optimizing your website can be tricky if you are not well-versed in SEO. Another main benefit to using Magento is its design to provide increased SEO efficiency and tools to help even the most novice of users optimize their website.
By having a more SEO-friendly platform, you can ensure your website is ranked higher by the search engines. A higher search engine ranking will attract a larger audience, which increases your brand recognition and can lead to more upsells as well as increased profits.
Real Expert Tips to Maximize Your Magento Website Development
Let’s review ten tips that can help you develop the full potential of your Magneto website.
1. Choose a Stable Hosting Provider
The last thing you want when you are an eCommerce website is to experience connectivity issues. By ensuring you choose a reputable and stable hosting provider, you can keep your website up and running with minimal, to no, problems.
2. Web Configuration Tip
One of the first places you want to begin when you are trying to optimize your Magento website is in the SEO options on your web configuration panel. Once here, you want to go to the system, the configuration, and then to the web. Under your URL options, you change your setting of “Add store code to URLs” to read “no.” This will prevent you from having unnecessary keywords in your URL. It’s important to ensure your “Server URL rewrite” is marked “yes” to remove the index.php from your URLs.
3. Images for SEO
Many people overlook the idea of images as an element for SEO, but an online eCommerce store will have many product images, so this is one are you should carefully address. Ensure you use useful and meaningful names for your files when you are naming your images. Try to make it something that will succinctly but clearly describe the image you use. Use title and then alt tags with your images, as well.
4. Choose the Best Platform Functions and Features
The CMS platform of Magento has many functionalities to suit the needs of different businesses. It is important to make sure you have all the best features and functions chosen so you can set your store apart from your competitors. While there are some premium features, there is also a variety of free ones available that can add value to your eCommerce website.
5. Make Sure to Activate the Admin Actions Logging
This will allow you to record the different actions taken in the log file. This feature allows you to monitor when and by whom any data on your store is changed. You can also use it to help optimize the workflow by anyone who is an administrator, ensuring that duplicate actions by different administrators are excluded when setting up your website.
Additionally, this feature allows you to detect and then repair any content uploading problems as they take place in real time. This is a valuable feature, as it lets you identify the problems right away and immediately correct them to avoid any site downtime.
6. Add Responsive Elements
Magento gives you the ability to overwrite virtually all the elements, such as colors, themes, fonts, and more. You should take advantage of this to create a customized website to allow customers to become more intimate with your brand. Establishing a brand and having a cohesive design scheme across all elements is extremely important in the eCommerce world. This includes a responsive design element for mobile users, too.
Responsive web design is the term that web developers use when talking about creating your website so it can be viewed on a mobile device. This allows you to adapt your website layout so that it changes depending on the viewing environment it is accessed on: i.e., smartphones, tablets, PCs, or other computing devices.
Most users are now viewing websites on their mobile devices. In fact, 67% of users are much more likely to purchase from a website that has a responsive design. Many customers claim when a mobile experience is bad they will not take the time to try out the site on their computer or another connected device. In a world when instant gratification is expected, responsive web design is a must if you want to have a successful online business.
7. Utilize Tier Pricing and Group Pricing
Getting a customer’s first purchase is only the first step in effective eCommerce. You want to retain these customers and keep them coming back for more. One way to do this is to offer incentives to clients who routinely purchase more inventory in bulk or who are repeat customers. The tier pricing feature that Magento offers in the platform is one tool that can help you price items differently and offer incentives. Be sure to utilize this function to help establish and maintain your customer base.
The Group Pricing feature allows you to display unique prices for the varying customer segments like wholesale and retail. You do not have to make any template modifications or even change the layout to do this. This simple feature can help show your customers exactly how much they are saving by shopping at your online store.
8. Familiarize Yourself with the Content Management System Features
Magento comes with CMS (Content Management System) features. This gives you the ability to create your own static pages, polls, and static blocks right from the CMS. Within the CMS, you can view up to 20 different reports to provide you with every detail related to your online store. Within the CMS, you also can establish roles for your users, select the currency rate, and control the cache management.
9. Product Alerts Can Help You Establish a More Loyal Customer Base
Customers can subscribe themselves to two different customer alerts: price change and in-stock. For each of these alerts, you can decide whether you will enable users to subscribe to the alert, and you have the option of which email template to use.
- Price Change Alert: When the price change alert is enabled, there will be a sign-up link for this alert on the product pages. Your customers will be able to click on the link and subscribe to it for that product. This link prompts them to sign up for their own online account within your website. When the price on that product changes, anyone who signed up receives an email notifying them of the price change.
- In-Stock Alert: Just like the price change alert, an in-stock alert link will also appear on each product page that allows guests to complete a form with their contact information and receive notification when a product is in stock.
(You can view the list of customers who have signed up for both alerts in the Product Information Panel.)
- Why is this important? Customers become frustrated when products they typically purchase are out of stock or if a product they are interested in is priced beyond their budget. This can drive them to your competitors who may have the item in stock. However, giving your clients the option to receive automatic notifications of status changes for a product will help to establish faith in your brand, as well as remind them of their interest through a notification email. This is a great way to establish a more loyal customer base.
10. Product Pages and Meta Data SEO Tips
Product pages are the core part of any online store, because the products you sell are what support your business. When optimizing your Magento site for SEO, there are a few different ways you can give your site a boost on your product pages.
The first rule when optimizing product pages is to make sure your content is detailed, but not overly so. Make sure you update your URL key creating a more search engine friendly link to your products. The Meta Data for each of your products should be filled out with as much detail on the product. This is how people can find your online store.
- Meta Data: In the Meta Data section of your CMS, make sure the keywords and description of each page are filled out. Include a minimum of five keywords that are relevant to the page and your business, as well as a detailed description of both your business and the page. Search engines will use this information to help determine the relevance of a search term to your website.
Remember, when optimizing your website for search engines, your content is essential.
When you make the decision to choose the Magento software platform for developing your online store, you won’t be disappointed. The security, variety of features, and functionality within the content management system (CMS) surpasses the competition. Magento gives you the ability to work across all languages, and even currencies, so your customer reach goes far.
Even if you are a novice to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), this platform allows you to use even the most advanced SEO methods to make sure your website is ranked high enough to attract a large customer base.
With the large variety of responsive features available, you can develop your online store to be as responsive and mobile friendly as possible. Because of the mobile age we live in today, customers are more open to purchasing from an online business if their mobile experience is good. You don’t want to exclude a huge potential group of customers by not providing them with a mobile experience they can count on.
The last thing to remember is that, like with every new thing, Magento can take some time to get used to, but don’t skip this step. The more you know about Magento and its many features, the better you can exploit it to optimize your website and increase your bottom line.