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Your PreLaunch eCommerce Checklist Not to Miss

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Launching an eCommerce store takes way more than just having a website. It encapsulates a thorough consideration of various key elements before the launch of your website. Failing to do so cost you sales, revenues, and customer trust. 

In this post, we are going to share your essential website prelaunch checklist, you wouldn’t want to miss out on. So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

  1. Pay attention to the design of category or listing pages

Help your customers easily find the products they are looking for. A coherent eCommerce website with well-designed pages doesn’t go amiss. 

Properly designed category pages optimized for SEO allows your customers to find the product of their choice. It also speeds up the checkout process which is a critical element ensuring higher customer satisfaction. 

Designing listing pages requires you to have the following key elements: 

  • Include a quick product view. 
  • Facilitate internal linking between categories and subcategories. 
  • Show stock availability. 
  • Have filtering and sorting options in place. 
  • Display best-sellers and customer reviews for social proof. 
  1. Make sure you have an effective shopping cart page 

Another vital element on your eCommerce launch checklist is an efficacious shopping cart page. The shopping cart is an extremely important place in your eCommerce store. 

So, how do we go about creating an engaging shopping cart page? Let’s get you started by sharing these key pointers. 

  • Avoid having any hidden costs, taxes, and shipping costs. 
  • Have an attention-grabbing ‘call to action’ for clear navigation. 
  • Display product details such as the product name, size, color, pricing, and quantity for an enjoyable shopping experience. 
  • Allow customers to add/remove products and change color, size, and quantity with sheer ease. 
  1. A well-designed and conversion-oriented checkout page

Let’s face it! The checkout page is the place where cart abandonment happens the most. 

As a far-sighted business, you must ensure that the checkout process is smooth for your customers. 

There are countless eCommerce stores in the digital scape and cart abandonment is a sore point for the majority of them and clearly due to the lack of a well-designed checkout page. 

  • Have a progress bar page right from the beginning to help customers know how many steps are left to complete the buying process. 
  • Have a live chat option to provide timely support to your customers. 
  • Refrain from adding unnecessary steps and combine multiple steps if needed as it will help expedite the whole process. 
  • Have ‘checkout as a guest’ option in place. 
  1.  SEO is important 

Your eCommerce store needs to have a robust SEO strategy in place to drive conversions. It is a myth that SEO is dead and numbers vouch for the fact. 

More than 37.5 percent of eCommerce traffic comes from search engines and if you do not invest in SEO with a well-chalked-out plan, you are surely missing potential possibilities. You will be left far behind in the competition. So, here is a quick SEO cheatsheet for you. 

  • Create and submit a sitemap. 
  • Leverage schema markup to increase the click-through rate. 
  • Make sure your target keywords are included in the product descriptions and categories. 
  • Make optimum use of keywords in meta titles, descriptions, and tags. 
  • Optimize your eCommerce website for speed. 
  • Focus on creating high-quality and SEO-rich content. 
  • Get rid of duplicate content. 
  1. Harness 3rd party apps and plugins on your eCommerce store 

There are numerous useful 3rd party apps out there in the WooCommerce space and you can use them to your advantage for better customer experience and conversion rates. 

It is no exaggeration that your eCommerce launch checklist is incomplete without considering to use 3rd party apps and plugins. Some of the apps/plugins you may want to use are mentioned below – 

  • Site optimization. 
  • Apps/plugins for products and inventory management. 
  • Apps/plugins for marketing and promotion. 
  • Apps/plugins for better sales and conversion. 

Speaking of the best WordPress plugins, we would like to share two of the most trusted plugins out there in the market. The first one on the list is a WooCommerce category plugin named: 

  • Product Categories Designs for WooCommerce 

The plugin is loaded with 2 wonderful layouts and 10 marvelous designs for WooCommerce categories. It offers a categories grid and carousel view. 

The best of this plugin is its seamless integration with all popular page builders including DIVI, WPBakery, VC Composer, Beaver, and Elementor to name a few. 

More features: 

  • Change post order
  • Display category title and description
  • 2 shortcodes
  • Include or exclude specific categories

Another plugin on the list is a great plugin for product sliders in WooCommerce called

  • Woo Product Slider and Carousel with Category

Woo Product Slider and Carousel with Category is a renowned plugin that is equipped with more than 50 predesigned templates and 8 layouts. You can put several sliders on display including best-rated products, best selling products, featured products, etc. 

More features: 

  • Show product rating 
  • Display sales
  • Custom CSS editor
  • Fully responsive 
  • Multi-lingual support
  • Easy integration with famous page builders
  1. Use email marketing to your advantage

Prudent eCommerce businesses use email marketing quite deftly to their advantage and you must also include it in your WordPress website checklist. There are different types of marketing emails you should use such as – 

  • Welcome or thank you emails. 
  • Survey emails.
  • Cart abandonment emails. 
  • Order confirmation emails. 
  • Promotional offers and festive discounts. 
  1. Setting up analytics 

This is a no-brainer, to be honest. No eCommerce business can be imagined without analytics. Make sure you have set up Google and Facebook analytics without missing any key steps. 

Also, verifying checkout tracking is important for your eCommerce store. Set up a Google search console and verify your site.  

  1. Download backup of your site 

This is one of the most crucial steps you should always bear in mind. You shouldn’t take for granted even a small change you made, because you don’t want to be in a situation when you cannot revert the changes. Also, use the services of a reputed hosting provider as it always helps you a big time. Make it a point to download the backup of your staging as well as the production site. 

  1. Run a mock order test 

Perform a mock order test before you launch your website. It should include auditing the whole checkout process of the cart and order confirmation. It goes without saying that you should include all the possible steps your customers would take in a real case scenario. Add a product and increase/decrease the quantity to make sure it is working. Add products to the cart and remove them apart from applying coupon codes. 

Here it is also important to see how the product page appears when a product is out of stock. Make a test purchase by checking out the cart, of course besides checking the payment options on there. Once the mock purchase has been made, head back to the My Account section. 

  1.  Migrate your website files and DB from staging server to production 

You must be working on a staging server and now it is time to move your website files and database to the actual production server. Again, before you do this, you must take a comprehensive backup. 

  1.  Enable search engine visibility 

Enabling search engine visibility is of utmost importance if you want to be discoverable on search engines. To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard, look for settings and click ‘reading’. 

Now look for ‘Search Engine Visibility’ and uncheck the box that reads ‘Discourage search engines from indexing the site’. 

Publish changes and you are good to go. 

  1.  Install SSL certificate 

Installing an SSL certificate is quite crucial if you do not want to face issues later on. It isn’t as complicated as it might appear at first. Install the certificate and activate it and once it is done, you will be able to see a padlock on the address bar. 

Your hosting provider should be able to help you with this as well, so if you do not know how to go about it, do not fret. 

  1.   Submit your sitemap

Submitting your sitemap to search engines allows them to index your website; however, it should be done only after you are set up 301 redirects correctly. 

Submitting your sitemap is fairly an easy process and by following just a handful of steps on Google Console you should be done. 

Simply log in to your search console or create if you don’t have one already. Look for sitemaps and click on them. Submit your new sitemap and if you are using an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, then the link will show something like this- /sitemap_index.xml

Hit ‘Save’ and that’s it. 

 Conclusion: 

Only a future-ready eCommerce business can survive in the cut-throat competition of the contemporary eCommerce market. We have tried to make the WordPress website checklist as comprehensive as possible. If you keep the abovementioned pointers in mind, you will see boosted sales and Increased profits. 

Author Bio: 
Amisha Parmar is a content writer and SEO marketing manager at Essential Plugin, which sells a WordPress Plugin Bundle that includes front-end utility plugins. Expert Inbound Marketing Tools, Templates, and Security are required for the overall development of a WordPress website.

Guest Post

10 Steps to Evaluating and Measuring Your Marketing Strategy

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When you are trying to market a product, the product or service is only as good as the potential clientele think it is. You need to get them to buy or use the item or service before you can tell if it really works for them. How can you go about evaluating and measuring your current marketing strategy?
Input vs. Output
Check your financial statements. Are you spending more money than you are making? In a strong marketing campaign, this should not be the case. You want to tweak your plan to make more money than you are putting into the project.
Customer Surveys
When you sell a product, include a survey along with it. Ask the customer to rate different qualities of the product that directly relate to the market. For example, ask them how they heard about the product and if the visual appeal of the item had anything to do with its purchase.
Phone Surveys
Distribute flyers, pamphlets and other coupon offers to people and see if they call back. You’ll know if the marketing works based upon how many people call. When they do call, ask what elements of the flyer or other item made them want to call you.
Test Group
Before you send a new item onto the market, have a test group to evaluate your marketing. For example, you might bring in a section of the company that has never seen the ad. Ask them what they think and if they would buy the product.
Introspective Analysis
What about you? Try to separate yourself from the ad as much as possible. Imagine that you were walking down the street and saw this advertisement. Would you feel inclined to purchase it or use the service? What elements of it are captivating and visually appealing? What elements turn you away?
Quantitative Data
Of course, all of these surveys and questions are important; however, you must generate quantitative data from all of them. For example, calculate the percentage of people who learned about your company from the Internet, paper flyers, word of mouth, and so forth. Put the information into charts.
Compare Years
After you have put the information into charts, you should start comparing this year’s findings to last year’s findings. If you find that a larger percentage of people are using the Internet than last year, you will have gained valuable insight into the company’s advertising.
Targeting the Many…
Once you find where most of your patrons are coming from, work to keep up steady advertisements in that domain. If most people are finding your company through Google searches, maintain fresh SEO strategies throughout the year to keep generating customers in that manner.
…And the Few
Let’s say that very few people are finding you from paper advertisements in the local department store. If this is a new trend, give it another shot to try to keep those few customers that you have. If it’s a continuing trend, you may want to put that money into another avenue.
Keep It Up
Don’t let your evaluation and measuring strategies fall to the wayside. You need to keep using them to ensure constant success for your company.
Evaluation and measurement strategies can bring both good and bad news to you about your marketing strategy. Be sure to use all of the information to generate more positive outcomes.

Thaddeus McGregor writes about business, marketing & finance at

www.businessinsurance.org.

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Guest Post

Top 8 popular WordPress plugins of all the time

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The WordPress plugin repository has 54,000+ plugins. That’s like a lot. These plugins are used to complement the core WP installation. In other words, it improves a user’s experience on WordPress. They handle certain features and functionalities that WP cannot do by itself.

Choosing the correct plugin is vital for your website’s security, user-friendliness, and speed. Else you can take WordPress support from a good team.

 We have listed down the top 8 popular WordPress plugins. Let’s discuss first what WP Plugin is.

WordPress Plugin

WP plugin is defined as a software tool that is scripted in the PHP language. It includes additional features on your WP website. The plugin provides a simple process to add features to your website without writing a single code.

The API of the plugin provides an effective hooks’ and filters set. This robust set enables developers to modify or add new functions with WordPress. 

8 Popular WordPress plugins

Yoast SEO

Search Engine Optimization is necessary to boost traffic to your website. Without any doubt, Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin. It supports you to add Meta tags, connect your website with Google Search Console, etc. 

The plugins provide you with a complete solution to improve on-page SEO. The features of Yoast SEO are as follows:

  • Readability check
  • Internal linking suggestion
  • Access to create custom Description/Mets Header
  • XML News Sitemaps
  • Quickly build 301 directs with the Redirect feature
  • Optimize for synonyms, keywords
  • Update as per Google’s algorithm

The plugin makes sure that your site meets the top-most SEO principle. It provides the tools to optimize your content for overall readability and SEO.

Akismet

Every day it is not easy to filter out spam that is either irrelevant stories or promotional links. Automattic developed a tool called Akismet.

It is known as the godfather of comment spam reduction plugins. The plugin works great to track back spam and filter out most comments. It reviews all your contact form submissions against their global spam database. This WordPress Premium plugin provides advanced security solutions along with spam protection.

To use the plugin, you will need an API key that is free for non-commercial use. It is beneficial if you receive at least ten comments daily.

Jetpack

The Automattic company built another top-most WordPress plugin called Jetpack. It is a versatile tool with numerous features. The plugin supports you with design, marketing, and security. Among its multiple features, you can perform the following-

  • Spam filtration
  • Malware scanning
  • Find site analytics
  • Login security
  • CDN
  • Automatic social media posting
  • Slow image loading
  • Multiple WordPress themes and more.

WooCommerce

How can we miss WooCommerce among the list of popular WordPress plugins? An e-commerce plugin enables you to sell anything on the web simply. 

The plugin has an abundance of themes, easy customization options, and much more. Therefore, it stands unique among the list of WordPress plugins. 

Wondering why WooCommerce is best for you? The plugin provides features such as adding product variation, extensive payment methods, etc. The developer community creates extensions to make online selling as smooth as possible.

WPForms

WPForms is a fantastic plugin that allows people to create popular forms with simple and easy steps. The form is created by using a simple interface of drag-and-drop. This plugin enables you to create contact, subscription, payment, survey, and other forms. It doesn’t require you to put in a great effort, as you can create forms with just a few clicks. 

Note that this plugin can integrate with all the primary payment and marketing platforms. 

WP Rocket

Every business requires quick page load times and to accomplish this caching solution is the most effective way. The WordPress repository has a Premium caching plugin called WP Rocket. It helps to escalate the loading time of a site. The plugin works with the cached copies and reduces the servers’ workload. It also aids in lowering the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS file weight through minimization. The features of the plugin include-

  • Compatible with cloud flare
  • Improve user-end browser caching
  • Quick Load images while scrolling down
  • Support WordPress Multi website
  • Incorporate caching solution along with a CDN
  • Load images on request
  • Facilitate slow loading to boost page load time. 

Elemetor

Page builder aids you in creating more complex designs as you don’t need to use coding. The most popular page builder plugin as per WordPress.org is Elementor. The plugin has quickly shot up the rank with over 1.2 million active installs. It offers a free package to build complex designs with a drag-and-drop interface. 

You must think of installing this plugin on your website. This will support you to have full control over your design.

Migrate Guru

Migrate Guru is a specifically designed, fully automated plugin for WP migration. It offers you the fastest, easiest, and most reliable method to migrate your WordPress website. The plugin runs on an external server named BlogVault’s server. You can quickly transfer large sites without any issues. 

There is a choice to save the migration setting and remove the unnecessary files during the migration process. This allows you to repeat the migration with a single click in the future. 

The plugin has the following feature:

  • No overload on the website
  • No requirement for storage space
  • Easy to use
  • Build for large websites
  • One-click migration
  • Fully automatic, replace & built-in-search

Smush 

Large images slow down the loading of websites. Therefore, it is crucial to optimize every file image to improve speed. Optimizing every image manually can be a tedious task. 

For this, you can apply the Smush plugin. It is a simple way to compress and optimize your WP website images. The plugin compresses images all over your website automatically. You will need to upload images to your WP website media folder. 

The plugin provides no interruption in your workflow and improves website performance.

Conclusion

A WordPress plugin helps you to quickly and smoothly run your website. It improves user experience and supports websites to reach a wider audience. 

No need to get confused about which plugin is best for your website. We have mentioned 8 of the pre-eminent WP plugins of all time. These plugins are accessible in free as well as paid forms.

Author’s Bio

Jinny Sarah Jacob is a Sr. Technical content writer at 24×7 WP Support, a leading WordPress development company that supports WordPress themes, plugins, and errors. She is a passionate technology geek and loves to write blogs on marketing, technology, B2B, big data/analytics, business strategizing, etc.

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Increase Traffic with Comments

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We all want to read comments, especially if these comments praise us or show that many people value our posts on our blog. Therefore, those valuable comments you can have on your blog can generate a lot of qualified visitors in your blog traffic.

Your website, more significantly, your blog posts can generate traffic. if you can improve the search traffic, you have the help of the things below.

Learn ways – How to Increase Blog Traffic with Comments

  • Ask or Request Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions tend to prompt a lot of engagement that includes comments. However, it only means that when you allow the recipients to express themselves, they will provide you with complete and meaningful answers.

One of the main reasons there are a lot of blog posts that are not generating loads of traffic with comments is because the questions they have are close-ended. These close-ended questions can only be answered by a yes or a no or with a direct answer that does not leave anything else that will run for longer and more comments.

  • Write A Post On the Top List

If you wish to improve your search traffic and generate powerful comments about the user experience on your blog posts, you should consider writing a post that falls on the top list. Unfortunately, many people struggle to gain online transactions from when they first opened their blog until they have discovered the importance of having a content marketing strategy.

To gain comments, you should add keywords wherein people are searching for the headline that you have. It would be best if you did not try to sound like an English professor to have one. The things that you need to do are to make your headline appear relevant for it to attract attention, comments as well as a load of traffic.

  • Do Some Influencer and Expert Name Dropping

Name-dropping is a term that refers to the practice of attributing names of famous experts as well as bloggers to your content. Using this strategy, your blog posts can generate a lot of comments that would, later on, create loads of traffic for your website.

Generating comments for each blog post is one of the best ways to get a lot of traffic to your website. This way, you can make your content more valuable because some people seem to appreciate the things you have written. Therefore, if you wish to gain loads of traffic for your website, you should first work on generating comments with the help of the tips stated above that are very easy to do for your content. This, in turn, will increase Blog Traffic.

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