Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Posts tagged ‘Design’

01
Jun

What Social Media Buttons Should You Add ?

When considering what social media buttons to add to you store or blog, your immediate reaction might be “All of them!” More the merrier right? More buttons, more exposure?

Not necessarily. Having dozens of social sharing buttons looks cluttered and can be visually overwhelming to your readers and customers. Too many options can scare away or distract even social users. So how do you decide which ones to add?

You need to ask yourself three questions:

What social platforms generate the most traffic/sales?

Like everything else in online business, you need to measure your social efforts. From looking at your store or blog’s analytics, you should be able to tell what platforms are the most profitable for you by looking at the traffic generated from each platform. Make sure to also take in to account the time on site, pageviews and obviously conversions (if you have conversion funnels set up in your analytics).

Just as beneficial as knowing knowing the social platforms that work best, knowing what platforms don’t work is key to choosing the right social buttons. Focus your users attention on the sharing of valuable networks by eliminating the option to share on networks that won’t generate value for you.

Who are you customers?

While understanding what works now is an important element, it is not the whole picture. You may be just getting started and not have the history to work off or you know from studies and research that one social network is working for your industry, but you haven’t seen the benefit yet. Just as important as measuring existing social efforts, is knowing the platforms- who uses them and how.

For example, if you are selling fashion, you shouldn’t ignore Pinterest (even if you haven’t seen Pinterest traffic yet, there is great potential). If you write tons of great content on your company blog, don’t ignore Twitter – it’s an information sharing machine! Once you understand each platform, who uses it and how they use it, you will start to see the networks that are right for your company. The below infographic does a great job of giving the typical profile of each network.

Where am I?

Make sure that the buttons you choose are networks that your company can connect with them on. But don’t ignore a social network that meets the other two criteria just because you are not active on it. After measuring your efforts and researching the platforms, you need to consider amping up your engagement on the social networks that rose to the top.

what social buttons to add

26
Apr

What Is Web Accessibility?

When designing your store, you obviously should be focused on your customers’ experience, but what some merchants and designers forget is that not every customer is the same. Beyond just design preferences, a portion of your potential customer-base has different abilities and needs when it comes to being able navigate and interact with the Internet. That is why designing with web accessibility in mind is so important.


What is web accessibility?

Accessibility is the practice of enabling users of all abilities and disabilities to consume content. Individuals with impaired vision, hearing, motor skills, cognition, or some combination of these can require  special hardware/software to navigate the web.

The Web Accessibility Inniative defines it as:

“Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.”

The definition of accessibility has been widened to incorporate other factors that can hinder the experience of a user that does not have a disability, like those who:

  • don’t have the latest browsers and plug-ins;
  • have slow modems, or live in rural areas with limited Internet
  • browse without graphics, using text-only browsers or subscribe to non-graphic services

Why is it important?

7% of the US population is hearing impaired and 4.5% are visually impaired. First and foremost, your customers matter. Every good business puts their customers first and so should your store. Secondly by making your store accessible to all different types of people you open your business up to new customers who appreciate the easy experience you’ve provided.

What can you do?

Here are some simple things you can do today to make sure your store is accessible.

  •  Write Meaningful Page Titles – If you name your pages generic names like ‘Home’  or ‘Main’  a blind person that enters your site will only hear the words “home” or “main” and won’t be aware of the true nature or contents of the site.
  • Describe Images: use alternate text to describe them
  • Use Well-Structure Form: Use headings, lists, paragraphs, to structure your copy
  • Explain Links: Add a description to every link on your page to tell the visitor where the link will take them.
  • Work With JavaScript Disabled/Without Other Plugins – When you make using a plugin or Javascript mandatory, you loose out on users who don’t have the latest updates or are using Browsers that do not allow Javascript.
  • Add Audio To CAPTCHA – You should avoid using CAPTCHA when possible, but if you do use it make sure to include an an audio alternative for people with incapacities.

 

What Is Web Accessibility

23
Apr

Ask The SEO Experts: Photo-Sharing Links, Redesign Affect On SEO

3dcart’s CMO Joe Palko & SEO Manager Bryan Falla answer SEO, PPC, and conversion questions questions submitted by 3dcart merchants. To submit your questions fill out this form: http://blog.3dcart.com/get-your-seo-questions-answered-by-3dcarts-seo-experts/


Q. Which major photo-sharing sites (i.e. Flickr, photobucket, deviantart, imageshack) allow outgoing links?

A.  In terms of dofollow links,  most don’t.  There are basically two reasons:  They are protecting their own “link juice”, and also preventing people from wanting to use them only for the benefit of outbound links.  The exception to that rule is Deviantart whose links are dofollow, however a landing page is put between deviantart and your target page which makes it not as valuable.

BUT that doesn’t mean there is not ways to use photo-sharing to build high-quality links: You can upload original images to Flickr’s  creative commons and ask that if bloggers use your image or photo to place a one way back link to your blog or site. For example:
“Feel free to use this image  for your website or blog as long as you include photo credit with a clickable (hyperlinked) and do-follow link to
blog.3dcart.com.”

It’s the same concept as the embed code used for “sharing” infographics, which pretty much tells people “fee free to share this graphic on your website with this code” and within the code there’s a do-follow backlink embedded.

So you can definitely build backlinks through these sites, but it’s important to understand that it’s more through networking than simply by posting. The backlinks won’t come from the sites themselves but from the people who use these sites.

redesign affects seo

Q. I’ve recently acquired a website that I feel is a bit too busy and might be confusing for some guests. I’m planning to do a redesign and streamline the site, making it more user-friendly. What are the risks in a redesign and what should I concentrate on when rebuilding with SEO in mind?

The only major risk is that the search engines won’t be able to find indexed content. Avoid this by
1. Try to keep the same URLs and site architecture
2. If that’s not possible, make sure all your indexed pages are redirected properly to their new URLs using 301 redirects

As long as the content is the same, you should be fine. On a side note, often times after redesigning a website, rankings will often increase, especially if the site is structured well, gets improved content, and is coded using best practices. I’ve found a nice list of best practices… http://terrymorris.net/bestpractices/

Make sure to register for 3dcart’s free webinar: The New Rules of SEO and check out 3dcart’s SEO services which can help you fast-track your optimization efforts.

3dcart’s CMO Joe Palko & SEO Manager Bryan Falla answer SEO, PPC, and conversion questions questions submitted by 3dcart merchants. To submit your questions fill out this form: http://blog.3dcart.com/get-your-seo-questions-answered-by-3dcarts-seo-experts/

07
Mar

Facebook Connect for Ecommerce: What You Need To Know

Can you think of an online sign-up process that DOESN’T require an email address for completion? Its almost as assumed that a user has an email address, as they do a home address. And with good reason, today almost every online user does. With an email address a merchant can reconnect with users post-purchase, reach out after an abandoned cart  or send them a coupon for their next purchase. While capturing emails adds a layer of communication to you customer relationships, it doesn’t tell you anything additionally about your customers. Email lets you communicate, but not necessarily connect.

However, Facebook Connect can do just that. Facebook Connect allows users to use their Facebook account to connect to third-party sites ( like yours). Facebook explains the significance.

 Facebook Connect is the next iteration of Facebook Platform that allows users to “connect” their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. This will now enable third party websites to implement and offer even more features of Facebook Platform off of Facebook – similar to features available to third party applications today on Facebook.

Connect can be used to bypass the signup process or anywhere you want to add a layer of social content. Connect is a great way to deepen & personalize customer relations.

And don’t worry about hassling your customers – TechCrunch reports that  50% of visitors to ecommerce sites are already logged in to Facebook. And users are becoming more comfortable with the practice: according to Facebook, 30% of its users actively engage with third party websites through Facebook Connect each month.

There also huge advantages Connect offers over traditional sign-in methods:

Identity Authentication

Unlike Twitter and other less personal social networks, Facebook is a stickler for making sure users represent themselves with their real names and real identities. When users login with Facebook Connect in your store they bring their real identity information with them including basic profile information, profile picture, name, friends, photos, events, groups, and more.

Leverage Friends 
Facebook is the ultimate social network with over 500 million users, so you can bet that your customers have Facebook friends with similar interests & shopping habits ;) Facebook Connect allows merchants to add a rich social context to their stores allowing customers to see which of their friends have already created accounts in your store.  Think of how much more inclined to trust your store ( & purchase from it) a customer would be if they saw a friend had also created an account in your store.

Increase Registrations

There are a ton of reasons why merchants and developers LOVE Connect, but so do customers. Customers love bypassing long sign-up processes with just one-click. The ease of use can result in HUGE increases in registrations. Just how huge? Facebook reports that sites that use Facebook Connect see a 30% to 200% increase in site registrations

Gain More Reviews

Not only are customers more likely to complete the registration process, the ease of signing in with Connect makes it easier for returning customers to review your products. Facebook claims that sites using Connect see 15% to 100% increases in user generated content like comments and product reviews. And we all know how valuable reviews are in ecommerce!

Stay tuned for more posts on how to leverage Facebook Connect for your 3dcart store!

12
Dec

3dcart Inspiration On eCommerceDeveloper

Creating a well-designed store with 3dcart is simple! With 3dcart, you can fully customize your online store using images, HTML/CSS, javascript, and flash so the design options are endless! Some other design friendly aspects of 3dcart shopping cart software are:

  • Zoom Technology for Displaying High-Resolution Images: If you have high quality image of your products, your store can include a “Zoom” feature to each of your item’s images.
  • Fully-Customizable Product Pages: 3DCart’s unique template design lets you have complete control over the layout of your product pages.
  • Fully-Customizable Category Pages: 3DCart’s unique template design lets you have complete control over the layout of your category pages.
  • Unlimited Images for Products with Flash Image Gallery: Upload unlimited images to each product and create an image gallery with the click of a button!
  • Breadcrumbs and intuitive navigation.
  • FTP Access to HTML Files
  • Featured Products” on Homepage and Category Pages: Display items on sale on your home page and categories with the click of an option. Change items monthly, weekly or hourly if you like
  • WYSIWYG Editor for Categories, Products and Content Pages: Use the built in web editor to add/edit content. Much like Microsoft Word, the editor is very simple to use and can be used to build and edit complex web-based documents without actually typing a word of HTML!

Learn more about 3dcart’s design features here!

ECommerceDeveloper.com  just published a showcase of some of our most well-designed stores! Check it out!

ecommerce design gallery, designing on 3dcart