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The end of Magento 1: a fresh start 

The end of Magento 1: a fresh start 

“Why should I upgrade my Magento 1 store, and what would happen if I don’t?”

Sometimes it seems that time lasts forever, but the next thing you know it’s already June 2020. Remember this month, business owner, because it’s your deadline to migrate from the first version of Magento 1 to the Magento of a new generation. In case you have any other important tasks to accomplish, at least read this article to know what would happen if you decide to keep things unchanged. 

As any self-respecting company, Magento wanted to bring to its customers an entirely new business journey. Thus, in November 2015 it launched Magento 2, the long-awaited modernization of ecommerce system, which consists of the coolest new features and advanced technologies. Ever since, lots of retailers and brands have experienced all the benefits that Magento presented. But now we need to move on: the rumors about the end of life of Magento 1 have appeared with the launch of Magento 2. These dramatic changes brought up lots of questions, so let’s make everything clear. 

No support for Magento 1 Open Source & Commerce

The rumors became facts. On February 5, 2019 business owners who used Magento 1 got warning emails from Magento Adobe company about the end of a free version in June 2020. Some retailers and brands rushed to migrate like early birds, but thousands of others decided to bask in the rays of the setting sun. 

Here are quotes from Joe Ayyoub, Director of Support Operations in Magento company:

For Magento Commerce 1 (formerly known as Enterprise Edition):

For Magento Commerce 1, we are providing software support through June 2020. Depending on your version, software support may include both quality fixes and security patches. Please review our Magento Software Lifecycle Policy to see how your version of Magento Commerce 1 is supported.

For Magento Open Source 1 (formerly known as Community Edition):

For Magento Open Source 1, we are providing software security patches through June 2020 to ensure those sites remain secure and compliant. Please visit our Legal Terms page and review our Magento Open Source Software Maintenance Policy to see which versions of Magento Open Source 1 continue to receive software security maintenance. 

So, no doubt, if you’re still building your business on Magento 1, you have some time to migrate to Magento 2 or find any other platform. 

Also, some clients were managing their online store for so long that they don’t even remember which version of Magento they use. Here’s a hint: you can check it by logging into the Magento Admin and scrolling to the bottom of the page. The version that your platform is running on will be shown at the center of the footer. 

The meaning for clients

There is such a thing as End of Life (EOL) for CMS systems. This is the moment when the older version is no longer supported by the company or the community that created it, and all efforts will be focused on the current and future versions. Usually, when support period of Magento 1 ends, it is announced long before a new version, so clients have time to rebuild their platform or migrate to a new version of the system.

Speaking of our theme, if in 2018 some company offers you to create a site on Magento 1 Open Source or Community, don’t be naive. This is the same as making a site on WordPress 3 versions now: irrelevant, unpromising, and totally outdated. 

The business owners who choose to ignore the information about EOL of Magento 1 might find that their project is going to be broken and hacked. Let’s explore in details what features and options will be down, if you decide to oversleep June 2020.

Security issues

It’s always disturbing to be hacked or have security breaches, and it’s one of the most important reasons to start your migration. Nowadays, the developers in Magento company are actively looking for limitations and fixing them. It means that once you’ve updated your online store, your data is protected. After June 2020, Magento won’t have any obligations to send you reports about any suspicious activity. And that’s when all the doors will open for hunting hackers, who dream about finding your security holes. Get ready for spam, denial-of-service attacks, malicious links, and other “pleasures” of unsecured life. 

As a business owner, you’re responsible for the protection of your customers’ private information and payment details. Without migration to the latest version, you might not be the one to trust. And ruining your reputation can happen in a blink of an eye. 

No more support for the platform

At the beginning of the summer 2020, there will be no official support for Magento developers or clients. Thus, if there are any technical problems with your online store, it will be hard for you to fix them without headaches because you’ll have to refer to community support and forums. The reputation is fragile: if customers are unable to buy something for even half an hour, this could have a huge impact on your store. So, you ought to have support that you could trust and which will be there for you 24/7.

Features and functionality

Overexpectation is the worst. When your customer has a reliance on quick and easy online shopping, you’d better be that one brand that can provide this experience. For example, if you can’t manage a quick and effortless checkout process, don’t be surprised if your audience will leave your platform and flock to your competitors. 

Magento has said that they will no longer release quality fixes for Magento Open Source and some support for Magento Commerce 1. This means that clients who leave their migration until the last moment might find that functionality bit by bit becomes broken from the lack of maintenance. As a result, your platform will not be so user-friendly anymore. 

On top of broken functionality, clients need to get used to the fact that there will be no further improvements to existing core features. This means that it’s doubtful that they will be able to compete with other market players.  

The modern extensions 

The key to a great ecommerce strategy is an enjoyable user journey and shopping experience. Our online life moves so rapidly and sometimes even unpredictably, so any successful player needs to have an ability to adapt. The latest features, optimized design and branding, and intelligent micro-interactions improve usability, and much more. 

Magento 2 announced that all the most important features and functions rolled out to certain versions of Magento will only cover the core platform, not any enhancements, extensions, or modifications. Thus, without maintenance, all the extensions are unlikely to become compatible with any new patches released to the core platform. And if you don’t have regular security procedures, your platform is no longer safe from hackers.   

You may think that any problems with your online store can be fixed by a proper team of developers. But the truth is that the specialists who read the news in their sphere of activity won’t want to invest their time in fixing and managing an outdated CMS. 

The main question

It’s, of course, migrate or not? If you’re still considering it, take a quick look at the top reasons why migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is a great idea: 

  • You’re unsatisfied with your online store performance (user experience, speed, management);
  • You even have an outdated version of Magento 1 (the one before Open Source  1.8 and Commerce 1.13 edition);
  • It’s the right time to redesign your online platform;
  • The installation of security patches is available only till the end of Magento 1, and you care about them;
  • You decided to go omnichannel and ran into difficulties in inventory management.

These are not all the reasons why you’d better think about making your online life easier and modern by migrating to Magento 2. 

Conclusion

If your website is still using Magento 1, it means that it doesn’t have much time to keep rocking. The closer you get to the hot June deadline, the more agencies and developers will be booked delivering services to your competitors. There is one essential axiom in business: if you want your project to grow, you have to keep investing in it. All these new tools and features that improve customer experience are worth every penny spent. 

The end-of-life of Magento 1 is irreversible, so let’s celebrate the new opportunities! 

The review of xt:Commerce: the pros and cons for online stores

The review of xt:Commerce: the pros and cons for online stores

Speaking about trends: the xt:Commerce platform is highly popular in Germany. 3497 of the 4408 xt:Commerce - working online stores are using this system in Germany the FRG region. And there is nothing surprising: the product of the German market bases its marketing and advertising campaigns 90% on the national market. Since it’s difficult to compete with worldwide leaders like WordPress, and Joomla, the domestic market is much more comfortable to serve: a rich history, lack of language barriers, a studied audience, and cultured community. Despite the high level of professionals in Germany, the amount of complaints is increasing. The clients are not completely satisfied about migration process, the problems that appear after updates, the introduction of additional functionality, when testing performance, etc. 

Thus, if you already have the xt:Commerce store or you are planning to create one on this CMS, let’s dive into this topic to explore some pitfalls that may appear. Is it too different from the competitors, what opportunities it opens up in online commerce, and what problems it creates for online stores? Let’s make this long story short and useful. 

The latest xt:Commerce products

The company has a line of versions, which demonstrates a tendency in the development of technology with each update. Today, in terms of functionality and capabilities, the following remain relevant:

xt:Commerce 4.x (Veyton)

Supports: PHP 5, MySQL

Perhaps this is the most popular company’s; version. In 2011, when version 4 was released, it had virtually no analogs in terms of capabilities and functionality in the German market. It was one of the first to provide modular content customization, Smarty Template Engine. Open source is the benefit of almost every version of xt:Commerce.

It is also good to note a large number of plugins and the normal operation of all systems. During the existence of version 4, the community actively helped the company make Veyton an optimal platform for creating and developing small and medium-sized businesses on the Internet. And today, the information base, which has been rebuilt on the errors and decisions of version 4, remains relevant and allows you to quickly solve problems and issues that arise at all stages of working with the site.

However, regarding modern realities, version 4 is frankly outdated. Without the support of JS, PHP 7 versionversion 7 of PHP, a simplified architecture and arrays of redundant code, the performance, capabilities, and prospects of version 4 in 2019/2020 are very mediocre.

xt:Commerce 5.x

Supports: PHP 7.2, MySQL 5.6 and 5.7

This is a more progressive version, which is significantly superior to the 4th. xt:Commerce 5.x already has an adaptive template, a built-in slider by default, the increased performance of all components. Also, all the most popular plugins are developed for version 5, and the SEO functionality is updated (now it’s included in the basic page setup) and much more.

Today it’s the best option from the xt:Commerce line because version 6 still requires improvements and raises a lot of noise among the community after updates.

xt:Commerce 6 FREE and PRO

Supports: PHP 7.3, MySQL 5.6 and 5.7

This version was released in 2018 with the support of the Klarna system. Here are some cons: a free interface for working with content, SOAP, a new type of xtAdmin, scripts and plugins for quick migration from 4.x and 5.x versions to 6, as well as free access and installation of version 6. The free version becomes paid in case you need to place more than one store.

Despite all these advantages, the 5th and 4th versions remain the most popular. And here are why: 

  1. The 6th version still contains bugs and vulnerabilities, which is why the sites aren’t updated to the latest version.
  2. The customers are satisfied with the work of the current site, implemented in 2011-2018 in versions 4 or 5. There is no need to update and expand functionality. Often these are small online stores with a limited product range, as well as regional offices that sell products in a particular city or region and don’t have a high level of competition.
  3. The website owners don’t follow the trends and don’t engage in store development. They feel fine about the current layout and don’t bother with the development of marketing and commercial tools in outdated versions of xt:Commerce.
  4. To migrate to version 6, you need to organize the process itself. And this is time, money, and energy-consuming. Also, sometimes, the client can't find the crucial reason to start it. 

However, statistics show that over the past 2 years in the DACH region, the xt:Commerce system hast lost more than 700 stores to such giants like  had lost more than has been replaced by more than 700 stores in favor of such giants as stores, mainly with Shopware, Magento, and OXID. Here’s not a rhetorical question: why?

The problems that hinder the development of stores 

Working on new projects into development or marketing, our company experts conduct a mandatory audit which evaluates the technical, marketing and production parameters of xt:Commerceyour websites. This is the so-called basic acquaintance, which allows you to analyze the prospects for the development of your project.

After analyzing more than 200 sites on the xt:Commerce platform, as well as going through many hours of searching for solutions when working with open source code on specialized forums, we compiled a list of the most “vulnerable” places of the system that impede store development on the Internet:

         1. Slow page loading speed. 

A common problem for all categories: home, catalog, product page, blog page, etc. Today, the issue of page loading speed is one of the important points in the development of your project. Google marks this parameter in a number of key ways when promoting a website on the Internet. And, unfortunately, xt:Commerce didn’t provide tools for optimizing pages for download speed. It means that you can’t solve this problem without a specialist.

         2. Low productivity. 

This is one of the important criteria why large online retailers rarely choose xt:Commerce. Carrying out load testing of the project, you can count on up to 3000 one-time visits, after which the sessions show errors and problems with download speed. In the worst scenario, the website may completely fall and remain inaccessible until you manually solve the reboot issue.

         3. The lack of an adaptive version or its incorrect operation. 

Earlier stores on versions 4 and 5 have a frequent problem with mobile adaptation. Either it’s absent, or it has a large number of bugs, lack of hyphenation in layout, and incorrectly working functionality that interferes with the normal operation of the site. And this is the loss of potential customers and company income, as well as reputation in the eyes of customers. Also, it causes big problems with the SEO-promotion of the storeresource.

         4. Weakly developed community.

Yes, xt:Commerce has information- tech support, as well as an open platform for communication and collective problem-solving. However, there is no 100% probability that they will answer the question asked. In fact, when studying topics, you will find dozens of comments that were ignored and themes with a flood. Silence on the forum is also one of the problems that you or your programmer will encounter when working on a project on the xt:Commerce platform.

         5.There are no basic SEO tools. 

For example, to fill the Sitemap on a site, you need to install a plug-in additionally or involve a specialist. For example such platforms as Shopware and Magento Unlike Shopware, which provides basic functionality for this task, theseis systems don’tesn't supply with such an opportunity. Of course, everything can be installed and configured through plugins. However, the problem of synchronization and errors between plugins in xt:Commerce, as in other CMS, has not been solved yet. Therefore, the more basic functions will be embedded in the platform’s functionality, the fewer synchronization problems you will have in the future.

         6. Doubles formation. 

This CMS is prone to forming duplicate pages: from filters, categories, pagination, etc. This creates problems with the uniqueness of the content, induces difficulties for the SEO promotiondepartment, and generally indicates a “not healthy” websiteresource.

         7. Problems after the upgrade. 

When updating a CMS-system to a new version (not migration), often there are problems with the synchronization of plugins, as well as the correct running of the functionsal. Many xt:Commerce users complain about this problem in the official support forum. The caching problem is especially relevant. There could be problems with cleaning the cached data after updating. It means that the updates on the site aren’t displayed. Therefore, it’s important to have paid access to xt:Commerce tech support.

These are the main difficulties that you might face when deploying a site on xt:Commerce. There is one more nuance that may please someone or upset: the company plans to convert the platform into a closed-source format. After that, the ability to create a variety of resources will decrease and, possibly, the system performance will increase. But we can just be wondering.

xt:Commerce - could it be better?

In general, this is the 14th most popular platform among all ecommerce CMS systems in the DACH region, and the 15th most popular in Germany. This system provides the necessary set of functions and capabilities for creating and developing SMBsmall and medium-sized online stores. Its main advantage is the low cost. This parameter makes it very attractive in the eyes of a new business. A large number of plugins and solutions developed for all occasions, accelerate the process of creating a template and popular functions on the site, as well as allow you to use marketing and sales tools. However, when compared with more popular platforms in Germany, xt:Commerce loses in the creation of statistics, the provision of analytical data, and the speed of solving technical problems.

Since 2017, there has been a tendency to migrate from xt:Commerce to more advanced platforms in the chase of marketing and technology. Today it’s not enough to have a website with a product card and an online-shop carta basket. The intense competition imposes the need to use built-in marketing tools, such as statistics, the implementation of a loyalty system, mailing lists, and other strategies for increasing sales. All of these are provided by the leaders of the ecommerce CMS segment in Germany. You can find out who they are, what they offer, and on what conditions they work from our article “TOP-7 CMS in Germany”.

Promotion of the online store of handmade purses, bags and leather accessories

Promotion of the online store of handmade purses, bags and leather accessories

Service: Comprehensive SEO promotion

Subject: Online store of designer accessories and home goods

Region: Germany

Duration: 6 months (June 2018 - December 2018)

 

Initial site data before promotion:

Traffic per month: 360

Conversions per month: 0.49%

Bounce rate: 64.7%

Promotion goals:

Increase the profitability of your online business:

traffic increase;

failure rate reduction;

conversion rate increase to 2 or more.

Increase brand awareness

First of all, we agreed that now is the best period for optimization for the New Year and high demand seasons.

Project development strategy:

Our task was to promote a brand website which is well-known only among the small circle of people. We decided to connect SMM to search engine promotion to visualize the logo and work on memorability.

The first step was to do a comprehensive audit to identify all the problems that would prevent the resource from effective development:

- page loading speed is critically low;

- there were sources of formation of duplicate URL;

- unclosed spam and non-informative pages from indexing;

- the description wasn’t displayed on the page;

- buttons, menu links, navigation were wrapped in H1-H2 headers;

- there wasn’t micro-marking.

Due to the analysis of competitors, we offered the usability and design improvements which created the best user experience. We compiled a full technical task for programmers and recommended it to the client for improvements. Also, while we worked to eliminate the found technical problems, the work on internal optimization was proceeding:

Collecting a full semantic core: we offered to expand the site structure, as well as expand the production line based on existing market demand.

Work on the content: expanding existing and optimizing key phrases.

Work on the blog: we decided to do the content marketing, and create informational and marketing forms of capturing demand through publications.

Work with a reference profile.

It was easy to work with the client. He enthusiastically tried all the recommendations and innovations, such as expanding the structure, developing a new line of products (watch straps, passport covers, bow-ties, suspenders), running accounts on the social networks, and even writing interesting trust articles about products, and skincare.

Based on the seasonality, we created and pre-promoted thematic sections like New Year's gifts, Birthday presents, etc. As a result, we got the first results within a month after the start of optimization. And then every month, the upward trend was increasing.

Results:

Traffic per month: 4,200

Conversions per month: 5.12%

Bounce Rate: 38.7%

Brand recognition was rated by the keys with the brand name. From 2 per month, demand rose to 80-100 according to Google.

Until November 2019, we are continuing to work on the project. The client decided to switch from the template to a unique design; change the CMS to Shopware. Our optimization and crowd marketing strategy is at the finalization stage, as well as increase the amount of backlinks.

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

“Now I’m ready to get a clear conclusion about whether my website is working due to my expectations or not.”

The insights are priceless. Reading our blog, we hope now you realize that there is a lot to explore and optimize before turning your mind to everyday management. Sure, all of us want everything to be completed, and we want it now. But as every mom used to say: no sweet without some sweat. Thus, the business owners who spend time on detailed study and understanding of the project’s challenges are more likely to unveil the potential benefits which help them to move in the right direction. And, the most important: never look back. 

For those who want to be the same kind of business owner described above, we performed an example of a basic audit. It helps you to spot the crucial changes which can help you to make your website a strong enough player in online competition. So, get ready to order a free audit, and upgrade your project.

The example of a basic audit

To remind you about an audit purpose: now we’re going to identify current errors, problem areas and stoppers for the normal development of your project in search engines. Also, we will check problems that lead to the rejection of purchase, to a drop in demand and a decrease in other conversion actions. Evaluation begins! 

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

Evaluation of indexing and technical files

This would be our first step. Analysis and evaluation of these parameters show whether your website is seen in search engines, and how many landing pages can be delivered to a potential customer. Incorrect operation of one of the technical files can have a catastrophic effect on your website, or even create an obstacle to its entry into the index. It’s practically online death. In this case, the potential audience simply won’t find a link to the site for targeted requests. Therefore, our main task here is checking the Google search results (indexation) and technical files to stay alive online. 

Assessment of the formation of site’s URLs

Then, we estimate the formation of links to the requirements of search engines. Google has certain preferences and wishes for how the URL should look like and which it won’t help to advance in the top SERPs. 

When all URLs on the site are prepared according to the basic rules, visitors can easily find all the information needed. The users don’t mind to share correct links on social networks, forums, and even on their websites. Too long URLs that contain an unclear set of symbols scare the audience away. It may decide that such pages consist viruses, even though there are no other signs of flaws. 

Everything needs to be done right from the very first day after the site is filled with content. If you change the URL when your resource is popular, the pages will be removed from the search results for a while, as it takes time to reindex them.

Also, if you change the structure of links on an already trusted resource, you can lose some of the traffic, especially clicks from other sites.

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

The website loading speed: mob + web

As we said before and reinforced our opinion by statistics, people hate waiting. If only your website is not the one which sells long-awaited tickets to Comic-Con, potential customers will be gone for good without saying good-bye. That's why, using a specialized service, we check the speed of page loading for the audience. This is one of the important parameters in the promotion because sites that load for a long time bore users and generously give their potential customers to the competitors.

There is a generally accepted norm for the download speed of the desktop and mobile versions. We evaluate each landing page by basic parameters. 

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

Evaluation of the mobile/adaptive version of the site

The mobile version of the site is separately evaluated: since 2018, it has the same significance as the desktop version (and in some cases, it’s in priority). As we said in our previous article, nowadays it’s crucial to be mobile-friendly. The websites without the mobile version lose 2070% of the traffic, the trust of the search engines and can’t count on high positions on the pages.

When analyzing the mobile version, we evaluate the key parameters and the moments of adaptation that are significant for promotion.

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

404 page (design + tech parameters)

Oops, something goes wrong. There are more than 30 reasons for the occurrence of 404 error pages. This frequent and, unfortunately, systematic action is one of the major tasks for the SEO specialist. After our audit, you will receive a list of broken website elements. And if you work them out, you can improve your website’s relationships with the search engines. 

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

Search for duplicates

URL is different, but the content of the pages is the same. Sounds like fine? Just a couple of identical pages on your website. But the same content may fall under the filters of search engines. To avoid this, you need to know how to get rid of the duplicates. Page duplications are very dangerous in terms of SEO. They reduce page uniqueness and they are critically perceived by search engines and can lead to serious losses in ranking and even get into a ban. 

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

Website security assessment (Vulnerability Search)

Any site can be attacked, regardless of size and commercialization. Before, the “war of technologies” and cyber espionage were mainly a problem of large corporations, entire countries, or spy movies. Nowadays these methods are quite often used in small and medium-sized businesses. As a result, the resource loses its working capacity, and confidential user data is endangered. For you, this means financial losses and a bad reputation. 

The website security audit, or checking the site for vulnerabilities, is a series of procedures aimed at ensuring the stable operation of a web resource, data security, and reducing risks. If you're not a fan of this type of headache, it's necessary to systematically conduct security testing and do not neglect the installation of protection on your projects.

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

The work of communication forms and a cart

On this phase, we test contact forms, create applications, and calls to evaluate all channels of potential customers' calls. Often identified the problems of non-working forms on some operating systems, in the conditions of making unforeseen data, or in other circumstances. Also, if there are untested bugs in the cart (the form is not sent, information filling fields have errors, etc.) that prevent the application from being processed, you can say “goodbye” to your potential client. Automatically like an error. 

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

Basic SEO audit of key parameters

Evaluation of basic SEO tools. Their presence, uniqueness, the use of keywords, and the correctness of formation are checked by ordering our free audit. All these points help to rate the quality of the internal optimization, and the work of the SEO specialist. It also helps to identify the causes of low traffic or its absence in general.

Ecommerce practice: performing free SEO audit

What’s next?

It’s crucially important to notice all the problems right on time. To our customers who have ordered SEO, first of all, we conduct a comprehensive audit to make sure that further promotion challenge will be successful. When conducting an audit of your project, we use several services and specialized programs that allow you to get complete statistics and accurate results. 

You will receive a file with more than 20 evaluation parameters and recommendations that you can apply to improve your website performance. Also, you will get the additional files with found errors. For example, with a list of 404 errors.

After having done this free basic audit, you can explore the checklist, analyze it, and give it to the programmers, and SEO specialist for revision. If there are more than 10 errors have been identified, we recommend you to perform a full comprehensive audit. It will allow you to evaluate the website’s condition from all sides, identify all current problems and create recommendations for improving the situation for promotion. 

All you need to do to start upgrading your project is to follow a link and fill the form. Text us a link to your website and your email where we will send the results as soon as possible. 

Get no obligations, burn no bridges!

Everyday SEO: back to basics

“I’ve heard various things about what means SEO, and now I’m ready to know about it all.”

As you know, nothing happens by a wave of a magic wand, and to be whatever you want to be in the business is all about theories and practice. However, in this article, you will explore the indispensable tool that literally makes wonders in the promotion of the websites. 

There is an opinion that only high-quality and trendy content is enough for successful promotion and no magic is needed to be in the top search results. Today you will get an answer why you shouldn’t neglect what is called Search Engine Optimization even if you’re the content superhero. 

What is SEO? SEO optimization is the art and science of increasing the number and quality of visitors to your platform. The fact is that SEO mostly revolves around Google search engine optimization today, and according to the researches websites on the first page of it receive almost 95% of clicks, and more traffic. No doubt, it’s worth exploring further. 

A little story about SEO

Most of the online businesses know that SEO is often-used service that increases your searching rates and quality visitors on the website. But what lies behind this formal definition? Now we’re not going to delve into the history of the SEO, because we mainly intrigued about its everyday effectivity. However, it’s never superfluous to find out more about what’s called SEO origins. 

Remember the times when the word “google” wasn’t used as a verb, and the search engines were something brand new? Google, Yandex, Yahoo, Bing and dozens of others are our everyday help to the different questions: from the meaning of life to the daily routine. Thankfully, nowadays we don’t need to carry hundreds of paper sheets trying not to forget about important stuff, or lost inherited recipes. Finally, we live in the period of the easiest source for obtaining new information.  

Despite being fairly young, SEO sphere changes steadily. Some people argue that it was born with the launch of the first website back in 1991. Others say it happened when the first web search engine saw a light a bit later, in 1997. The matter of fact that future search giants like Google started to see benefits and opportunities for creating more relevant content for users and upgrading the Internet to the one we know today. Bringing more and more updates, SEO evolved from a single-celled organism into the adaptive system that stays alive. 

About job opportunities. The prosperity of the Internet marketing gave us the number of professions, and one of them is an SEO specialist. As you already know, it’s highly important for your project to be on the first pages. So, for your site to rise in results, it should be interesting to users and cause "trust" in the search system by matching its algorithms for selecting the most reliable and high-quality sites. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this while SEO optimizer exists. His main calling is to set up the interaction of the site and search engines. 

Everyday SEO: back to basics

Europe is searching

Let’s return to the modern days. Still, the one and only, Google is ruling force, and no other search engine can compete in influence on the world market. But lots of people in Europe can agree that there are some notable players. For example, Bing is on the top second place in Germany, and then goes Yahoo. There are about 750 million people in Europe, and due to the data published by Eurostat, 84% of the population spend time online. And even if the small percent of the whole audience use alternative search engines, the targeting on those people could be very profitable. 

No matter which one, all the search engines are constantly improving their algorithms. A lot of changes have appeared, based on which we can conclude which ranking factors are relevant in 2019 and the coming years. 

Factors truly matter

Website ranking factors are the estimated parameters of the search engine, which calculate the significance of the site’s pages and determine their position in the organic search results. The largest search engines today operate with thousands of such factors. It is an interesting fact: precise information cannot be found, since it is kept as a top secret.

But through the theory and practice, we can identify the main categories. Let's take a look: 

Commercial factors

Everything we do is for the customers. So, your website must be useful and convenient for users. Are there contact details on the site, location map, terms of delivery of goods, additional communication methods, the possibility of a callback, free/paid delivery? They should be. Thanks to these factors, it is determined how much the audience trusts your project and do they ready to click the buy button.

Textual factors

Thankfully, the days of messy posts and chaotic articles are gone. Now lots of businesses understand the importance of the content presentation, its correctness, and relevance. Even more, to draw up a clear content plan for the next few months is no longer “overtime” but a regular part of the strategy. Thus, it is necessary to work on expanding the semantic reach of the resource and constantly fill your platform with new publications. This provides improved visibility in organic search, increase the trust of search engines, help to grow the natural link mass, and expand the constant audience of your website. Makes sense: fresh, up-to-date content has more chances to appear above older pages.

Link factors

Recently, the significance of links has been decreasing more and more since it became less important than factors such as behavioral, commercial, etc. Instead of buying low-quality links on the exchanges and risking to be filtered, it's better to engage in link building and crowd marketing. Now more than ever, people hate spam. Instead of automatically collecting hundreds of spam links, it's preferred to use active posting on forums, make contacts with popular bloggers, and build a reputation on external resources. You'd better think twice when you choose the sites for competent link building. The response of your audience, as well as the reaction of search engines to such promotion,  depends on their quality, attendance, specialization, and convenience.

Behavioral factors

And again about the wisdom of our life. Despite the rational and critical thinking, people still rely on emotions while making purchases or checking something new. Thus, the importance of behavioral factors doesn’t need to be neglected. Make the user journey smooth and unforgettable! As a plus, the behavior of users on the site also compares well with positions in the organic. The factors such as "time spent on the site", "number of views", and "bounce rate" (a metric that measures a percent of people on your website who do nothing on the page) are likely influence on the positions. Even if we know that Google denies using them due to the presence of "noise" in the samples and insufficient statistical certainty.

Trust factors

Who we are if we can’t trust each other? This rhetorical question leads us to the degree of trust to your platform. The trust can include the age of the site, direct transitions to the site, the average position of the site’s pages, the number of sessions and the number of actions, the variety of website traffic, etc. Here’s a hint: direct traffic is most strongly correlated with positions in organic search engine results pages (SERPs.) That is, if users go directly to the site, this is a good sign of the high authority of the site for search engines. 

Phases of SEO

The full SEO-strategy consists of phases that are built based on the impact on ranking factors. It means that if you know how search engines rate websites or why they promote or ban them, you can influence this process. For example, Google’s search engine has the algorithm with cute name Panda, which evaluates a website based on several factors related to the content, logical structure, key spamming, and others. If the website uses non-unique content copied from competitors, this is fraught with a gradual decrease in positions and, after all, ban.

In general, what does SEO promotion stand for can be divided into three phases which are an influence on the internal and external ranking factors. Let’s get to know them better: 

Off page optimization

Those times when the increase in site traffic was achieved by moving users from random sites or by purchasing more links than competitors have long gone. According to recent studies, links are only 10% of all search engine ranking algorithms. However, links are still useful, and they can increase the performance of your platform and the trust of the audience. 

On this phase, you can use the links from any resources, social media, and other marketing activities outside your own website. Doesn't matter are they paid or free, in both cases, your links should be as natural as possible in order not to annoy neither users, neither search engines.

If your strategy goals include not only the rise of traffic but also much more crucial things such as conversion and profit, then you can't make it without internal website optimization.

On page optimization

So, if you want your site to keep or start rocking, using only links is not enough. Internal website optimization factors are all those you can influence from within your actual website. These are content-related things, code, and technical aspects.

Never get tired of repeating that your website’s content must be unique, useful and structured. Here’s a hint: it should also be free from the main mistakes such as spam (adding too many keywords) and highlighting keywords in bold.

Few hints about code. The pages should contain meta tags: title, description, H1 heading, h2-h6 subheadings, and the content should be formatted using lists, subheadings, and pictures.

And, finally, there are lots of technical aspects that you need to pay attention to. For example, you need to correctly configure the robots.txt file, sitemap, page loading speed, indexing, and URL format on your platform. If you have already tried to optimize your website, you are probably familiar with many of these terms. However, we recommend learning the basics of SEO promotion not only to those owners who want to do promo by themselves but also ones who decide to hire SEO-specialists to help. Anyway, it could help create a future marketing strategy. 

Analysis

For effective promotion and development of your website, you need to know its strengths and weaknesses to not to get into the soup. As we wrote in our previous article, to identify the pros and cons of your project can comprehensive audit. 

Website analysis is a full-cycle process that requires experience and time. But it definitely worth it because you can find out all about current semantic core, reference mass, and general visibility across all types of requests. It also evaluate structure, content, and usability. 

Based on the collected data, your website is compared with the necessary parameters. After that, specialists develop a promotion strategy. This stage is one of the most important, because it sets the tone for all subsequent work. If it’s done poorly, this will adversely affect the further phases, no matter how flawlessly they are performed.

Everyday SEO: back to basics

And as a result...

Well, we have to say that separating the internal and external SEO is an ineffective task. To get the maximum result, both of these methods should work together, and in this case, they mutually reinforce each other. The main hint here is: before you start purchasing links or, for example, launching advertising campaigns on the Internet, that is, starting an external promotion, be sure to conduct internal optimization: put the site in order, this will lead to better results.

Also, the properly managed promotion allows you to achieve the first results within a month or two after the start of optimization. And keep in mind that SEO is a long-term relationship service. It means when you notice a positive tendency, you have to continue to support it. The uniform growth and development of the project allow you to take the desired positions for a long time.

The main wisdom here that the systematic service like SEO works on you only when you work on it. And if you stop devote time to it, the main performance indicators will soon stop delight you. 

Key performance indicators

Conversion is understood as the achievement of a specific goal, it can be a purchase, filling out and submitting a form, downloading a file, ordering a callback, etc. The conversion rate is calculated by the formula and is expressed as a percentage: how many of the total number of users made a purchase. 

As you can see, this is a fairly simple indicator in calculating, which is one of the most important for the business. SEO can demonstrate very well what effect these or those changes on the site provide for the business.

Traffic

Attendance is the most obvious and required parameter for tracking, which is relevant for any type of project. In fact, all other indicators in one way or another depend on it, and the change in traffic (in quantitative and qualitative terms) affects almost any other indicator.

Attendance data can be obtained from Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrica or through reports through third-party services, for example, SEO-Reports (for those who consider ordinary analytics too overloaded). You can track changes in traffic over time, compare periods with each other, see the ratio of new visitors to returnees and the distribution of traffic across channels. 

Leads

Sure, the absolute number of conversions is a highly important thing. But, for the business to remain profitable, it is important not only to know how many targeted actions the potential customers took but also how much resources were spent on obtaining these results. This allows you to understand the return on working with a particular channel. We are talking about leads. Leads are an integral part of revenue growth. The best way to measure the growth of potential website customers is by checking the email registrations, filling out forms and other indicators, depending on how the site collects its future customers. Growth here could mean a serious increase in profits.

To turn the number of customers ready for contact into a real amount, you need to calculate how much each lead for business costs. This can be done by looking at how many potential buyers are converted, what is the price tag for an average sale.

Key positions

It is unlikely that someone wants to wake up one day and find out that the position of your website has markedly dropped. There are two main reasons why you need to check key positions and how this “SEO abbreviation” can solve this problem. 

First, using SEO service, you can measure the effectiveness of website promotion. Any actions of an SEO specialist can lead to results. Changes can also affect individual keywords, individual pages, and the whole site. To be able to analyze the actions that led to certain changes, it is necessary to track positions.

Secondly, it’s great to be farsighted and aware of the immediate prospects and necessary efforts. The site page in the first positions and the last even in the top 10 brings a very different amount of traffic. If you want to always know how your site works and achieve more, then determine for yourself a couple of dozens of the most important requests and monitor their progress in search engines.

Here’s a hint: to check positions by keys, it is necessary to gather a semantic core. Using all the phrases that just popped into your head, you won’t get real statistics about positions. So, you can use Google services or other paid tools to collect keywords. 

Who needs SEO

So, now you know more about SEO and how search engines closely connected to this service. It is like a guard whose aim is making sure that your website is useful, technically complete, post the delicious content, uses words that people type in search, and provides a smooth user experience. But not every type of business needs this kind of guard, so let’s take a look and find yourself in a list:

Ecommerce

More traffic more conversions. Properly managed product pages for key requests are a guarantee that the target audience will find your website earlier than a competitor’s store and become a customer.

Service websites

For companies that offer services, the essential thing is regional promotion. Qualitatively collected geo-requests and their distribution on the website pages help to improve the delivery of your project to target audience in the chosen region.

Corporate websites

Brand promotion works on recognition and image. The success of promoting corporate sites depends on the right strategy. SEO is an ideal service for manufacturing companies that need to be remembered and take a strong position in their niche.

Information websites

News portals, teaching platforms, personal blogs: all of them also need SEO to grow targeted traffic. The high-quality content and proper resource structuring are key nuances in working with such type of business.

Startups

New websites usually struggling for first lines in the search, but reaching the top is possible. For this type, it is necessary to work out the structure, and internal optimization at the resource creation stage, use the correct semantics and choose a strategy, depending on their goals.

What goes around comes around

If you want to go with the times, and spend efforts on your online business, go SEO. Think about competitors: if they use professional SEO support, so without connecting this service to your platform, you will stay far behind. Also, good news: SEO is considered as the cheapest source of orders if you pump it. It means that if you invest in it, SEO brings the target audience for a penny. If you compare SEO, RRS (Rich site summary), SMM (Social media marketing), and other forms of Internet marketing, SEO gives the cheapest traffic. 

Sounds reasonable to us.

 

New Article gbcoding.de about SEO

Basic reasons why your website doesn’t get more sales

Basic reasons why your website doesn’t get more sales

“I’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and all my family savings on my business. Is it all for nothing?“ 

There is no saddest thing for a business as an abandoned website that isn't bringing in customers. Don’t blame yourself: even the best players face such problems because of fast-growing competition on the market. Either you sell luxury jewelry or craft voodoo dolls, you mustn’t forget that your website is the face of your business, your online reason to exist. 

If your website is converting 5% this month, without any changes, it will remain the same the next month and who knows how many months after. You have to improve your project, and you have to do it today. There can be a lot of reasons why your website isn’t making money and how to get more online sales. So, take a deep breath and focus on finding your tricky mistakes and getting tips to improve your conversion rate and start to sell.   

So, let’s head down the main reasons’ rabbit hole and find the way out. 

The conversion increases online sales

It takes about 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your page that determines whether they keep looking or leave for good. Thus, be careful: the tiniest thing can make the audience bounce off your site. All the reasons: long-loaded pages, not clear and concise brand messages, the background that overpowers the content, the font is too hard to read are producing the mess. Maybe, in our lives we don’t agree with saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but in the online business, it’s a complete truth. Websites are in an extreme zone of snap judgments that influence on loyalty at once, and it doesn’t help to increase website sales. 

Be mobile-friendly

Basic reasons why your website doesn’t get more sales

As you know, “demand determines supply.” It means that most people can’t stand to waste their free time or energy on shopping. So, they use the online shops to choose the desired item, pay for it, and order delivery whatever they having rest on a couch or running on a treadmill. 

And it’s pretty crucial: over 57% of the Internet users say they won’t recommend a website which is poorly designed on the mobile or tablet. Not to mention not having this version of your platform at all. Your website can look like a masterpiece on a desktop, but if it doesn’t work or functions poorly on mobile, you can say goodbye to a growing segment of the online audience. 

Shopify, a leading online shop, checked at data from more than 100,000 websites that use its platform and found that slightly more than 50% of shopping is being done via mobile. It leads us to one more important question: have you ever heard about Google Mobile-First Indexing? It means that the search will mainly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Previously, Google used two indexes: for desktops and mobile. After the update, it doesn’t matter which device you use to make a request, Google will show the results from the mobile index. 

Update from PHP5 to PHP7

Basic reasons why your website doesn’t get more sales

For plenty of reasons, PHP is one of the best scripting languages for building scalable platforms. Studies have shown that almost 85% of the sites are written on it. This language was used to create such platforms as Rewe, ADAC, Commerzbank, and Facebook. 

And nowadays your online business needs to go with the times: websites that are still built in the PHP5 language are already outdated in terms of technical requirements. It is poorly perceived by Google search engine. This type of sites don’t always open from mobile devices, so the optimization and promotion of a product or service are decreased several times. 

PHP language has improved all over the years. With time it has become more advanced yet managed to stay simple. The latest edition of this scripting language is PHP7 that includes new features, important performance improvements, and enhanced security tools. Thus, raising from PHP5 to PHP7, you can appreciate the engine’s speed that increases incredibility using the minimum amount of memory. Also, be sure that PHP7 is a secure choice for database interaction with PDO, prepared statements, scalar data validation, and more. 

Make the content great again

As you already know, people don’t spend much time focusing on the website’s content or don’t give second chances too often. This means if you don’t have the secret power to hypnotize your customer, thus increase online sales, make sure that you write good and current information.

You might have seen outdated copyright on the bottom of the website, or not a recent description or a price of the item. Here’s a tip from Small Business Trends: a website that looks out of date is an absolute disappointment to customers. And that makes sense: clients want to feel all the efforts the company puts to stay up and running, here and now, not years ago. It implies regularly adding new info and refreshing the existing content.  

One more tricky thing about outdated content: it affects SEO optimization in the wrong way. Noticing something suspicious, Google can crack down your website and you’re no longer relevant to its search engine. Problems such as irrelevant links to the website’s theme, keyword stuffing, cloaking, and linking to unrelated websites are the most common in the hard ride to be on the top.  

Bad-bad branding

Image

Another disturbing factor that may cause low sales on your website is the visual identity. Test yourself: check your website with your eyes wide open and ask friends with the third degree to get the answers. Does your website looks awesome and is it worth using it? If you’re not sure, remember: any design or usability snag a user hits on your platform can cost you no chance to turn that user into a lead. 

A lot of research has been done about it. Most likely, many businesses already understand the consequences of bad branding. A strong brand stands out among its competitors and makes the business instantly recognizable to the customers. But it may lose the trust of the audience if the visual scheme of the site is unattractive or doesn’t match the whole strategy.

Think like a customer: if the visual identity of your beloved product looks like it was made in the early computers’ era, then don’t get upset if people associate the poor quality with your product or service. 

We don’t want that. So, it is definitely worth spending an extra on making sure that the pictures/videos/fonts and else of your branding are strong. When you fix your website problems, you get a result: the higher conversion rate and income from gained sales. If you don’t, then it might be not your main problem, or it’s time to rethink your overall strategy and order an audit.  

User journey as a strange quest

Slide left, then slide right and you got to the point. From the moment of entering your website and until the moment of making a purchase, the ideal way of the customer is like a trip along an empty highway. In case you’ve read the previous paragraph about branding: it is the trip with a beautiful landscape. In this case, the potential client seamlessly and simply moves from an acquaintance with your product or service to checkout.

The customer should receive all the necessary information on your site without additional downloads, switching to other resources and with minimum clicks. If he’s not, then your website has bad navigation design and one reason you’re not getting sales is that it’s too hard for people to actuallybuy.

Even if you are a social media guru who brings thousands of visitors to your platform, you won’t succeed unless you create a seamless buying experience which doesn’t make people pretend to be a Sherlock Holmes.

For an ecommerce especially, it is important to showcase your products side-by-side with the user reviews, shipping options, and sizes. Make it easy to add products to cart and finally get an item.

No reviews, no opinions from customers

Adding social proof is always a good idea. The newcomers love to see other people buying or using your product. If your website doesn’t have any testimonials, your business is missing out a simple and effective marketing tool. The customers have become very selective, and descriptions of the pros of your product or service alone are no longer enough. The real-life reviews will help to build trust and encourage the client to purchase without being disturbed. 

Please, close the online window

There is one more thing that annoys the users more then long-loaded pictures or videos. Imagine the excited customer who just got to your website. He didn’t spend 5 seconds on it, but he has already been attacked with suggestions. For example, “we will call you back in 15 seconds,” “leave the number and our consultant will contact you,” or “check our new collection” and else. Pop-ups that constantly hit you out of the blue are pretty disturbing even for the most patient person. 

Feedback forms, pop-ups, banners, and online consultation chats are all good when they actually help to solve one’s problem. Not cool when they get on your nerves and make you want to close the site as soon as possible.

Did you forget your password?

All of us have been there. So, here’s a tip: you should not restrict access to your website to unregistered users. This creates a barrier between the customer and the product or service of your company. Too aggressive registration requirement causes users to doubt and unwill to share personal info because of fear of receiving spam. In many cases, consumers conclude that the information received is not worth sharing an email address. Let every visit be valuable on your site, do not force users to do what they do not want. Save it for the last: when the customers are ready to fill the form for an order.  

Here’s one more idea

For some companies, it might not be obvious, but many purchasing decisions are made based on emotion, not based on price. Thus, every website is a field for judgments which could cause of the way the audience perceive your business as a whole. 

Online marketing is a continual process of researching, testing, optimizing, and developing. When managed properly, your website will rise and shine, and afterwards increase online sales. 

 

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