There is nothing wrong with continuously trying to improve your store. Tweak
this and that, try something now, do whatever to try to bring more traffic
(improve search engine ranking) and to convert more visitors to buyers. However,
making too many changes all at once and doing it frequently can actually be
counterproductive. When you make changes to your store, follow these guidelines:
- First of all, keep a detailed log of your changes. This will help you
identify if a change was beneficial or if it actually made things worse.
- Change only one thing at a time. There is always a great temptation to
change a bunch of things and hope for the best, if you make many changes in
your store, how will you find out what worked and what didn't?
- If you are completely redesigning your store, change the layout on a
handful of pages first. You should pick a few pages whose ranking on the
major search engines you know. After the design change, keep checking the
ranking of that page for about a month to see how your new design may have
affected it. (Here I'm not talking about the Google PageRank. What I mean is
this: if you know how one of your store pages ranks on a particular search
term, you'll be able to keep entering that same search term into the same
search engine and see how the position of that page changes from week to
week. Of course your competitors also affect your site's ranking, but if you
have a solid page with a fairly stabile ranking, that is a good page to test
- Keep an eye on your store statistics and keep comparing those to your
change log. A few stats you should be looking at: a) page views, b)
customers (unique visitors), c) orders/customer (conversion rate). When you
see a change in your stats, check with your log to try to find out what
caused the change. If you see a jump or a drop in your stats, compare them
to your log like this:
a) if your traffic changed ("number of customers" in the Store Manager's
"Graphs" screen), make a note of the date when the change occurred. Then,
look in your log about two weeks PRIOR to the date of the stats change. Why?
It typically takes the major search engines about a week or two to reindex
your store pages. So if you see that there is a jump in the number of
visitors, you should look for the answer about two weeks before.
b) if the number of page views or your conversion rate changed, check your
log at around the time the number of page views/conversion rate changed.
If you look at your changes in isolation, you'll be able to figure out
exactly what worked and what didn't. If something didn't work, undo it. If
something did work, do it more!