If you make or sell your own products online, you’re often faced with a particular challenge. You believe in your product and know that it’s great. You may even be looking at a stack of them on your kitchen table right now. But what’s the best way to translate what you have in your hands into something that people will want to buy, sight-unseen, online? How do you communicate all the best features so that people will click that wonderful “Buy” button?
Whether you’re just setting up a store or trying to improve one you already have, this post will help you reorganize your store into a content-rich, promotion-ready selling tool.
The pieces of a Jimdo Online Store
In my experience, there are two common (and related) mistakes people then make when building their online stores, both of which limit what you can do:
- Forgetting to use a Store Catalog Element to make category pages
- Putting a bunch of Store Item Elements on one page, rather than giving each Store Item its own page
The heart of the Jimdo shop features is the Store Item Element. Just like with a Photo Element or a Text Element, you have the flexibility to put a Store Item Element pretty much anywhere you like, on any page of your Jimdo website. Adding one lets you start selling online in just a few minutes.
The second major piece of the Jimdo ecommerce system is the Store Catalog Element. This element is somewhat unique as it only gathers content that lives in other places. What do I mean by that? Basically, the Store Catalog Element is populated by store items that can exist anywhere on the website. You can display all your store items in one catalog, or you can display only those that use a particular tag. This is very powerful because it makes it really easy to create category pages on your website.
Category pages are great for organizing your store into digestible chunks of items. Someone shopping for t-shirts can look at just those without being confused by other items like jewelry or jackets. But as a shop owner, the category pages also set you up to use one of the most powerful tools at your disposal–the product page.
Benefits of Individual Product Pages
While it may seem like a lot of extra work to create a page for each of your store items, there really are a lot of benefits to doing this.
- More space for content to sell your product
- A huge boost in search engine visibility
- A direct URL to each product to promote in ads or social media
- Potential to upsell or cross sell related products
Let’s look at each of these points in more detail.
1. More space for content to sell your productWhen a potential customer is looking to make a purchase, it is important to anticipate any questions or reservations they may have about the product. To combat any cold feet, it is really helpful to present all the important details and supporting information on one page. The Store Item Element itself has space to put some text, but sometimes you will want to provide other forms of information too.
I recommend adding several of the following to each product page:
- Headings at the top of the page I always recommend that people add a large heading (H1) to the top of each page, but in the case of a product page, it’s helpful to have both a large heading followed immediately by a medium heading (H2). The top heading should be the product title or a descriptive sentence that will appeal to potential customers. The second heading would be a great place to put an item or product number. Best is if your large heading can complement, but not replicate, the Item Name in the Store Item Element.
- Offer multiple versions of the product While the Store Item Element does offer the option to set variations to your product, there are times it is easier to actually create multiple Store Items for your different options. One good example is selling t-shirts. On your t-shirt product page, you can have one Store Item Element for each color and then use the variations to offer different sizes of each one.
- Additional descriptions or reviews of the product Having additional paragraphs of text to describe and promote your product is a great thing. It gives the potential customer more information and it helps your search rankings.
- Testimonials Does your product already have some rabid fans? Ask the customers for a short testimonial and add it to the product page. Few things can be more convincing than the opinions and experiences of someone who has already purchased and tried your product.
- Basic support information or an FAQ Does your product need to be assembled? Are there features, menus, or settings to describe? Add a support block to the product page and answer any potential questions visitors might have about your product.
- Additional photos The Store Item Element does include a really cool “zoom” feature that allows you to show of the fine details of your product, but having the ability to add more photos and arrange them in different configurations is very helpful. Some larger photos or one of the new display options on the Photo Gallery Element like the slider, can be very effective on a product page. If you need some help making good looking product photos, try creating your own DIY lightbox, or try to leverage your smartphone.
- Video People love video. Show them your product from every angle by shooting a simple video and posting it to YouTube. Or you can shoot a full product demonstration or talk to an existing user or the product’s designer.
- Sharing buttons Think potential customers might be interested in showing your product to their friends or family? Make it easy for them by adding a Share Buttons Element right to the page. You can also activate the Pinterest “Pin It” button on any photographs that you added to the page.
Note: If you have more than a handful of products for sale, hide the product pages in your navigation to keep them from becoming too cumbersome. Visitors will find the pages from links in the Store Catalog Elements or from direct links you create on other pages.
2. A huge boost in search engine visibility
The SEO benefits of having product pages come from both the extra content on that page, and the direct url. Basically, each product page you have will act as an SEO landing page. Make sure to set unique descriptions for each one in the SEO settings and use the keywords and phrases that you are targeting when you add all the content to the page. By spending this extra time on each product page’s SEO, you will exponentially increase your chances of having a page of your site appear in search engine rankings.
For more information on SEO specifically for online stores, check out our blog post 5 Easy Tips for Improving an Online Store’s SEO (and Sales).
3. A direct URL to promote in ads or social mediaIn addition to gaining the ability to add all the additional content to sell or support your product, creating a product page will give you a direct link to promote that one specific product. You can use this link to promote that product on social media channels or you can purchase banner or Google ads to direct traffic to that product. And if you like, you can even customize the URL for your product page to make it more descriptive using Jimdo’s new SEO feature.
4. Potential to upsell or cross-sell related productsFinally, once you’ve created these product pages and filled them with rich, descriptive content that will encourage your visitors to remain on the page longer, you can promote other products to increase your chances of making a sale. Someone who landed on a page for your custom blue jeans might also be interested in your jean shorts.
If you already have product pages for the other items you want to promote, you can make simple “related products” section at the bottom of each page. This can be as easy as placing a few Photo Elements inside of a Columns Element, where each image is linked to the correct product page.
To review, you can think of the ideal online store structure like this:
Homepage → Category Page with a Store Catalog Element → Product Page with a Store Item Element
Creating a separate product page for each Store Item will give your shop the best chance to succeed. Additionally, you can get all the benefits of having category pages filled with all your relevant items by taking advantage of the Store Catalog Elements.
Multi-talento at Jimdo
Brent Gummow has been building websites for small businesses, non-profits, artists, and educators for the past 17 years in both Ohio and California.
He currently serves as the Multi-talento in Jimdo's San Francisco office, solving problems, educating users, and helping to grow awareness about Jimdo, the easiest website builder on the web.