Theme design is the first thing that grabs the user’s attention when they visit your store. An appealing theme can impact the buying decision while a cluttered poor performance theme may serve as a reason to leave the site.
Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that many e-commerce entrepreneurs make when setting up themes for their store. These mistakes heavily impact the site’s Google ranking, user experience, and conversions. Learn how to avoid them and turn your store into a beautiful and converting selling tool.
1. Changing the default theme
Magento 2 has two default themes: Blank and Luma. And they should not be configured at all.
Luma serves for demonstration purposes and Blank is used as a base for creating a custom theme. So if you want to use Blank and customize it, you will have to copy the elements from the default theme and place them into a package with your new theme for further configuration.
2. Ignoring SEO in default Magento settings
The accurate SEO optimization will increase the visibility of your store for search engines and will contribute to the organic traffic growth. In order not to lose customers and sales, make sure your theme is well-optimized in accordance with the SEO requirements.
By default, Magento has a “Magento Commerce” title. This title is displayed for all the pages without a custom title.
Go to Dashboard > Content > Configuration. Select your site and click Edit. Then click on HTML Head. You will see a “Default Title” field. This is the one you need to change.
Most brands usually choose the name of the company as the default title but also include relevant keywords: e.g. “Magento Development & Troubleshooting Company | Onilab”.
Note: if you want the name of your company to be displayed on all the pages of your store, add it to the “Title Suffix” field.
A description usually comes in about 150 characters and contains relevant keywords. This will be a unique description of your store so invest some time and effort into writing an SEO-friendly and informative copy.
In Dashboard> Stores> Settings> Configuration> Design you will see the meta robots that will make your site visible for indexing. Before launching your store, go and set the meta robots to “index, follow” so the site gets indexed.
3. Overloading the theme
Rich functionality is awesome – but not when it affects your store performance.
Many e-commerce store owners ignore the site load speed, trying to fit in as many elements and features as possible. As a result, they get a bulky theme that decreases store performance and harms user experience.
When designing a theme for your Magento store, conduct A/B tests and double-check whether you need all the elements. You can also conduct a performance audit and see whether your store needs speed optimization.
Note: pay attention to the code quality. Pre-made purchased themes, for example, are often poorly coded and cannot handle high traffic load.
4. Forgetting about mobile
It is vital that your store is adapted to mobile, otherwise, you risk losing a fair number of customers and sales.
In 2018, 79% of the customers placed orders via their mobile devices. Mobile became the primary source for product discovery so you want your store to look equally good on both desktop and mobile.
And don’t forget about mobile-first indexing, introduced by Google. The main idea behind it that from now on, search bots will first crawl the mobile versions and then move on to the desktop ones.
In terms of theme development, keep an eye on the following:
- correspondence of elements’ size, color, and dimension to different mobile screens;
- lightweight theme;
- user-friendly data input;
- easy navigation.
5. Choosing an irrelevant theme for your brand
Whether you are getting a pre-made theme or developing your own, make sure the overall layout appeals to your brand.
Some aspects to consider:
- color: almost 85% of the customers say that color is the main reason they choose to buy a product. So it’s critical the color palette of your theme represents the core of your products.
- elements: as said above, too many elements may slow down the overall store performance and simply be useless for your business.
- pages and navigation: all pages have to bring value to the users, navigation must be effortless and easy.
The easiest way to get a theme that would 100% fit your brand and vision is to develop a custom Magento theme. Of course, buying a ready theme is easier but it may not bring you the results that you want.
6. Forgetting about available Magento features
Magento is extremely user-friendly and offers advanced functionality to delight the shoppers. Some of the built-in features include upsells, cross-sells and related product offers.
These options add personalization to the store and create a better user experience. Numerous studies show that personalized recommendations increase conversion rate so these features should not be overlooked by the e-commerce entrepreneurs.
To set up this function in Magento 2, go to Dashboard > Products > Catalog. Choose a product for which you want to show related/upsell/cross-sell product and configure it in the product window.
Custom or pre-made: which theme to opt for?
There is no definite answer to this question.
A purchased theme is the one that is sold @ Magento Marketplace and other platforms. Such themes are usually UX-friendly, have all the necessary features and elements outlined by most e-commerce guides, are instantly available.
The cons are:
- bulky load that can’t handle the load;
- limited customization options;
- irrelevance with the brand.
If you are ready to invest time and money into creating a 100% unique and responsive theme, we highly recommend going for the custom theme development. Even though the process will take at least a couple of months, you will be rewarded with a full-fledged theme that will have all the features necessary for your store.
Contact us to make the core of your brand shine through the store design and start seeing an instant increase in customer engagement and conversions.