Within this update, I’m going to outline how I was able to build a fully functioning, living and breathing affiliate eCommerce website. Keep in mind when it comes to building WooCommerce websites, I’m somewhat of a machine. So what took me for example a few hours might take someone else 2-3 days.
(also apologies in advance) I’m not really proofreading these case studies, I’m just cranking out content as it happens.
Thus far, here is what I spent to get this off the ground:
- Registered domain ($12)
- Signed up for new web hosting ($5.00 / month, for now)
- Installed WordPress (free)
- Purchased WooCommerce Theme and about 4 paid plugins ($100)
Designed and Developed Website
This was the fun part. I was able to knock out the entire design and development of this website in about 2 hours thanks to the help of some demo content (now deleted) and Visual Composer. I used to hate Visual Composer and the people that used it, but so many of our clients request it, I’ve grown to not only love it but rely on it for my own needs. I can still hack away at a CSS grid like nobody’s business, but I like it.
I am definitely going to be split testing the home page as time goes on. Once I start seeing more people hit the site in analytics, I’ll try out a few different layouts.
After all it doesn’t matter what you or I think, it only matters what the data thinks.
Defined Content Architecture
This was really more of a mental decision, but this is very necessary from an SEO perspective and in my opinion one of the biggest things a lot of eCommerce website owners screw up.
This part is all about the categorization of pages, blog posts, products, etc. It is all about hierarchy. Look at any of the top content brands, and examine their hierarchy. Hell, look at any successful entity in life, and look at that hierarchy. Google (amongst others) loves a site that is structured. You see, structured data isn’t all about schema markup, it is about actually structuring your data. It is about organizing your data. It may not feel like much when you have 3 pages, 1 blog post and 2 products…but when that scales to 30 pages, 100 blog posts and 2000 products, it is definitely going to matter.
The content architecture is really quite simple:
domain > product > product name
domain > product-category > product category name
domain > blog post name
…and so forth. Again, really quite simple but the devil is in the details. I may decide to add some more hierarchy to the website.
WordPress Plugins installed and configured:
- All In One WP Security – Love it, need it, get it
- Contact Form 7 – Kind of hate it, but used to it
- Contact Form 7 Submissions – Great as a backup if having deliverability issues
- Google XML Sitemaps – Standard
- SEO Ultimate Plus – Better than Yoast, ask me why. Paid version
- IFTTT (inactive for now) – I only automate a few tasks, but when I do this is what I use
- W3 Total Cache – Love it, stanard
- WooCommerce – Required
- WooZone – WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates – Still learning, but quite powerful
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox – for now, until I get on a VPS
- WP-Optimize – Every website should use this
- WPBakery Visual Composer – I used to hate it, but I’ve grown used to it
don’t even get me started on plugins. I just got done working on a site that had 3 plugins to insert custom CSS…the theme had an option for custom CSS, and so does WP by default.
Started Importing Products!
Now for the fun part 🙂
I came up with about 50-75 Android chargers and scraped the Amazon ID’s. From there I just ran a macro and find/replace until I had a list of raw ID’s. After that I put it into my nifty little WordPress Amazon plugin space time machine, which converted it to a living and breathing product. (I didn’t end up using any of the products below…or only a few of them anyway.)
Any Amazon affiliates out there can give me some feedback on this process, I’d appreciate it!
Wrote Custom Product Descriptions, Ugh
To comply with Amazon’s wishes, I now need to re-write all of the product descriptions. This includes all meta information, tags, categories, etc. This was quite an arduous process, and in the future I might consider doing these one at a time instead of all at once (I still have a few left to do.)
Again if anyone wants to be notified when I make updates to the case study, enter your email address above and I’ll hit you up!