If you’re like most people, you have only the slightest clue about what goes into building and maintaining the back-end of an ecommerce site. Maybe you’re even asking yourself right now, “What is the back-end of a website?” After all, it’s much easier to picture the actual user interface than it is to envision what goes into creating and running it. However, peeking behind the curtain of your ecommerce site can help build a more effective store, and ultimately net you more sales. Here’s what you need to know about ecommerce and the back-end basics.

Optimize Your Site’s Metadata

The most important aspect of running a successful ecommerce site is offering quality products to your customers. But how will you attract customers to your online store? Search engine optimization (SEO) for web stores is a crucial component of capturing traffic and building a brand reputation. Optimizing your site’s back-end with specific, targeted keywords and metatags will allow you to rise above the competition. You can also create metatag shortcuts to help you do things such as automatically generate page titles.

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Learn How to Use Your Dashboard

The dashboard of your ecommerce store is where you can do things such as alter the design of your site. However, your dashboard does a lot more than just make your store look pretty. It’s also where you do things like upload your products to your site and keep track of analytics. The best ecommerce site builder will provide you with an intuitive dashboard and offer you a wide array of tools. Knowing how it works can make all the difference, when it comes to squeezing every ounce of potential out of your ecommerce store.

Add Features That Make Your Site User-Friendly

A difficult to use interface will drive customers to other sites. The back-end is where you can customize your site to have helpful features such as live customer support. You can also improve the usability of your ecommerce store in the back-end by making all pages, categories and subcategories logical, as well as ensuring products are correctly labeled.

Sitemaps and Crawlers

In order for your ecommerce store to rank well in organic search results, you will need to have your sitemap and crawler in working order. A sitemap is exactly as it sounds: a framework that maps out your site and lets search engines know what’s on it. The crawler file repeatedly scans your site to help search engines identify your sitemap and content. Both can be edited to enhance the performance of your ecommerce store.

Order Management and Tracking

Comprehensive order management is a key element of the back-end. An order management system should provide step-by-step updates regarding purchases made on your site—from when a customer puts items in their cart to when those items ship. This simplifies the task of keeping track of orders. This also has a major effect on factors such as order accuracy, ensuring on-time delivery and shortening the time it takes to process orders. Customers only know if their package showed up on time, in good shape and containing the right products. Ensuring smooth order management behind the scenes will help you “wow” them with each transaction.

These are some of the most important elements you need to understand when navigating ecommerce and its back-end basics. Despite being one of the less romantic aspects of being an online business owner, knowing your site’s back-end will help you make your ecommerce site as effective as possible.