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Groove Commerce
Watch this webinar recording hosted by Ethan Giffin, Founder & CEO of Groove Commerce, to learn 5 strategies to supercharge your Magento Enterprise store.

This webinar will break down 5 areas of focus that will help grow traffic, increase visitor conversion rate and drive average order value.


  • What are the 3 Most Important eCommerce Metrics of a Magento Site?
  • Does Your Site Have Soul?
  • What Content Can Affect SEO & Conversion?
  • How Can You Maximize Your Sites Speed & Performance with Magento?


Check out this webinar to learn how to start leveraging this powerful platform in order to increase the performance of your eCommerce business.

Webinar Recording: 5 Ways to Supercharge your Magento Enterprise Website

Ethan Giffin: My name’s Ethan Giffin. I’m CEO of Groove Commerce. We’re a Magento partner. I’m excited to be up here on stage, and I’m really excited to be involved with the first Magento Imagine Conference. The energy today has been just awesome.
What I want to talk about today is Five Ways to Supercharge your Magento Enterprise Website. There’s no silver bullet in e-commerce. I always like to say that. There’s no one-size fits all solution. But the reason we love Magento is it gives us an amazing toolbox of tools and the ability to mold it as we need.
Really, what I want to talk about are five different topics that can help you really get back to the fundamentals of making your site successful.
First, the three big things that we talk about in terms of looking at analytics and KPI’s, any project that we pitch or any project that we work on should really kind of involve increasing your conversion rate, increasing traffic, or increasing average order value. So any of those three things are kind of like the e-commerce golden triangle that you should be working within.
Any project, unless it’s some type of back office optimization, really doesn’t belong on the frontend in terms of sales. So really thinking about how we’re going to increase conversion rate, how we’re going to increase your traffic, or how you’re going to increase your average order value.
So getting into it, Tip #1 is: Don’t forget the soul in your site. How many people in the room today are retailers? Raise your hand, please. All right. How many of you are partners, raise your hand? Other folks? Cool.
When you are building your sites, the one thing that we see is a lot of these fundamentals aren’t taking place. People will come to us, of course, like, who’s had a Magento problem. There’s a lot of people that don’t build things the right way. They come to us and all these fundamental things are not taken care of properly.
One of the things that we see is these sites don’t have soul. They don’t really have a good message about what you do.
There was a great question in the keynote this morning to Blake Nordstrom about how are you going to compete against Amazon? It’s by making sure that your site has soul. How are you going to tell people what you do?
This is a good friend of mine. This is not a Magento site, but it’s an amazing example of a site that really gives a lot of good information. Rob Snell is a co-presenter of mine at many shows, and his site sells products to help dogs hunt with. So GPS trackers and things like that. So really, are you telling people what your history is? Are you writing good content? Are you creating buyer’s guides? Do you have an opinion of the products you sell?
The one thing when we review sites that come over to us is they don’t have these things. They don’t have an opinion. They don’t show their expertise. If you’ve been in an industry for 20 or 30 years and you’ve transitioned online, how are you going to show that?
That was one of the things that was also brought up this morning with Nordstrom, is it’s such a great experience in the store. How do you translate that to the web? If you have a one-to-one relationship with your clothing salesperson that takes care of you, how is Nordstrom’s going to translate that to the web? So really thinking about that when you’re putting your site out there. Don’t be too generic. How are you different from the big boys out there? That’s how you’re going to compete. That’s how you’re going to get better.
Don’t use the default theme. We still see a lot of these where they’ll use the same…Who uses a default them with a banner in this room? Raise your hand? Anybody? We get a lot of that. If you want to make your site better, the default themes are there for a starting point, but you really have to think about they are one size fits all kinda layouts for your website. So how are you going to sell? How are you going to persuade people to put a product in their shopping cart, actually go through the process and the steps of getting them to the cart page and getting them through the checkout, if you have a very generic site that doesn’t tell people how you are better than all the other competitors are. At that point you are selling on price and that game only lasts so long.
The second thing that we really have dug into lately is tuning up your search. Thinking about your internal site search is something that most people don’t do. First off, your search conversion rate is typically 3-5X what your normal site conversion rate is. So if you are at 2%, you could be at 6%, 8%, 10% in terms of conversion rate with people that interact with your search.
The average order value is 25-50% higher, typically. Most retailers never look under the hood. You don’t know how many Magento installations we look into and this is what we see, like maybe one entry of something. These search pages can make great PPC landing pages, and it’s much easier to double the conversion rate of people that interact with your site search than it is with the conversion rate of your site as a whole.
People come to us and they say, “Ethan, how are you going to take us from 2% to 4%? That’s going to take us from a $5 million company to a $10 million company, or a $10 million company to a $20 million company.” Well, that’s a very, very hard thing to do and takes a long time to think about how we’re going to work through those little micro increases in conversion to ultimately get you there.
But I have definitely seen people come in and take a crappy site search and make a ton of dough off of it by making it better. So it’s much easier to…When you think about your site search and how people interact, how many people have gone in and customized their site search pages, put things like synonyms or redirects in there? Not enough. Not enough of you. Think about it.
Again, we evaluated a recent retailer and six out of 10 of their top search queries had zero revenue. Think about that. Six out of the top 10 things that people searched for on their website produced zero revenue. Something’s wrong there. If you think about what your pay-per-click ROI should be, your site search ROI should be that on steroids.
So if people are looking for things and they’re not finding it, like no results page, those things, how are you going to get them to that right spot? How are you going to get them into your sales funnel? It’s very, very important to talk about. I could talk for an hour on site search and not give you all enough information on how to optimize it and make it better.
If you have to, you know, I know Magento integrates with Solar. If you have to look at some third parties, sometimes you need to do that to get more enhanced functionality. You want to think about…who uses a third-party hosted site search, if you could raise your hand? Anybody in the room? Lots of good providers out there that do that. Are you on the API version or are you on the hosted version on a sub-domain? How does that affect your analytics? How does that affect your conversion rate? How does that affect your SEO?
So how are you going to merge content from your content areas of your site into the commerce areas of your site, such as your products?
For example, this is an Enterprise site that was built that merges the content plus the commerce together. How are you going to manage synonyms? What are the words that people are using to find the products within your website? How are you going to match them up? Were they one-way synonyms? People were searching on one of our client’s sites for aviator hats. Well, the name of the hat is bomber hat. So aviator needs to equal bomber, right? Because it’s the exact same thing. Are you able to boost results up in the mix and get the top products presented above the fold?
Filter navigation. Redirects to if someone is looking for sizing information, you don’t want them to see a product, you want them to go to the sizing page on your website.
And then, ultimately, things like autocomplete. Are you automatically filling out the search? Are you automatically filing out the search in the box and including thumbnails of the products? That’s got a real nice touch for the conversion rate, as well as all the analytics to track it back together.
Google Analytics does an OK job with it, so you need to merge kind of the in-house analytics with the other things.
Think about fueling your SEO. What are the very fundamental elements of your website from an SEO standpoint? For example, you gotta think about your product descriptions. And I know, again, that this may seem very basic, but I took this Linksys E2000 router and took the first paragraph of the product description from Amazon, put quotes around it and searched for it in Google, and there were 24,000 pages within Google that had that same paragraph of text. How are you going to differentiate yourself from everyone else if you are using the same product descriptions that the manufacturers give? You want to increase your conversion rate. You want to sell more products. You need to put that stuff…you need to rewrite that stuff on your own. You need to give your own opinion of it. You need to put it in your own buyer’s guides. This definitely will affect your SEO. It looks like duplicate content across the Internet that’s on 24,000 pages for the same paragraph.
Some real basic things in terms of Magento, Magento Enterprise. Making sure you have unique page titles and meta tags, if that’s not something you do. Defining your URL’s. There’s some really good SEO extensions out there that we love in terms of the ability to kinda mold the URL, the ability to customize the page titles. You don’t want to have duplicate page titles throughout your site. You want every page to have a unique page title.
You want to set your canonical URL’s, your canonical tags on your website. How many people do that in the audience? That’s good. With Magento there’s so many different ways to get to products and category pages, especially with the filtered results. Google will come in and spider the site and it appears as if there’s duplicate content throughout the entire site, which is not good for your SEO. You are diluting so many different things when you are presenting this.
At the same time, you don’t want to robots.txt all of those pages out, because you want Google and other spiders to get through it and get to the next page after that. So you want to make sure that you set your canonical URL’s. It’s a tag that you put in the code. There’s some great extensions for it out there that I’m going to talk about in a second. It allows you to specify the exact page that you want. Is it the short URL for a product or is it the long URL? Which one of those are you going to choose? And there’s different strategies based upon what your competitors are doing, the content on your site, and how you are doing things.
Making sure you robots.txt pages. Nobody has built a great robots.txt extension. I wish somebody would do that where you could edit that from the admin. That would make things really easy. But making sure you have the right pages removed are very key. All of this fuels the SEO. By actually limiting the amount of pages that Google and other search engine can suck in, you actually give the existing pages on your site much more value and boost them up in the results.
Don’t forget to set up your Google sitemap. We still see a lot of people that maybe do that one time and they don’t set that up to run regularly.
Spider your site. There’s a couple of really cool software tools. One is called Xenu that’s for Windows and one is called Integrity that’s for the MAC that allows you to spider your website and see what exactly comes back to you. You would be surprised at the amount of URL’s that you’re probably putting out to Google and what they’re seeing. This gives you a very, very raw view of every single page title, every single URL, every single what we call a robot trap, meaning is it going through multiple pages and just generating different URL’s along the way because it keeps finding links?
Lastly, you gotta look at the site speed. I don’t know if you are familiar with who Matt Cutts is. He’s Google’s SEO figure head. He gives a lot of information, blogs about how to get your site to rank better within Google. Site speed is something they are starting to use within the ranking factors of how your website ranks within Google. So how quickly your site loads, all of those elements very, very important for SEO.
So speaking of site speed, revving up your engines. I’m not going to be able to get up here and give a full breakdown of how to set up your servers and make your Magento hum, but speed is very, very important for a lot of reasons. It directly affects your conversion rate. It’s going to cause people to leave the site if you have a slow performing site. It’s going to affect your AdWords quality score, because when the AdWords bot comes to the page to check the page for content and that page loads slow, it may not get all the page. So it’s going to lower and affect your AdWords quality score.
It can sink your SEO because the spiders are spidering every spider on the internet, and the quicker it can get through your site the happier it’s going to be.
It limits your ability to diagnose errors. If you have a slow performing site, is this error because the site is slow, or is there something hidden because of that that we’re not finding? So using tools like Pingdom and YSlow to diagnose that, as well as other online tools for monitoring is very, very important to try to get your performance of your Magento going faster. That’s probably the number one thing that you can do to increase your business online is to get your Magento to run as fast as possible. And there’s some great people speaking about those things that are much smarter about server configuration than I am. But I can tell you that that’s probably one of the most important things that you can look at.
Just some tips. Turning on things like compression. Removing unneeded things like code and files. Having your developer do that. I know this is a business track, but if you have your developer kind of remove things that aren’t needed, making sure you are making a list and checking twice. You’re using some type of cloud hosting for your images and your media. That can significantly speed up your site, and probably the first thing that you should do in terms of performance.
You’ve got this amazing application called Magento and you’re hosting thousands of product images on the same server. You’re hosting basically static JavaScript or other things. Moving that to a cloud-based host and off of that server will give that server room to breathe and it will actually speed up the site because you are loading things from other spots.
If you or your developer is using things like JQuery, there’s a whole big prototype versus JQuery Java scripting language. It makes my head want to spin, to be honest. I’m not a programmer and I don’t understand what they’re talking about half the time. But knowing that Google has a great version of JQuery that you can host on their servers and they pay for the bandwidth on. And as it’s cached on other sites throughout the internet that use it, you get that benefit out of it. So thinking about that when you’re doing things.
All these little kind of things with your Magento installation can add up over time. There’s no one big thing that you can do.
Tracking server errors and performance. There’s a real interesting extension that we’ve seen recently called Watchdog that gives you a lot of diagnostics about database and errors. I think it’s $100 for this extension. Really, really cool. It’s kind of in its infancy, but we’re looking at that and seeing…Any system dev guy will say, “Listen, all of that information is right here. It’s on a black and white screen and their at a command line.” Well, me, “What is that? I don’t know how to do that!” I want to know what’s going on with the site.
How many people in the room like to use a command line prompt? Right? This is the business track. Those guys are across the hall.
So making that information available to you so you can know and double-check is definitely key.
And then the last thing I say is read and then reread the recent whitepaper that came out from Magento about Magento Enterprise hosting a couple of weeks ago. A lot of good tidbits in there and something that we’ve been taking without team and kind of picking through all the little nuances of that and figuring out how we’re going to eek out pieces of performance out of these sites.
The fifth tip is: Optimizing your checkout. The checkout is the only place on your website that optimizing it, you can create top line revenue that fits into your pocket. By making your checkout better, those are people that want to buy and want to engage. And if you get more of them through that process, it equals cash.
Bernadine had a great slide earlier in her presentation this morning, and it showed all the various steps of the checkout process. How is that going to work? What does your funnel look like? How many people track funnels, just out of curiosity? How many people track their checkout funnels?
This is a key piece of something that should be on your desk. If not daily, it should be on your desk weekly. How many people are falling out of the funnel? And if you spend time just thinking about that and fixing that, you can throw an extra 20% in your pocket sometimes. I’ve seen it done. I’ve seen new sites take over an existing site that has a 10-step checkout process, and by eliminating three or four steps, they’ve gotten a 23% or 24% lift in total revenue, just by making it easier to put your credit card in and pay. This is just a funnel example of a site.
Should you go one-page? There’s a great extension out there that’s very, very popular, a one-step checkout. I love it. It works great in certain instances. But do you go one-step or do you go accordion? What do you do?
The tide is starting to turn, but everybody had these very, very long checkouts that were in these old kind of Legacy e-commerce systems. What you don’t realize is that each step you add, people leave significantly along the way.
So everybody went and said, “Oh, we are all going to have one-page checkouts.” What a mess that’s been. It works for some people and it doesn’t work for other people in terms of their sites. What kind of products are you selling? What are the personas of the people that buy from you? Within that, there’s four different buying personalities. Me, when I see something I want, I want to buy it as quickly as possible as be done with it. I make decisions. When I go to the car lot, I leave with a car that day.
How many of you, when you go look at a car, you go back a week later and look at it again before you buy it? Raise your hand. How many people does it take two weeks to buy? Well, how are you engaging with those people? So there’s a lot of different opportunity for you to test. This is something that I would definitely recommend that you spend a lot of time thinking about and testing, because both of those checkouts are really good. And they both have opportunities in them for increasing revenue.
Some people may want to buy through a one-step checkout and some people may want to buy through the Accordion. That’s probably a complex but good A/B test to run, like really even getting into things like the color of the buttons that you are using to get people through the process. What’s the text on the button, what are the colors of the buttons? All of those elements of the checkout are things that you want to look at as you’re going through the process. So how are you going to get there?
‘And then, I guess because the economy is not great yet, you gotta have six tips, right? I promised five, but I’ll give you an extra one. Just a couple of the things that we’re thinking about, that we’re digging. I’ve met some of these folks. The great thing about this show, by the way, is to have a product or an extension that you love and then turn around and meet that person at the cocktail hour last night or bump into them in the hallway. That’s the really exciting part of this whole business.
These are some of the things that we’re looking at and kinda digging. It’s the toolbox. Again, Magento gives you this toolbox. What tools are you going to use? What are the quality extensions as you are deploying the Enterprise edition? I can tell you that many of our frustrations in terms of client projects in the last 12 months haven’t necessarily been Magento related, it’s been extension related and getting those to work properly, and kind of whose responsibility is what in terms of the project?
But some of the things that we’re kinda looking at and we like, you know, OneStepCheckout, aheadWorks—a very cool mobile them, Aotic, Watchdog, Magworks, SEO Enterprise, Google Analytics Plus from Fooman. Like all really, really cool things that you could think about using within your sites.
What’s in your toolbox? I want to know. As we’re at the event tonight, if you have something cool, please tell me about it because I want to hear about it. I love to talk about Magento. I love to hear what people are using to be successful with their e-commerce sites.
With that, my name is Ethan Giffin from Groove Commerce. If we can answer any questions, @GrooveCommerce on Twitter, @Opie is my Twitter handle, and thank you. Do we have any time for questions?
Man 1: Thank you, Ethan.

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