The Validation Station

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
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While eCommerce merchants tend to be a sophisticated bunch, I often find that they neglect to properly validate their online store with the appropriate resources. Failing to validate can prevent your store from performing as well as it should in search engines and social media.

With this in mind, be sure to validate your store with the following channels:

1.) Google. It goes without saying that your store should be validated using your Google Webmaster tools account. If you do not have a Webmaster Tools account, get one here. For Nexternal clients, use the HTML Tag method for validation once you add your store’s URL in the Add Site section. Copy the Google-site-verification meta tag and paste it into your head addendum in your Layout section (Layout/Edit Advanced Layout/Head Addendum). Next click the Verify button in the Webmaster Tools console and you are on your way.

2.) Twitter. Assuming your eCommerce platform supports Twitter Product Cards, it is important that you validate your store with Twitter. Product Cards can have a tremendous impact on driving traffic back to your store as they provide a robust experience within Twitter. Twitter’s validation is located here. It is important that you submit the full URL for a product in your store as that will validate the entire store. Many merchants will instead submit their storefront URL and then wonder why Twitter returns are error.

3.) Pinterest. This site has exploded in popularity and therefore it is important that all online merchants support rich pins. While this functionality is built into Nexternal, validation is a required step for your business. Just like Twitter, you simply want to submit the URL for one product to validate, not the storefront. The Pinterest Rich Pins Validator is located here.

4.) Facebook. When your customers like or share a product from your store, does your store’s name not appear in the Facebook post? If this is the case, you are missing an important branding opportunity. An excellent resource for controlling your brand name display was written by my colleague and can be found here.

So now you know where you need to do to validate your store. None of the above activities will take more then a few minutes but can have a big impact on your store’s performance. Take care of this now, and you will reap the rewards this upcoming holiday season.

Craig is the VP of Sales at Nexternal and is known in the industry as an expert in eCommerce, systems integrations, and online marketing. Craig has been with Nexternal since 2000 and his passion and experience are apparent to all who work with him.