E-Commerce: How to Optimize your Website for the Holidays

How to optimize your website

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday may be over, but the holiday shopping season has just begun. Christmas is just around the corner, and according to Investopedia, the average American will spend a whopping $920 on holiday gifts this year, and the majority of those purchases will be made online, which is expected to generate over $126 billion in sales.

So, how can your business cash-in on this retail boost? It all starts with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

During the busy holiday season, several Google search queries go out for different search terms which results in search engines crawling websites. Then, search engines will produce the most relevant and optimized web page for the inquirer to peruse.

This means it’s essential for you to learn how to optimize your website for the holidays, and it doesn’t need to be difficult. You can get it all done in 5 simple steps.

1. Review the Numbers

To improve your website traffic, you first need to take a look back at data gathered from previous years.

Go through your website performance using an analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, this will show you how many people are coming to your site, how long they’re staying, etc.

This will help you understand what worked well and strategize on what needs improvement. Analyzing this important data will help you understand where your customers clicked through to your website, which pages they visited most on the website and which converted them to sales.

Understanding a customer’s buying behavior is essential to learning how to target new customers through social media or search engines.

2. Audit Your Site’s Content

To ensure you hit the ground running you need to make sure you have enough products in stock that are ready to be shipped.

Once your inventory is lined up, you should prepare website content that includes deals, sales, and calls to action. This way your customers would quickly decide whether they want to make a purchase.

A good way to start this website performance audit is by checking if the name, phone number and address of the business are correct. Then move on to the various pages of the website, are there industry-relevant keywords included in the content? If not, some quick keyword research should fix this. You can search for relevant keywords with several SEO tools, like Semrush, then, simply add those keywords into your existing content.

Next, check the title page and meta description to confirm that the mission of the website is clearly stated in them. Then include any offers and deals the website is offering. Also, check out the alt description of each picture on the website to ensure their naming convention is relevant to search terms the customers would be looking for.

Finally, make sure to review product pages for the sake of accuracy. Keep in mind relevant and accurate content will help you rank higher on search engines.

3. Create a Sales Landing Page

A landing page is crucial to helping your business capture leads. Hubspot defines a landing page as, “a page on your website where you can offer a resource from your business in exchange for a visitor's contact information”.

Having a prospective customer’s contact information can help you send them targeted campaigns and deals to encourage them to make a purchase.

To make your landing page fun and festive, try designing one with a specific holiday theme. Take time to fill this landing page with various products, services and offers. Also, do not forget to double-check for the mobile-friendliness of your website.

Most importantly, add clear and specific calls to action. For example, you can add a call to action that offers free delivery in exchange for an email.

Such offers would grab the attention of your customers and encourage them to share the page with family and friends via social media. This is the main reason social media icons should be included on your landing pages to encourage people to share your offers with others.

4. Add a Countdown

Having a countdown on the landing page to indicate a limited offer period adds a sense of urgency to your holiday promotions. Customers are known to make decisions faster when such countdowns are put in place.

Countdowns can be used on social media pages, landing pages, websites and even in-store. Digital countdown plug-ins can be found on Time and Date.

5. Optimize Page Speed

Research from the Aberdeen Group found that almost 25% of people will leave a site if it takes more than 4 seconds to fully load.

During the holiday season, most retailers can expect higher web traffic than usual, but this can also slow down your page speed.

Use web tools to determine the page speed of your website, look through their suggestions to efficiently optimize your site.

Another suggestion is to check the bandwidth of the web hosting service you subscribe to. If the bandwidth is almost used up, consider upgrading to a larger one.

Insufficient bandwidth can slow down user experience on the website and leave the customer frustrated to the extent of abandoning a cart.

To monitor how many people abandon their cart, install a plug-in that can remind customers they still have items in the cart.

Since optimizing your website is a continuous process, you should strive to continually strategize and improve the overall look and feel of the website.

The Importance of Having Insurance

If you exclusively sell your products and services online you may be under the impression that you don’t face as much risk as a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

But, there are several risks your business faces. Your products could be recalled or you could be the victim of a cyberattack leaving you footing the bill for damages or litigation.

This is why you should consider insurance for eCommerce businesses. Here are some basic policies you should consider to protect your business:

  • Business Owners Policy (BOP): This combines General Liability and Commercial Property to protect your business against claims of property damage or bodily injury. Combining the two can offer cost-saving benefits as opposed to buying them separately.

  • Business Interruption: The winter season can bring some severe weather that could potentially bring your business to a halt. Business Interruption insurance will cover lost income if you can’t operate due to a natural disaster.

  • Cyber Liability: an essential policy for eCommerce businesses, this policy protects your business assets if your business suffers a data breach.

The holiday season is prime time for your business to increase sales. Make sure you cash-in on the shopping craze by optimization your website for the increased traffic.

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