How to get your website ready for the holiday season.
Nobody likes to get caught unprepared (not even Santa).
The holidays are upon us, and we're bringing you our annual checklist to make sure your internet marketing, and particularly your website, are ready for the spending excess we euphemistically like to call The Holidays.
With only 73 days until Christmas, and only 50 until Cyber Monday, most businesses are already prepping for the shopping season.
Don't get caught unprepared - get your website ready now.
Holiday Website Readiness Checklist
The time it takes your website to load is probably one of the most important design features of your website. A website that takes too long to load will chase your visitors away faster than the abominable snowman. Mobile web users are even more fickle than desktop users, and are quick to click away if a site won't load. The recommended load time is 3 second or less. Test your site by visiting it from different devices, and use these tips to improve website load time
Broken Links: The links on your website might degrade over time. Be sure to test your links regularly all year long. But it is particularly important during the busy holiday season to ensure your links are working properly. The button on your homepage to your hottest selling product. The link to the Amazon page selling your book. The sign up form for your newsletter. Make sure all your buttons, links, and forms are working properly by continually testing them.
I probably don't need to tell you that mobile web browsing and shopping are at an all-time high, and it continues to grow. Test how your website displays across different devices. Doing paid advertising? Approximately 42% of paid ads are clicked by mobile users. Make sure your ads and the page that the ad goes to, are mobile-friendly (The best way to get a website that is optimized for all devices is through Responsive Design
Referral Sites and Outside Links: Do you get a lot of your traffic from referral sites? Social media, partner sites, guest posts, and directories are all important referrals sites that can increase your website traffic. Make sure any business listings or other outside links are still working properly and sending visitors to the correct web page. It is also a good time to check and make sure your information on outside sites is accurate and up-to-date.
Check to be sure new visitors to your website know they can trust your business. With so many options available for web users, trust is a key feature in convincing them to choose your business over others. Trust comes from testimonials, a good design, symbols of trust like the BBB logo, and so on. Use these 7 Steps to Gaining Web Visitor's Trust
to get started.
Meta Data. So now we're getting a little technical, but this
part is important too. How well is your website optimized for search? Yes, we're
talking about SEO. Get those holiday search terms into your website by writing
holiday-themed blogs, updating your meta data, or even getting a special
homepage or web page designed for the holiday season.
Search for your business. One great way to check how your
website is displaying in search results is to google your own website. Bing it.
(Yeah, that just doesn't have the same cachet as 'googling it', but Bing matters too.)
And Safari, which is still the number one browser for mobile devices. The
search display of your site in search listings is often pulled from your Title
and Description tags on your site, so make sure they are optimized (your web
software should let you edit these, or your web manger can help). Here are some
ways to stand out on the search engine result page.
So you've marked off all the items on your Holiday Website Readiness Checklist. Now you can sit back and wait for the shoppers to come to you, right? Wrong! Get out there and start tweeting, posting, writing articles, and connecting with potential customers. Make this the best holiday season yet for your business by leveraging the power of the web!
Is your website ready for the holiday season?