The days left until Old St. Nick makes his appearance are dwindling fast. It is now the 11th hour, and you may have noticed an increase in your ecommerce website traffic. As the holiday draws closer, traffic will most likely continue to surge as those last items are guaranteed before December 25.
On average, holiday sales make up for a quarter of yearly sales, which can make for a chaotic season for businesses both large and small. If you are an ecommerce owner looking for ways to better handle the holiday stress, or are just looking to get ahead for next year’s holiday season, we have created a guide of top considerations just for you.
Read on for your ecommerce holiday checklist to prepare you - not only for the holiday ahead, but for many future holidays as well.
Check your SEO
While Search Engine Optimization is a never-ending task for most ecommerce sites, it pays to perform a quick check prior to increased traffic times. Simply checking for broken links can boost organic traffic flows. Holiday preparation time is perfect for sprucing up product descriptions and searching out your performing long-tailed keywords. You may even want to boost interest by creating “Coming Soon” landing pages for all of your best deals. Staying ahead of the game helps web crawlers prepare for your newly assigned pages and the traffic that will eventually find them.
While it may be a little too late to take advantage of these tips this year, you can always begin preparing for the next holiday season. See a few Holiday SEO tricks below to gain a competitive edge:
Don’t forget voice search: Basic internet searching has taken on a conversational tone. Be sure that the answers you are providing match the language being used to search for your website.
Start holiday content early: Writing content weeks or months in advance gives you a head start for the search requests that will soon appear during the holiday season. Look for trends and special offers so you can start creating a buzz.
Search out old content for re-purposing: Finding out what worked last year is a giant step towards what will work this year. Updating last year’s holiday content for the year ahead can cut out a lot of the leg-work and free up the resources to expand your efforts.
It’s a good time to be selling goods and services online. Reports state that holiday sales will increase from 3.3% in 2017 to 4.4% in only one calendar year. A large percentage of these sales are taking place through mobile applications. Take advantage of this fact by employing a website that looks great on any sized screen. Many businesses have taken mobile one step further by creating mobile apps specifically for shopping on their site. While you may not be able to create an app in time for this year, it may be worth considering for the holiday seasons ahead.
You can boost your mobile optimization in many different ways, but below are some of our favorites:
Use a Content Delivery Network: Whichever CDN you choose, your data will be closer to the mobile devices requesting it. Employing a CDN cuts latency and boosts redundancy when you need it during the holiday season.
Keep images small: A major source of page bloat and slow loading times results from overly large images. Keeping your graphics in check will please busy mobile shoppers looking for the best deals.
Consider implementing AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google-backed project created to help pages load more quickly on mobile. While somewhat controversial due to Google ties, AMP has been proven to boost page speed and user experience.
Realistically Map Out Seasonal Campaigns
The holiday season is the time for over-achieving. We often see ecommerce websites shooting for the North Pole, but not having the time and resources to match expectations. While sketching out your holiday campaigns, be sure that you are looking out for where the holes in your planning might be. Not to put a damper on the holiday spirit, but having realistic expectations allows teams to excel in their own capacity instead of frantically trying to meet goals.
Below are a few ways to set achievable goals and to really shine this holiday season:
Search for bottlenecks: Where do projects usually stall? How can you open the process for smoother processes?
Set realistic time frames: When scheduling campaigns, make sure that a rushed order or quick turnaround is not part of the plan. It’s easy to set idealistic goals during the holidays, but in the end, half-finished jobs don’t get results.
Don’t reinvent the wheel: If you have a campaign that showed good results, keep it for next year. It’s easy to make small changes to boost business. It’s much more disruptive if you start a project from scratch.
Boost technical capabilities
The most important action you can take this holiday season is to ensure that you have the bandwidth, speed, and resources to handle the additional load that you will experience. Scaling to meet the demand is crucial for big holiday sales and peak traffic times. 100TB.com has the hardware, infrastructure, tools, and redundancy you need to make this holiday season a success.