How to ensure your website is prepared for Black Friday and Christmas this year


Whether your website is strictly e-commerce or the digital face of your brick and mortar business, a strong web presence is a must these days. It's even more of a must if you wish to appeal to customers during Black Friday or the run up to Christmas.

On Black Friday last year online retailers enjoyed an increase in sales of approximately 15% compared to 2014, and 2016 is expected to be just as crazy. Rene Kirschbaum, director of BlackFriday.fm, has already predicted that “the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are going to be bigger than ever this year.”

So how do you get your website ready for the shopping event of the season, when Black Friday is only a short while away? Hopefully, these 7 tips will help you ensure you website is ready for the Black Friday and Christmas rush.

1. Prioritize Mobile Friendliness

Digital retailers saw a 65% increase in mobile purchases in 2015 compared to 2014. So, if you want to keep up this holiday season make sure you offer your customers a great mobile experience and a seamless checkout process and avoid SEO downfalls that slow site speed down - such as automatic carousels.

2. Create Gift Guides and Videos

According to Google's 2016 trend report 70% of consumers start online shopping without knowing exactly what they're going to buy. Curated gift guides are a great way to reach these undecided shoppers - and if your guide’s on YouTube, even better! Google says that 68 percent of smartphone shoppers turn to YouTube when they’re wondering what to buy.

3. Push Holiday

Content Make sure your customers hear about your holiday sales through your ads, email campaigns, blog posts, and dedicated landing pages. Whenever possible, include the year in your headlines to assure customers that your sales are current. It might even be worth editing the design on your website's homepage slightly so visitors immediately notice your holiday sales.

4. Use Images to Sell Products

Optimizing your images and alt tags is simple best-practice advice for e-commerce stores, but focusing on holiday-specific keywords around Black Friday and Christmas will help customers discover your sales. Start adding your keywords to the end of the image text.

5. Put Positive Reviews Front and Center

Nothing boosts a consumer confidence in your business quite like a positive review - not even trust seals and guarantees. When a customer searches for a specific product, you want them to see your best reviews first and foremost.

6. Emphasize Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Your UVP is the special something that sets you apart from your competitors. Vague promises of "best quality" won't cut it any longer - you need to offer something tangible such as free delivery on orders over a certain amount, or money back guarantees.

7. Ensure Your Website Can Handle the Crowds

Black Friday and the run up to Christmas is the biggest online shopping time of the year, and the last thing you want is for your site to crash as customers come flooding in. Not sure if your website can handle the pressure? Contact us for help - we have vast experience in ensuring website remain online during periods of heavy traffic.

In conclusion

While customers are spending more and more money every year on Black Friday and Christmas, remember that standard SEO practices apply - even during holiday sales.

You’ll enjoy the best results if your website is well-organized and responsive. Even outrageously good sale prices won’t win you customers if they can’t access your website. To avoid disaster, test your website extensively before the Black Friday and the run up to Christmas.

This year, Black Friday 2016 is on November 25th.