Mobile devices have become integral to our lives, especially during the holiday sales season. People of all ages rely heavily on their smartphones and tablets, whether at home or on the go. But here’s the thing – if your website doesn’t work properly on these devices, you’ll lose frustrated users who will quickly exit your site. Not only will this result in lost opportunities for your business, but it will also put a big dent in your reputation.
With holiday season sales being crucial for the success of your business, it’s vital to prepare your website accordingly. That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you implement seven essential strategies to ensure your website is fully optimized and help maximize sales during the 2023 holiday season.
1. Implement Comprehensive Mobile Optimization
Mobile website optimization in 2023 is a lot more than just having a responsive design. It’s about providing an awesome experience on mobile devices.
Black Friday sees, on average, 3 times higher traffic than any other day. While there was a decline in Black Friday sales during 2022, the holiday season itself is way up. Over 47% of all US holiday season online sales came from mobile in 2022. With so many people using smartphones for online shopping, you must ensure your site responds correctly on all displays.
Having a responsive design is something that we flag as critical. Unless you have created your own mobile app where the shopping experience is different on phones versus desktops, you’ll need a responsive design. A responsive design allows your website to adapt to any screen size. This ensures a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
Responsive design also has the additional bonus that you only have to update content or product information in a single place, which will work on all devices. However, when it comes to mobile optimization, we need to go beyond design.
Mobile optimization involves implementing mobile-specific features like touch-friendly buttons and easy navigation. Mobile users have different needs and expectations, so optimizing your site for their convenience is crucial. This includes making it easy to browse products, view images, and complete purchases on the go.
Additionally, it’s essential to pay attention to the loading speed of your site on mobile devices. Faster loading times greatly enhance the user experience and significantly impact SEO. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help analyze your website’s performance and identify any issues affecting loading times, but nothing beats a good ole website audit!
2. Keep Content Fresh and Relevant
For most people, eCommerce is all about speed. They want to get in and get out with as little hassle as possible. If they visit your site to read something or check specifications, that website content must be kept up-to-date. This is especially true during the holiday season when consumers actively search for the best deals and information.
Updating your website with the latest holiday sales, promotions, and special offers is a given. But why stop there? Consider creating a blog or news section where you can regularly share valuable information related to holiday shopping. This could include articles on gift ideas, holiday trends, and shopping tips.
Regular content updates provide value to visitors and can signal freshness to search engines. Fresh content can boost your search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find your site. It’s an opportunity to engage your audience, generate customer loyalty, and position your brand as an authority in your industry.
To avoid contacting a web designer or developer whenever new information needs to be added to a website, businesses should ensure that their website design includes a content management system. With a CMS, making additions or changes to a website is as easy as sending an email or typing a document in Microsoft Word.
3. Website Optimization: Page Loading Speed
In the fast-paced world of online shopping, every second counts. Your customers demand quick web page loading, whether at home or on the move. A slow-loading website is a major turn-off, causing potential customers to leave and possibly never return.
Even in 2023, page loading speed is vital in user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). It’s not just about how your website looks; it’s about how well it functions. Slow-loading pages can discourage users and harm your search engine rankings. Google has repeatedly said that speed is a factor in SEO; after all, they want to provide the best results to users, and users want speed (and info).
To optimize your website’s loading speed, here are some steps to consider:
- Reduce the size of your images and other large files. Use an online tool like https://shortpixel.com to compress an image without compromising quality. This may take some tweaking, but it’s well worth the effort.
- Implement caching with your web hosting company. You can also take advantage of browser caching to store frequently accessed resources. If a user downloads the image once, it can be recalled in subsequent visits, reducing the need to re-download each time.
- Reduce the number of elements on a page, such as scripts and stylesheets. This reduces the number of HTTP requests and ultimately speeds up the browser display.
- Reduce CSS files and remove bloat. It would be best to have a critical CSS loading, which handles all the initial display, and then a secondary CSS file to handle things after the page loads. This gives the appearance of a faster page to visitors.
- If required, use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a distribution network that stores a copy of your website’s content on multiple servers throughout the country or world. Users will access the closest server to them, and this reduces latency and improves overall load times for visitors.
Incorporating these measures will make your website more attractive to users and enhance its SEO performance.
4. Make Contact Information Easily Accessible
In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is everything. That’s why when visitors come to your business’s website, they want to quickly find essential information like phone numbers, addresses, and business hours.
To ensure a positive user experience, it’s crucial that you prominently display these details throughout your website. Stop making your visitors search high and low – put the information right where they can see it, in the header and footer of every page.
But it’s not just about visibility – it’s about accessibility too. Ensure your contact information is easy to find and doesn’t require extensive searching. Too often I’m on a website looking for a phone number, and it’s buried on a website. If you answer the phone, put that number front and center!
Most websites have a “Contact Us” page, but instead of including just the normal phone number, address, and hours of operation, consider providing a map of your location, a picture of the outside, and a user-friendly contact form for online inquiries. If you’re a service business, include a picture of a vehicle and the service area. Again, answer the questions before the user can ask them.
And don’t forget about local search results! You boost your website’s performance in local searches by incorporating schema markup with your contact details. This clever technique helps search engines understand the context of your information, making you more visible to potential customers.
5. Create Specific Landing Pages For Holiday Sales
Capture your customers’ attention and drive more traffic to your holiday offers with dedicated landing pages. Create dedicated landing pages for your various holiday promotions and speak directly to your customers. Optimize these pages with relevant keywords and highlight the value of your holiday deals.
Here are some key factors to consider when designing holiday-specific landing pages:
- Isolate and Target Specific Keywords: Identify relevant holiday keywords that potential customers are likely to use in their search queries and incorporate these keywords naturally into your landing page content.
- Highlight Special Offers: Clearly present your holiday deals, discounts, and promotions. Use effective visuals and convincing sales copy to communicate the value of your offerings.
- Provide Clear Calls to Action: Make it easy for visitors to take the next step. Include prominent calls to action (CTAs) that guide visitors to purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or contact your business.
- Ensure Mobile Optimization: As mentioned earlier, mobile optimization is crucial. Ensure your landing pages look and function flawlessly on mobile devices.
- Monitor and Test: Continuously monitor the performance of your holiday landing pages. Use tools like Google Analytics to track metrics such as traffic, conversion rates, and bounce rates. Launch your browser in Incognito Mode, and go through the entire checkout process. Use a coupon, test everything!
Holiday-specific landing pages allow you to tailor your content and messaging to the needs and expectations of holiday shoppers, increasing your chances of converting visitors into customers.
6. Implement Structured Data Markup (Schema)
We mentioned structured data markup earlier, which we referred to as schema markup. Any time you’ve searched for a movie and seen the stars for reviews, the price, and the times, each of those pieces are what we call structured markup. You can do this on your products and services too. By providing search engines with more information about your content, you can have your products or services displayed in areas it may not have been before.
Structured data helps search engines truly understand what your content is all about, leading to better search engine listings and hopefully capturing a user’s attention with rich snippets. Google highlights your content at the top of the page as a definition or the defacto source for something.
In the context of holiday sales, you can implement structured data for various types of content;
- Product Information: Boost your sales by showcasing your holiday sale products with schema markup. This powerful tool highlights key details such as product names, prices, sales prices, product ratings, and availability, giving potential customers all the information they need to make a buying decision.
- Event Information: Stand out from the crowd by using structured data to showcase your special holiday events. With rich snippets in search results, potential attendees will get a quick glimpse of event info like location, time of event, entry fees, and other details making it easier for them to decide to join in on the festivities.
- Local Business Information: If your business has a physical location and offers special holiday deals, make sure your local business can be found both organically and via maps. Utilize schema markup to enhance your visibility in local search results and provide valuable information such as address, phone number, and special hours of operation.
Structured data can set your website apart in search results and make your listings more appealing and informative to potential customers. Utilize structured data according to the specific content and features of your website to maximize its benefits.
7. Optimize for Local Search
A big portion of how our own business operates depends on Local SEO, Google Maps and people being able to find our physical location if they need it. Make sure your business is discoverable by potential customers in your local area, and this may have an impact on your holiday sales too. Here are a few steps to optimize for local search listings:
- Update Your Google Business Listing: Keep your Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business (GMB), listing up to date with accurate information. This includes your address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation. You can also modify your hours of operation for the holiday season and don’t forget to add a Google Post or two for that extra bonus.
- Encourage Customer Reviews: Reviews are the backbone of Local Search and rankings in Google Maps. While we all want to see positive reviews, in Google’s eyes, it doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative; they just want to see reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GMB profile, but do not incentivize them; this is against the Terms of Service for Google listed under “Fake Engagement” and “Deceptive content & behavior.”
- Local Keywords: Include local keywords in your website’s content. This includes the city or area where your business is located and other relevant local identifiers. Ensure that these keywords are used naturally and provide valuable information to users.
- Local Link Building: This process takes time both to get the links and to see them have an effect. Build relationships with other local related businesses and websites to earn quality backlinks. Local links can enhance your site’s authority and visibility in local search results.
- Mobile Optimization: We talked about it earlier, but it’s worth repeating; your website must be mobile-friendly. A responsive design, quick loading times, and easy navigation on mobile devices are essential for a positive user experience.
By optimizing for local search, you increase the chances of your business appearing in local search results (maps), which can lead to more foot traffic and online sales during the holiday season.
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If your current website design isn’t meeting your business’s needs, we can help you overcome any shortcomings, whether that’s improvements to your existing site, or a complete redesign. With our expertise, your website will be fully optimized to convert as many visitors as possible into leads or customers, ensuring a successful holiday season for your business.
Incorporating these strategies into your holiday sales preparations can help you make the most of the holiday shopping season. By providing a mobile-friendly, up-to-date, and optimized website, you’ll be well-positioned to capture the attention of holiday shoppers and boost your sales. Remember, the holidays are a prime opportunity to create lasting impressions and build customer loyalty. A well-prepared website can make all the difference.