Is Your Website Ready for the Holiday Season?
December 22nd, 2015
Holiday season is upon us and especially if you have an e-commerce website, you have to make sure your creation is up to the task of high traffic loads - and not just that.
Step 1: Examine Your Website
Take a hard look at your website - or, even better, ask a couple of your friends (who aren't afraid to tell you the harsh truth if necessary) and ask questions like "What is our User Experience like? How about content - is it fresh enough, is it relevant to our target audience?"
Also, a useful tool to analyze the website is Google's PageSpeed Insights. Use it to see what issues might arise when your potential customers visit your website.
Step 2: Set Up Analytics
Do you have the Google Analytics (or any other similar tool) code embedded on every page of your website? Knowing where your customers come from, which pages they visit the most, and who your customers are in general would help you to narrow down your target audience and, in turn, to show more relevant content to them.
Step 3: Check Traffic Capacity
We cannot stress this point enough. Make sure that your website's traffic capacity is up to the task for the holidays - especially if you have an e-commerce website. If you're not sure what is your traffic capacity, check out with your hosting provider (and while you're at it, might as well check other server settings).
In case you're looking for options, you can use Google Compute Engine or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. They provide cloud hosting services and you can choose pricing models that you prefer (pay as you go or hourly rates).
Step 4: Talk with People
Use social media to its full competitive advantage and talk to (or, even better, with) your customers. Listen to what your potential clients are talking about, what do they want to buy using paid tools (such as Radian6, a part of SalesForce) or hashtag trends on Twitter (if you're not willing or not ready to pay $5,000+ a month).
Step 5: Take Care of Your Customers
Loyal customers, as well as potential clients, deserve good support service. During the holiday season, when everyone is rushing around, trying to find the best possible gift for someone special, or even for oneself, there should always be someone they can call / write to in case they need help with your website. Thankfully, there are services like ZenDesk that can help you in this area.
Step 6: Follow Up
While many might come looking for something during the holiday season, some might walk away for the time being without purchasing anything. Stay in touch with your website visitors throughout the year. Google Ads' Remarketing feature allows targeting those who have visited your site at least once. If those people were interested enough to come once, they might want to come back. Remind them about it.