To get the best from your site this season, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help optimise the experience and improve your festive figures.
Put performance first
You want to be sure that your website is not going to suffer from any performance issues. Website speed is a large factor for consumers when deciding if they want to buy online or not – so ensure your site is as fast as possible. It means more visitors will stay with you through to the checkout page.
Even identifying a handful of performance improvements can make a noticeable difference to page load speeds. Image compression, script optimisation, caching, migrating to a better hosting provider – it can all make a positive impact.
Resilience when it matters
Just as the shops get busier during the holiday season, your site will see an increase in traffic. Especially if you’re ramping up your marketing efforts. It’s worth checking in with your hosting provider for reassurance that your website will cope with any sudden spikes in traffic.
Similarly, undertake some basic maintenance to check that your website software and associated plugins are running the most up-to-date versions. An outdated website can be prone to attack – and the only person who should be sneaking about at Christmas is Santa.
Be browser perfect
Layout and functionality issues can potentially render your website unusable in certain browsers. Testing your website in each major web browser will identify any problems. These should be fixed as a priority to avoid going on the naughty list of your target market.
Speed and performance are vital – but there’s more to the customer experience than just site efficiency.
Approach your site from a customer’s perspective. Ensure all page, product details, links and the checkout process are working smoothly. You want to avoid customers landing on a broken page and immediately leaving your site. Quick wins to improve usability can often be uncovered and help to increase sales.
Even better, have other people put your site to the test. Listen to their unbiased feedback, and take action on any areas they find difficult to use or confusing.
Importantly, make sure customers have a clear means to contact you with enquiries and order problems by making your phone number and email readily available. Or is now the time to consider an online chat facility?
Look and feel, made festive
Now, about that tinsel. Making your website feel festive with some seasonal design features and tailored copy will help engage users and showcase your offer. Banners, festive adverts, animations, a temporary change of colour scheme or promoting specific Christmas products and services – there are lots of changes you can make without having to redesign your whole website or compromise your brand.
The countdown begins now
Reviewing your website regularly is a good habit to get into. But, at this time of year, it’s essential. The last think you want is to be worrying about technical issues during the holiday season.
Start your festive prep now and you can be confident that your customers will have a seamless and enjoyable experience navigating your website…and clicking ‘buy’ at the checkout.