Winter's coming and if you’re not prepared it could be worse than the White Walkers...

- Winter Ready Websites

As we approach the holiday season, online businesses may start to notice their traffic levels increase as huge numbers of shoppers take to the web to order gifts, food goods and much more. Remember the days of the calm before the storm leading into Christmas? Retailers could enjoy a bit of peace before the Christmas shoppers came knocking. A simpler time that is long forgotten as today shopping online has become the norm – offering efficiency whilst also requiring less effort. If Jingle All The Way was filmed today, Arnie would have Turbo-Man in a matter of minutes! Click, click, add to basket… Simple!

Christmas is the retail calendars biggest event of the year, drawing in the most amount of traffic, sales and cheer. Thanks to the emergence of days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas now starts even earlier. In a recent study, researchers found that nearly 40% of customers start looking for presents as early as October.

As the arrival of panicked and hot shoppers start to appear, it is imperative that your website is prepared for them. If not, you might not have a Merry Christmas. Luckily your friendly neighbourhood Netbiz is on hand to provide a few tips of the absolute musts for this festive season…

Is Your Website Ready for Winter?

There’s a huge range of factors to consider when asking yourself if your website is winter ready – after all, it’s potentially the first thing potential customers will see when they find your business. Here’s some of key things to look into before the seasonal cheer hits!

Speed

The seasonal increase in traffic can cause havoc on your website – especially if your site already boasts medium to low loading times! Customers don’t want to, or have the time to sit around waiting for a page to load slowly. In fact, a recent study shows that 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Speed plays a huge role in customers interacting with your website and there are multiple reasons why your site might be loading slowly – it could be something as simple as the site featuring lots of images which are too large and require compression, to something more technical relating to the code!

Speed is also hugely important as it is now considered as a ranking factor on mobile for SEO – so, if you’re aiming for those top search positions, it’s time to pick up the pace!

Content

Is your content ready? Customers love being able to interact with the products they’re looking at and this ranges from viewing clear, crisp images which may be interactive to get a relative size of what it is they’re buying, to reading product descriptions and even recent reviews. I’m sure like us you’ve seen those horror stories of products arriving that are either too big or too small in relation to what the customer ‘thought’ they had ordered.

You know the old saying, tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve just told them? Well, it still applies at Christmas! Make sure your website has all the information they need about the product without over facing them. It’s also a great idea to create banners and other forms of promotional material for your website and your social media marketing – the key thing is to remember to tie all of your marketing efforts together.

Optimisation

You may have a site that looks fantastic in terms of the visual design, and products which stand out against the competition, but it’s also important to dedicate some time to giving your entire website some TLC. If your site features broken internal and external links, this will not only result in a poor user experience but it could contribute to your site performing poorly in search results. The same goes for missing images and broken pages. Additionally, if your website doesn’t perform well across both desktops and mobile devices, potential customers are likely to leave your site and opt for another which does meet their expectations. The key aim is to ensure that the entire user journey runs smoothly no matter what device is being used!

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheers is Singing Loud for All to Hear – Elf

Having faster loading times, engaging content, easy to navigate menus and a general mention of the holiday season can improve the customers overall experience on your website. What’s more, delivering a better customer experience over your competitors can be the final push that gets the customer to choose you.

We understand that there are many intricacies to consider when preparing a website for Christmas and it can be a daunting task if you’re relatively new to it. This is where we can help. At Netbiz we’ve worked with clients from a variety of business backgrounds to help them achieve better results online. If you require any help, please feel free to contact us – with a team of over 20 creative minds and a wealth of industry expertise, we can review your current website and identify ways to help you to ensure that your business excels online this winter!

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