Tis’ the season to be jolly, eat lots of delicious food and also prepare for a spike in traffic on your website! The holiday period is always a time where people are fumbling around on the internet, looking for last minute sales, gift ideas and purchases to make for their friends and families. This is an e-Commerce owner’s dream, but sometimes a poor, overworked website’s nightmare. Find out how you can prepare your website for the inevitable seasonal traffic spike by following our handy tips below!

8 Ways To Prepare Your Site For The Festive Period Traffic Spikes

1. Get Ready To Rumble

Now, first and foremost, lets start with the basics. Firstly, you need to ensure that your web hosting service can handle this seasonal spike in traffic. If you are using a shared hosting service, talk to your provider to ensure that your website will not slow down if another company starts pulling in massive volume. Slow load times are a sure turn off and can destroy your sales potential. If you don’t think your current plan can handle the influx of traffic, discuss the potential other hosting plans you can utilise with your hosting provider.

2. Optimisation Is Key

People, now more than ever, are utilising their mobile devices more than they do desktop computers at home. This is why you need to ensure that your website is one that is responsive and designed for mobile viewing as well. Not getting this sorted is a sure way to drive potential customers to your competitor’s website instead – especially during all the rushed hustle and bustle that happens at the end of the year. No one has time to fumble with a website that does not have a responsive design.

3. Resize Graphics

Beautiful images are absolutely gorgeous to look at, we know. However if your lovely images are not properly sized, they could literally slow down sales when every second counts. In fact, it is said that 47 percent of visitors will leave in 2 seconds if a web page doesn’t load. You should always resize the images on your main pages such as Home, About, and Seasonal Content. Ideally, you will want to save them for web as well. Remember that your image size should not be larger than the upload container.

4. Simple Is Best

Although unique fonts are pretty to look at, simplicity often makes for a better user experience. Whilst utilising one or two custom fonts won’t prove to be an issue, be sure that you limit your non-standard fonts.

5. Credibility & Security

If someone is going to splash out and spend big bucks or input their credit card information on an e-commerce site, they most definitely want to know that they can trust the seller – in this case, you. You should always use trust badges to your advantage. A good example would be Zappos. They list their site security performance icons in the lower right hand corner of the page. You’ll also notice that they use SSL certificates for secure shopping. Online shoppers also want to find the little green lock icon in the upper left on the browser bar – so keep this in mind.

6. It’s All About Being Social

Guess what? You actually need to get your content curation in motion now – not on Christmas Eve or the week before Black Friday. Always be sure to post about upcoming sales on the homepage of your website as well as on all your social platforms to get visitors excitement levels up. Utilise automated social media tools to make sure that you reach all of your targeted audiences when they’re most likely to be online and looking for a sweet deal. Remember to focus on social platforms that offer you the biggest revenue potential. For example, Facebook dominates when it comes to social media driving purchases online, so get your Facebook page updated, interactive and ready for the season!

7. Return Policy

Always make sure that your Return Policy page is easy to find. This really does not require any further explanation. Consumers want to capitalise on a sale without having to worry that they will be stuck with something that doesn’t fit their needs (or their hips). Make your return policy simple, clear, and easy to find.

8. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords!

This applies all year round, to be fair. Review your online assets now to make sure that your keywords will work for you during the holiday season. Remember to focus on updating product descriptions and homepage content for the season, and use your keywords in headings, primary content, alt text, URLs, and page titles. This is no different to what you would do all year long, but you want to make sure you hone in on the festive keywords that will help people find what they need on your website.

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Following these few key pointers, your website will be up and ready for the festive traffic spike in no time!

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