Christmas is big business. You should begin preparing your website visuals, marketing, and data collection now. To help get your company ready, here are twelve tips on how to optimize your website for Christmas!
12 Tips on How to Optimize Your Website for Christmas
As the holidays draw near, business owners prepare accordingly. You may be ordering seasonal inventory or replenishing stock. You may be changing your hours and scheduling around vacations. If you do any business online, you should also be getting your website set up for a successful season. Focus on these three specific functions of your website: visuals, marketing, and data. It’s time to start preparing your digital marketing strategy, looking at your data and projections, and getting all of those visuals ready to deck the halls!
Visuals – Deck The Halls, Digitally
The visuals are the most creative are when you’re considering how to optimize your website for Christmas! This is how you really bring the spirit of the holidays into your site. Aside from giving your website and marketing a festive makeover, also be sure to cover the basics so that everything is functioning well and ready for a boost of holiday traffic.
- “Christmafy” Your Business Online!
This can include uploading a seasonal photo as the hero image, and even giving your logo a fun touch of Christmas. Major companies do this all of the time, like Google and Coca-Cola. They bring the holiday spirit into their branding and it helps to show that they’re relevant and fun.
There are many create ways to deck the halls on your website. Your website designer could add a really cool overlay of falling snow during the month of December, or add a pop-up window that brings another level of Christmas cheer. Even something as simple as a splash page can do the job, to greet the visitors when they first visit your site around the holidays.
Think of the ways you could add a touch of Christmas to emails and invoices, too. In the same way that most shops use festive packaging and seasonally themed shopping bags at this time of year, you can add a dose of holiday joy to your online documents and digital correspondence.
- Give Your Website a Critical Eye
Online shopping patterns peak around this time every year as people search the Internet for gifts and ideas. Make sure your website is in tip-top shape. Does your website design look modern and is your branding cohesive? How’s your functionality? Do you have a good balance of visual elements and written content? If you need help figuring out how to objectively critique your website, check out our New Jersey Website Design series to see how we graded and ranked other business websites.
- Prioritize Mobile Functionality
Mobile-friendliness was simply an advisable feature years ago, but today it has become an absolute top priority. Your website needs to work seamlessly on mobile devices. If not, you’ll stand to miss out on nearly half of the potential traffic. You need to have a responsive website, or a mobile site, or a mobile app. Even the search engines are penalizing websites that don’t work well on mobile devices, so this is not a step you want to ignore. If your site doesn’t have mobile-friendly functionality, get a website designer ASAP to help you to make one. Nothing that you learn about how to optimize your website for Christmas will matter if your website is not functionally set up to compete.
- Prepare New Blog Posts
If you’re not already utilizing a content marketing plan, now is the perfect time to start! Christmastime is an easy time to reach out to people and offer helpful articles and feature inspiring posts. People are more receptive to this type of marketing as they’re spending time researching gift ideas, decorating ideas, and a plethora of other things to get ready for the holidays. Just make sure that your posts are not written like advertisements. Keyword optimization is a crucial part of content marketing too, so make sure you’re writing about the content that people are searching for and using the proper terms in the titles, headings, body, and alt tags.
Marketing Prep for the Holidays
- Tighten Up Your SEO
If you want to capitalize on the holiday season this year, your site had better be built for SEO. Search Engine Optimization is key to getting action on your website. Once SEO is set up, it takes some time to start working. In October or November, hire an SEO expert to comb through your website and tighten up the SEO on all of your web pages and the oft-overlooked places on the back end of your site. About a month after you have your SEO tightened up, you should see an increase in your visitors and sales conversions. This is a huge part of the “how to optimize your website for Christmas” mission.
- Do the Ground Work For Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
Start building landing pages and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns so you will be ready to flip the switch once the season is here. Then, you can start optimizing those campaigns immediately and you’ll have at least a few weeks’ head start over your competitors who wait.
- Schedule Social Media Posts
You’re going to be busy once the season starts with everything else you need to do. If you have most of your posts planned out, written, and scheduled, you can save yourself precious time. Scheduling posts is also a good way to get the job done, without interruption, and without having to think about it. If you want to know to optimize your website for Christmas, don’t overlook the social media aspect!
- Add Cheer to Your Communications
What about your company’s messaging and communication with customers? Do your emails have a festive signature for the duration of the holiday? Are you sending out a e-newsletter? Get this stuffed prepared ahead of time and make sure your subscribe forms are working and readily available. You should have a timed pop-up on your website, and also have a link to your sign-up page on your social media accounts. You might even change the voicemail message on your company phone to include a festive greeting!
- Make a Christmas Promotional Calendar
What discounts and special offers will you be promoting over the holidays? What kind of after-Christmas sales will you have? Map out your calendar so you can plan all of this out. Choose the dates you’ll be running different ads and deals, and include all of the information for current and upcoming sales on the homepage of your website. There are many promotions you can offer online as you’re mapping out how to optimize your website for Christmas.
- Tis the Season for PR
Do you have a warm and fuzzy story to share about a customer or an opportunity your business recently had? Public relations is a huge piece when it comes to promoting a business around the holidays. Develop relationships with journalists, bloggers, and magazine editors and push the story that you want to share. The key to getting timely PR is to plan ahead and take steps in advance so there’s enough time to finalize and publish your story around Christmas. Think of how to optimize your website for Christmas using some strong backlinks.
Data – Make a List. Check It Twice.
- Analyze Last Year’s Data
Measurement is important so you know how your sales and transactions have compare to last year. Analyze last year’s data and look at your current numbers. Make some projections and set attainable goals for the season. You should have access to your website analytics, so you could track things like traffic, page hits, bounce rate, conversion rate, and sales. Also, analyze the current data, and not just for your website but for those of your competitors. What are your competitors saying about the holiday season? If you keep an eye on these things, you can adjust your strategy to better compete.
- Get Ready to Collect New Data
Create processes to collect and analyze this year’s data, so you can do the same thing next year. You can use Google Analytics (free) with proper conversion tracking set up, or choose an even more sophisticated platform like Adobe Analytics. Make sure you have the right tools ready to go and a good understanding of how they work, well before December.
Set Your Online Business Up for a Successful Season
Now that you know how to optimize your website for Christmas, you can start getting your online presence ready for business right now!
Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of the season to prepare for the holidays. Use the months before Christmas to fix your visuals, plan out your marketing and content, and start paying close attention to your website data.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!