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6 Ways to Ensure Your Website is Ready for the Festive Season

With Christmas shopping in full swing, hopefully you’ve been working on a holiday strategy for a few months and much of your planning is now being implemented or is already in place. Christmas isn’t a good time to leave anything to the last minute or presume something will work as normal; the added holiday traffic and additional sales necessitates a fully functional website from the moment someone lands on to your website to the time they head to the checkout. With that in mind, use this list to ensure you have everything in place.


Check categories

When customers are Christmas shopping, they’re heading to your site and want to find what they’re looking for as quickly and easily as possible. What is frustrating for any customers on any website, is when categories are not set up properly. Page categories can be poorly planned, links don’t work, and products may be out of stock. This can be infuriating at any time of year, but it’s even worse when people are feeling pressured to get their Christmas shopping done on time. To prevent agitation and have a perfectly organized site, head through all of your category pages and ensure all of the right products are grouped together. Make sure the trails don’t lead to out of stock items, and check all of your links; if it takes time, get a VA to help with link checking in the run up to the busy season. One of the most important things to check is your checkout basket; a faulty one not only loses long term customers, but money for you.


Organise Adwords

If Adwords is something you use, you’ll know how busy it can get over the busy season. For anyone unprepared, it can get a little crazy. During the holidays, competition can get intense and your budget can be easily forgotten about, so put firm numbers down to stick to your limit. Check your conversion rates regularly and make sure you’re constantly monitoring your campaign for any issues. Now is a great time to generate a campaign especially for Christmas; you can focus on the keywords that are important for your festive line. It also helps you to stay ahead of your competitors.



Social Media

Social Media is an exceedingly important aspect of your Christmas holiday marketing. Not only is it a great way to advertise your products to sell, but a fantastic way to keep people engaged with your brand; many people are off work for a decent amount of time over Christmas, leading to more daily traffic for your pages.  Have daily posts set up and scheduled in place well in advance to discuss your holiday lines, and mix it up with non-brand engagement such as questions about their festive celebrations and holiday recipes they might want to try. Create competitions for your followers; it can be anything as simple as liking a post, or uploading an image of their Christmas tree. Collaborate with some fellow business owners to offer treats and discounts for all of your pages. Consider looking into paid promotion for your pages too based on where customers are and their interests.


Graphics & Imagery

If you were to wander into the center of your city this afternoon, shop windows will be dressed to the nines in festive holiday attire. The front page of your website is essentially your ‘shop window’, so why not create some festive holiday imagery? A little touch here and there can make all the difference and can certainly encourage people to click towards the products you’re pushing for the festive season. Use image design tools such as Canva to create some really creative Christmas imagery, very easily.



Landing Pages & Optimization

All of your website pages should be optimized throughout the entire year to maximize your traffic and exposure, but make sure that any additional pages created just for the holiday season have everything they require. All of your landing pages should be working fully so that no one ends up an empty page, which is enough to encourage anyone to go elsewhere. Check that that the following are all in place within your metadata: the URL, the page title, the meta description, internal links, image names and page headers. On your landing pages, make sure it is clear how to add something to your basket, and how people get to the checkout.


Offers & Newsletters

Tis the Season to Be Jolly! So in the spirit of everything festive, you probably have a lot of offers in place to encourage extra sales. Do your customers know about them, though? Do you have images telling them? Are they advertised on social media and in your newsletter? Without going over the top, make sure any offers are in a prominent place and where they will be seen. Newsletters especially are a great place to advertise holiday offers and encourage Christmas sales. You can send out seasonal gift ideas, promote vouchers and tell people why they should buy from you instead of the competition. A little reminder email the day an offer is ending is a great way to get last minute sales too.

About the author Audrey Fairbrother is the Marketing Manager here at Boldly, when she's not spreading information about the benefits and joys of a premium remote team, she enjoys drinking a good coffee or going for a run in her hometown of Denver, CO.

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