christmas SEO

Is your website Christmas-ready?

It may be a cliché, but Christmases really do seem to come round more quickly and start earlier each year. Like the football seasons, the gaps between each one appear to get smaller.

It’s certainly not too early to start getting your website ready for the year’s biggest shopping spree – but neither is it too late. And, whatever your thoughts on over-commercialisation at this time of year, you can’t afford to ignore the huge opportunity the festive season offers retailers.

As soon as you’ve planned for Black Friday and got that out of the way, here’s what you need to do:

  • Update opening times, home page and returns policy

You’d be surprised how many businesses forget to do this! Let customers know when you’ll be open and closed for the holiday, and what your response times are likely to be over the festive period. Equally, when is the latest someone can order something in time for the big day?

While you’re doing that, it may also be worth revising your returns policy and displaying that more prominently if necessary. Brace yourself for a potential January rush as gifts are returned.

At the same time, consider making your home page festive with season’s greetings, festive banners or images and so on.

  • ‘Tis the season to be social

Put out tweets reminding people of opening times, seasonal offers and the like. Tease any January sales and, most importantly, don’t forget to wish people happy festivities and thank them for their business all year.

You’ll obviously need to do this across all your social media accounts, and not just Twitter. Update profile photos to something seasonal and perhaps add a festive banner.

It could also be worth writing a blog based on what you’re offering this Christmas.

  • Avoid drastic changes

This is not a time of year for major updates or overhauls. The basic user experience and functionality of your website should remain unchanged in the run-up to December 25. At this busy time of year, people won’t hang around your site if they feel confused.

  • Be up to seasonal speed

Some 57% of visitors will ‘bounce’ from a page taking longer than even a few seconds to load. Streamline pages, take down non-essential, slow-loading content such as videos, and be sure your site can handle the extra holiday traffic.

  • Pretty as a picture

Buying a Christmas present for a loved one can be an emotional as well as a financial transaction, so you need some stunning product images to grab both the attention and the heart of shoppers. That means product photos as well as your home page. Look out for low resolution or poor lighting and rectify.

  • Showcase your best gifts

Display your top-rated gifts on your homepage with reviews and social media comments prominently – if you don’t have this content already, now is the time to collect it.

Finally, if you don’t already have it, a live chat function gives people another way of communicating with you, and an instant response when they’re browsing.

Throw in a prompt, efficient checkout experience and a fully mobile-responsive site and you have the perfect Christmas online shop.

The festive season should only give you a headache on Boxing Day. Get ready now, and talk to us if you have any queries.