How to optimize your website, before Black Friday and Cyber Monday hits the ground?
The holidays are fast approaching. It is also the time of the year when stores can achieve the biggest profit in the shortest period of time. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday tradespeople have to make sure every element of their online store stimulates visitors to make a purchase.
To take maximal advantage of this holiday season, everything has to go smoothly. But how can you ensure fast load speed and performance? How can you ensure page stability under the increased amount of costumers? What can you do to discover customer needs and adjust the steps of their online journey accordingly?
Find the answers to all these questions and more in this article which is the third instalment in our Black Friday and Cyber Monday blog post series. We give you a collection of the most important things to check in order to ensure best performance and high conversions for the big weekend! Here they come!
1. PROVIDING SMOOTH CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
It can be extremely disappointing, making the visitors leave your site if your webpage is loading way too slow. High-quality images are crucial to make a site appealing; however, they can also cause problems. The proper compression of the site images is essential as buffering high-resolution photos can take ages, making your potential customers hesitate and, eventually, leave. Make sure your images, especially on your homepage are sized appropriately and are optimized.
Too-large images are not the only factors that can annoy visitors while shopping online.
Every step of the customer journey has to encourage the customers to click on that ‘Buy’ button.
2. MAINTAINING FAST LOAD SPEED
It is quite common that unused scripts are still running in the background. They might not be slowing your load speed throughout the other days of the year, but they can if site traffic increases. The same applies to third party elements, snippets, for example. Generally, these can help you to increase conversion rates effectively. During holidays, on the other hand, they can cause more harm than good. GTmetrix is a fine online tool for testing webpage speed and performance.
3. THE OUTSTANDING IMPORTANCE OF ALT TEXT
Alt text appears when, by any reason, the image itself won’t load on the page. It is also essential to make navigation and searching easier. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday visual elements play an extremely important part in the creation of an engaging page content and appearance (read more about design elements in our previous article). Inherently, the importance of alt text rises, too.
4. CLARIFYING ALL DOUBTS
SSL allows sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers and login credentials to be transmitted securely. This security protocol protects customers from becoming vulnerable to eavesdropping and hackers. Make sure your visitors associate your site with safe shopping, by placing the lock icon that comes with an SSL-secured website.
5. DO A/B TESTING
A/B testing can turn out to be quite handy when you are hesitating between two good options. In this case, we would recommend you to publish both versions of the website and whichever proves to be more effective wins (before A/B testing sets up some hypotheses that you can confirm or refute afterwards).
6. KNOW THY VISITORS – PAVING THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
If you have followed the pieces of advice we gave you in our previous set of articles and set up a landing page, applied amazing visuals and CTA buttons, you are almost-perfectly prepared for the big shopping days. Almost. The key to perfection is monitoring your customers’ behavior. You should map the ways they interact with the elements on your webpage, the buttons they click on and the information they seek to discover their needs. It’s on of your daily priorities to get to know what your visitors like and dislike so you can adjust your content accordingly. Mouse-movement and behavior tracker platforms, such as Capturly can help you investigate your customers in-depth. Where do they click and what do they ignore? Which element confuses them? Which part of your webpage do they view the most often? These platforms also let you know where those critical points are which make your customers get off the yellow brick road you’ve been paying for all this time The great news is that Capturly has a free trial version with all features available so you can still get your website in top moneymaking shape for Black Friday and Cyber Monday without any additional cost!
For both an offline and an ecommerce store owner it is indispensable to know the customers and their needs. By understanding who and where they are and what they do, it becomes way easier to help them in the purchasing process.
Over and above, these shopping days are not only about gaining more profit. Obviously, with such tools and increased amount of visitors we cannot list any better testing opportunity for your business. Because of the increased traffic, these shopping days offer a fantastic opportunity to review your site and how your visitors interact with it as you will have a huge amount of relevant data under a very short period of time. If you are quick enough, you can even implement minor but relevant changes over the weekend so you can increase your Black Friday conversion rates for Cyber Monday.
7. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE FORMS
Forms have their benefits and shortfalls, too. They can be used for a variety of purposes: data collection, assessment, feedback, sign up/RSVP, and so many more. You need to know a couple of rules before you jumpstart using them.
Make sure it doesn’t take too much time and complication to fill. Constumers usually evade giving out their personal information; you need to make them overcome this psychological barrier. Avoid words, such as ‘Submit’. Finally, try to place the form somewhere near the ‘above the fold’ segment of the page.
Want to get more tips like this and improve your site like a pro? Read our next article about the aftermath of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in which we will analyze the typical mistakes that were made – probably by you, too – and how they could have been avoided. Subscribe to our newsletter, so you won’t miss a thing!