Is Your Website Optimized for Black Friday?

Paul Schetelich

Lead Designer

The Importance of Having a Mobile Friendly Website

Since early this month, consumers have been scouring the Web looking for deals in preparation for one of the biggest shopping days in the world. There’s something exhilarating about waiting in line - either online or in person - for an item to go on sale and trying to nab the best deal of the season. It’s even more exciting when you can brag about getting a limited item for a fraction of the cost.

Whether or not you’ll be partaking in the Black Friday festivities is up to you. But one thing is for certain: your website better be ready to go.

This year more than ever, it’s crucial that your website is mobile friendly. If it’s not, you’ll miss out on a significant portion of your audience. Your customers won’t be at home sitting in front of their computers. They’ll be with family, traveling or hosting their own Thanksgiving dinners, and they’ll be accessing your website through their mobile devices.

What’s Your Current Mobile Friendliness?

Before we get started with ways to optimize your mobile site for Black Friday, make sure that you determine the mobile friendliness of your current site. In order to show progress, you need to evaluate where you stand today. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to determine whether your website is mobile friendly or not.

This free tool will check for things like location, map, address, click-to-call, redirects, speed, touch sensors and more. If something is lacking, Google will provide you with a convenient list of things to improve. Once you have a list, talk to your IT department about some of the changes that can be made to get your site mobile friendly.

Now let’s dive into some of the ways you can optimize your mobile site for Black Friday.

Increase Site Speed

Holiday shoppers have no time to wait for your site to load. They are naturally impatient, but they also don’t have time to waste. Consider how many will be comparing prices while shopping in stores. If they can’t access your website quickly, they won’t buy from you. On the other hand, if your site loads quickly and shoppers see that your prices are lower than what’s in the store, they’ll likely buy from you automatically.

Maintain Good Site Architecture

Not only does your site need to load quickly, but also it needs to be easy to navigate. Go through your website and get an idea of how it feels to browse and place an order. Your products should be neatly organized, a search bar should be included at the top of the page and plugins should be used sparingly. Mobile shoppers are usually past the research phase and ready to make a purchase, so keep your site clean, distraction free and focused on the goal.

Offer a Smooth Shopping Cart Experience

A big part of the online shopping experience on Black Friday lies within the shopping cart. The best ecommerce sites are able to capitalize on this experience by offering product availability, shipping costs and estimated shipping dates all in the shopping cart. It also helps to post your website security and returns policy during this stage so that customers feel comfortable making a purchase. You don’t want anything to stand in their way at the last minute.

Provide Free Shipping

Speaking of shipping costs, it’s extremely beneficial for you to work out some of type of shipping deal for Black Friday. Shipping is a key factor for customers making an online purchase. Nearly half of all shopping carts are abandoned because of high shipping costs, so don’t leave your customers with unexpected surprises at the end of their order. If possible, offer free shipping on Black Friday to encourage more sales. Because free shipping is often synonymous with slow shipping, also give shoppers the choice to expedite their shipment for an extra cost.

Add Extra Discounts

Black Friday is all about scoring deals, so it may sound silly to add discounts on top of discounts. But a great way to get your mobile site optimized for Black Friday is to spell out your discounts so that customers know exactly what they're getting. Encourage more sales during slower times of the day by adding an additional 10 or 15 percent off, for instance. (On average, customers expect 40-50 percent off, so factor this in when offering discounts.) Or provide customers with a discount code or downloadable coupon to use on a future purchase if they buy something on Black Friday.

Include Optimized Keywords  

Keywords are an important part of optimizing your website. Use them in your content, titles and headlines. Start preparing your customers early on for the products you will be offering using blog posts and social media posts. Use visuals to show sneak peeks of Black Friday deals or write blogs about why your products are great to have. You can also create short videos using customer testimonials to generate interest. The more anticipation you create, the more shoppers are going to want to be a part of it.

Conclusion

Mobile friendliness is now a ranking signal for Google. What this means is that if a site is mobile friendly, it will be ranked higher than a site that is not mobile friendly. If this isn’t an incentive to get your site up to speed, then we don’t know what is. Plus, this shift levels the playing field so that smaller businesses like yours can compete with the Big Box stores, which is a clear benefit on a big shopping day like Black Friday.

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About the Author: Paul Schetelich

Since the days of sidewalk chalk and finger paints, Paul has been creatively crafting the art of design. With a B.A. in Graphic Design from Monmouth University and a Masters from the Califano School of Art - Paul quickly moved up the ranks at SEMGeeks from Junior Designer to the Lead Designer. With 4+ years of experience in web design Paul is ready to conquer the digital atmosphere.

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