Is your website ready for Black Friday ?

Love it or loath it, this annual phenomenon is becoming an ever increasingly popular event in Ireland.  Many businesses now rely on Black Friday to increase their revenue, and are gearing up to take advantage of the opportunity.

For those with an online presence, the opportunity is huge, especially when considering that only around 10% of Irish SME websites can process sales online. Leaving the door wide open for businesses who CAN.

 

This comes with its own challenges. Security, communication, stock, delivery all need to be considered and planned for, on a day when everyone is looking for that special deal NOW.

But none of that matters if your website can’t handle the traffic.

If there’s one thing we preach over and over is that website owners prepare for an unusually high amount of traffic to their website.

 

But we also know that many website owners are not technical, so with that in mind, we’ve put together a few pointers to help you;

 

cache
Speed and availability. Make sure your site is cached. Not the bankable type but if you get this wrong, it will certainly cost you in lost sales. Your website needs to be able to handle the traffic and depending on the website you use, something like WP-Super Cache, CDN or Varnish Cache can help mitigate any downtime by spreading the load and making your site faster. Fast websites sell more! This tip is no 1 for a reason. If you’re on shared hosting, investigate your cache options. It’s a MUST if you’re expecting traffic that might exceed your hosting company’s session limits.

 

Mobile friendly website
Mobile friendly. Place yourself in your customer’s shoes…or car…or train. See what we’re getting at? While a final purchase might be made via a desktop / laptop, the ever increasing usage of mobile devices means your website MUST be mobile friendly. An easy way to find out how many of your customers visit your website on their phones is via something like Google Analytics (you have that installed right?). The general trend is 25% of visits. And rising.

 

Secure your website with a digital certificate
Digital Certificate (SSL)
– If you’re taking payments or process sensitive data e.g. login details, you MUST HAVE one of these. A digital certificate encrypts the data sent across a browser and according to Google will also become an important ranking factor in the future.

 

search engine friendly
Search engine friendly. How easily you can be found is obviously and important factor. Make sure you have the basics done at the very least. Here’s a guide by Google themselves.  Alternatively we have an online marketing tool with over 1200 easy to follow, step-by-step videos, which will guide from setting up the basics, to adding your site to business listings, social media listings, competitor tracking and more.

 

And if you haven’t yet started selling online, why not dip your toes in with an easy to use solution like our site builder (14 day free trial). It includes an online shop and the ability to integrate a payment processor like PayPal and Stripe.  It will give you an idea of the viability and popularity of selling your product online, while keeping costs to a minimum.

Possibly with a cool .blackfriday ,  .christmas , .site or .online domain name*

*there may be some very good deals on the way on the 27th  🙂