Knowing that holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 3.5% and 4.6% in 2023 for the November-January timeframe, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast we came up with this Santa’s Checklist Guide: Website Preparation for a Successful Holiday Season to help prepare yours or your client’s site ON TIME 😊
To translate this % into real money, it will likely result in e-commerce holiday sales reaching between $278 billion and $284 billion this season!
People are on the hunt for that perfect gift, planning their holiday feasts, or seeking inspiration for a joyful celebration so, for businesses, it’s a unique opportunity to capitalize on the festive cheer, while also necessitating thorough website preparation to ensure they don’t miss out on the holiday bonanza.
Whether you’re a retailer looking to boost sales, a lifestyle blogger aiming to share promotional holiday-themed content, or an online service provider hoping to connect with a festive audience, this checklist will guide you through all the necessary steps. So, sit back, grab a coffee, and get ready to transform your website into a holiday wonderland!
I. Festive Content Strategy (Spreading Holiday Cheer):
The holiday season is the perfect time for evoking happy emotions while people are searching for inspiration, solutions, and delightful experiences. Your first step in preparing your website for the festive traffic boost is to craft a captivating content strategy. Think of it as decorating your digital storefront with thematic displays and eye-catching decorations. Your content should resonate with the spirit of the season, answering thematic questions and fulfilling the desires of your target audience. What can you do?
Plan for and produce holiday-themed blog posts, articles, videos, and social media content that aligns with the New Year and Christmas sentiments. It’s not just about being festive for the sake of it; it’s about offering value, solutions, and entertainment in a way that warms your audience’s hearts and helps them convert into your clients and customers.
Conduct thorough keyword research focused on holiday-specific search terms that can greatly enhance your content’s discoverability. By creating content that anticipates and addresses the needs of your audience during the holidays, you’re not only spreading holiday cheer but also increasing the chances of turning casual visitors into loyal customers who associate your brand with the joyful moments of the season.
II. Decorate Your Website (Dress Your Site for the Season):
Just as you’d decorate your home with twinkling lights, wreaths, and ornaments for the holidays, your website should reflect the festive spirit to welcome your visitors with open arms. If it’s relevant to your business and festive offering, give your site a holiday makeover with holiday-themed images and visuals, banners, color schemes. See how Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Sephora do it for inspiration.
Furthermore, ensure that your site is still user-friendly and easy to navigate – you’d be surprised how often this step is overlooked. The holiday season can be stressful for shoppers, and a well-organized and attractive website provides a welcome relief from the chaos of the outside world.
If needed, ManageWP offers user-friendly features that make website customization or creating WordPress templates a breeze. Just follow our 5-step guide to creating WordPress website templates and finish that makeover in no time!
III. Optimize for Holiday Keywords (Sleigh Ride to SEO Success):
As we said in section one, optimizing for the right keywords is a must in this upcoming festive season! People are entering search queries with a festive twist, looking for gifts, recipes, decoration ideas, and more. So, make sure you’ve done your homework in researching, defining, and implementing the right keywords and terms to boost your organic visibility and ranking. These may include terms like “holiday gifts,” “festive recipes,” or “New Year’s party ideas.”
Additionally, you can create holiday-specific landing pages or blog posts that target these keywords, offering valuable content and offers that fulfill the searcher’s intent will bring you more ROI and sales.
IV. Speed Up Your Website (Don’t Keep Santa Waiting):
Knowing that every second counts and a slow-loading website can lead to frustrated visitors and missed opportunities, make sure your site is running fast and smoothly. One of the quickest and most secure ways to do so is with our Website Performance Scan feature which helps identify all the aspects that are slowing down your site and how to resolve them.
Remember, search engines favor websites that load quickly, so optimizing your site’s speed can also boost your visibility in search results. Think of it as ensuring your website is like Santa’s sleigh—quick and efficient, ready to deliver a delightful experience to all your visitors.
V. Social Media and Email Marketing (Spreading the Joy):
The holiday season is a perfect time for spreading joy and connecting with your audience in an even more meaningful way. So, social media and email marketing are go-to tools to engage with your customers, build relationships, and drive traffic to your website. Knowing that people tend to be even more on socials in pursuit of inspo and holiday gift ideas, why not use that to create a buzz around your business? Consider developing a content strategy and social media strategy, as well as a festive content calendar with engaging holiday-themed posts, contests, and promotions to encourage engagement and amplify your brand’s reach and visibility.
In addition, define a festive email campaign with exclusive holiday offers, theme newsletters, and personalized recommendations. Keep in mind that personalized and targeted email campaigns tend to have higher open and click-through rates. Creating a sense of urgency in your emails can also prompt recipients to take action and visit your website and we want that 😊
VI. Inventory and Stock Management (No Empty Stockings):
One of the key challenges during the holiday season is managing your inventory to meet that high demand. There’s nothing more frustrating for customers than finding that the item they desire is out of stock. To prevent this, having a solid inventory and stock management strategy in place is vital. Make sure to double-check your inventory levels, predicting which products are likely to be the hottest sellers during the holiday season. Implement a real-time inventory tracking system that ensures you’re aware of stock levels at all times. This not only helps in keeping your website up-to-date with accurate product availability but also aids in avoiding overselling. Additionally, make use of inventory management software or tools that can automate tasks like updating stock levels, managing product variants, and tracking sales data.
VII. Customer Support and Communication (Holiday Helper Elves):
The holiday season can be a hectic time for shoppers, so by providing exceptional customer support you are ensuring a seamless pleasant shopping experience. Make sure that your website has easily accessible contact information, such as a prominent phone number and email address, as well as a live chat feature for real-time assistance.
Furthermore, you can benefit from including these tips as well:
· Consider creating a dedicated holiday FAQ section that addresses common queries related to shipping, returns, and other holiday-specific concerns.
· Be proactive in your communication, sending order confirmation emails and shipping updates to keep your customers informed and at ease.
· Promptly respond to customer inquiries and resolve issues to showcase your commitment to their satisfaction.
· During this festive season, consider offering extended customer service hours to accommodate the busy schedules of your customers.
· Finally, be prepared to handle returns and exchanges efficiently, as these are common during the post-holiday period.
Hopefully, this Santa’s Checklist will help you optimize your website for high traffic and help convert visitors into actionable buyers. Let us know how the implementation goes and if there are more things we can do to help!
Xo Xo Xo