How To Future-Proof Your Website Against Black Friday Mayhem

November 8, 2019

Kerrie Ashall

Black Friday has become increasingly popular in the UK over recent years and the number of consumers partaking in the furore of discounts and sales grows year on year. In fact, sales are expected to top £7 billion this year for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK alone. What’s more, e-commerce platforms generate 300% more sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than on an average day in November. No business can afford to miss out on this incredible opportunity to boost sales and maximise profits ahead of the new year lull.

The Black Friday event provides every business with the chance to enhance profitability and revenue potential. However, high volumes of traffic can put significant amounts of pressure on websites, rendering them more susceptible to problems such as poor user load times, crashes, and so on. This can lead to a high bounce-back rate and lost sales, which will negatively impact your profits. Particularly considering the fact that purchases made during November and December account for around 20% of the retail industry’s average annual sales. For that reason, retailers must utilise SEO to leverage this traffic, avoid site issues from occurring, and capitalise on sales. Below, we have compiled the ultimate optimisation checklist to help your business get the most out this Black Friday.

1. Don’t disarm a ‘sold out’ product page

Disabling a product page once it has sold out can harm sales for several reasons. Firstly, you are less likely to be able to sell customers an alternative product once they land on a 404 page. Often, potential customers will just leave your site after seeing this. Secondly, disabling the product page without implementing a redirect for the user will impede the link equity of respective backlinks to your site. Backlinks that point to a 404 page ruin the user experience and will affect your SEO. Hence why you must have an SEO strategy in place to manage out of stock products efficiently.

2. Use the same URL every year for Black Friday

It may seem like a good idea to create a few new web pages in the lead up to Black Friday, however this can have a detrimental effect on your success during the event. In particular, newly built pages often take longer to rank than older, more established ones. This means newer pages are less likely to perform as well in the SERPs as a page that’s been attracting quality backlinks

and visitors for many years. Avoid this common mistake by using the same URL every year on Black Friday.

3. Optimise the page months before and months after

Research shows that consumers start looking for the best Black Friday deals as early as September. You should, therefore, optimise your website as early as possible. Get creative with your content and use marketing strategies like discounts and exclusive access to deals, to entice customers to make early purchases. You should also keep your Black Friday page running for a few months after the event. Remember that many consumers continue to look for deals after Black Friday, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to capitalise on sales.

4. Optimise your search for the term ‘Black Friday’

It is extremely important that you optimise your site’s search for the term ‘Black Friday.’ Make sure that you direct your visitors to the right places when they search for terms relating to Black Friday, instead of just showing a ‘no results found’ page. Otherwise, you risk customers abandoning your site as they can’t locate any information on Black Friday deals.

5. Optimise landing pages and structure them correctly

Remember that shoppers will enter your site from different pages. For that reason, you must optimise all of your Black Friday pages, not just the main landing page. This will help ensure that all visitors have the best experience possible. Furthermore, try to limit the number of clicks necessary for your user to get to their desired product page (AKA your link depth), to avoid shoppers becoming frustrated.

6. Have an omnichannel strategy and optimise for mobile

More and more consumers are using smart devices to browse the internet and make purchases online. In fact, nearly 40% of all Black Friday sales came from mobile devices in 2017. This statistic is a clear reminder of how essential it is for retailers to optimise their website to fit the smaller screens of mobile phones and other smart devices. This helps ensures that all customers have a positive experience while using your site.

7. Improve page load time

If your website has a low page load time, then shoppers are likely to become frustrated and abandon your site. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to improve your page load time by

optimising your code, file compression, reducing redirects, and upgrading to a faster server, for example.

8. Set tags for the pages

Setting tags is a great way to group related pages together and make it easier for shoppers to find the content they’re looking for. Tags will allow visitors to quickly narrow down your content and focus on just your Black Friday deals. Make sure that you install the right buttons to take shoppers to pages quicker.

Final thoughts

Black Friday can be a massive opportunity for your business to make the most of consumer spend. All retailers should take advantage of the fact that an increasing number of UK consumers are getting involved in the Black Friday event each year. However, you must be prepared to handle the Black Friday spike in sales. Use the above tips to optimise your website, maximise sales, meet customer expectations, and get the most out of this Black Friday!

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