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Optimising your website for Black Friday

Black Friday is essentially a US phenomenon that takes place the Friday after thanksgiving which has gradually been adopted in the UK in recent years, falling on the last Friday of November. The run up to Black Friday changed in the UK in 2014, with a heavy media focus leading up to the event.

2014 saw approximately 2.4M searches for the term ‘Black Friday’ with a prediction that this year the figure will increase to roughly 4M.

If your site isn’t ready for the demand, your sales won’t benefit.

To make the most of Black Friday, you’ll need to get started right away. We’ve put together a few tips to help you:

Eight tips to a stronger Black Friday SEO Performance.

1. Create a dedicated Black Friday Page – Creating a section of your website or a page dedicated to Black Friday which you can recycle each year will help your search engine presence. The age of the page and the equity from back-links are an SEO factor. Doing this is also a great way of inviting customers to register, capturing data and generating interest well ahead of the sale weekend.

2. Make sure your pages are relevant and content rich – Many Black Friday pages are thin on actual content, with many retailers just displaying a count-down timer. You need to make sure you maximise the length of your content to get ahead of your competitors.

3. Plan out your homepage – It sounds like a basic step, but some sites forget to add a link to their Black Friday section or webpage on their main homepage. It may be that you add appropriate banners to a slider and calls to action on the homepage to promote this limited-time sale. You may also think about adding a temporary top navigation link so users can navigate to specific sale items.

4. Get your deals out early – Various journalists and areas of the media like to have deals to write about in the run up to the event, so leak some deals early, but, make sure the purchase of these are disabled until the event starts!

5. Don’t forget the mobile! – A well thought out responsive design will make it easier for people to purchase products or find information on your website when they access it via a mobile or tablet device. Google also favours websites that are now responsive, so making sure your website is responsive is now a must! Be sure to do some user testing beforehand to make sure your site is easily accessible, this means checking all areas of your site, including the checkout process. It will protentially save you from problems and wasted advertising.

6. Revisit your load times – You should never underestimate the potential increase in traffic to your website. Various ‘Big Name’ Brands did this last year and their sites either crashed or had very long waiting times. Every one second delay in page load time decreases customer satisfaction by 16% and conversion rates by 7%. Make sure your website loads within three to five seconds. Images tend to be the culprit on most slow loading websites, so make sure they’re compressed as much as possible.

7. Tweak the tags! – Making changes to the META tags and descriptions can be beneficial, even if they’re only small changes. Utilise long tail keywords that are less competitive to attract a niche audience that is looking for exactly what it is that you offer.

8. Social Media – Be sure to use Social Media and target your audience at different times of the day. People tend to shop at different times of the day, so bare this in mind when posting. It’s also worth considering amending your header images on Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. If your website isn’t ready, your competitors are going to enjoy the success. It isn’t too late to prepare your website and optimise it for a profitable Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not sure what it is you need to do, or not sure where to start? Get in touch with us below!