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How to prepare for increased mobile traffic over the holidaysBy
By Emily Adams
Deck the halls – the holiday season is here. From now through the end of the year, customers are swarming to online stores and Web sites to fill their stockings with the latest goodies.
It is a time of joy and cheer, right?
For business owners, the holiday seasons can be a perfect storm of stress, competition and snow.
The cheer that inspires people to pull out their wallets and seek out purchases also means an influx of mobile traffic to your Web site.
Even if you do not have an ecommerce Web site, visitors will still be searching for information about gifts to buy, store hours, holiday services and resources.
If your Web site cannot keep up with the high demand, you will risk losing valuable traffic when it matters most this season.
Fear not. Now is the time to prepare your Web site for increased mobile traffic over the holidays.
Start with a site audit. What is the overall health of your Web site? Are all the links working? Can people navigate, follow links and find the information they want?
Audits take time, so enlist the help of a reputable marketing company to easily point out the biggest concerns and weaknesses before it is too late to fix them.
Holiday shoppers want to find the information that they are looking for right now. If your Web site suffers a delay in loading, whether from large files or poor site structure, you are at risk for lost customers and lost sales.
When traffic spikes during the holidays, make sure your Web site has the bandwidth to accommodate the extra visitors. Check with your Web site developer, host or marketing company. An ill-timed Web site crash could cost you potential customers.
It is elementary. If you want to know if your Web site will work on a mobile device, try to load it on a mobile device.
Pull out your phone and open your Web site. How does it look?
Reports and numbers may tell you a lot, but you need to experience your own Web site firsthand.
If you do not know what responsive Web site design means yet, learn it. Now. I am serious.
Google’s most recent update from April this year emphasized great mobile experiences, demoting Web sites that ignored mobile users.
But there is a critical difference between mobile-friendly and responsive design.
Responsive Web sites will cater the user experience to the screen they are viewing. If your Web site is not responsive, it may be time to consider a fresh design.
If you have not been looking at your Web site statistics, now is the time to start.
Analytics can tell you who is looking at your site, where they come from, what they look at, why they leave, what marketing campaigns are working – all the information vital to planning your marketing strategy.
But the numbers can be daunting.
A great marketing company can set up and optimize your analytics account, interpret the data and turn it into an easy to understand report with exactly what you need to know.
As you are preparing for the increase in mobile traffic this holiday season, turn to your analytics or your marketing company to identify trends and opportunities to improve your Web site for mobile visitors.
Where are your visitors coming from? Your Web site is a critical piece of the marketing mix, but it is not the only part.
As we head into the holiday season, take a look at your entire marketing strategy.
Many businesses benefit from the holiday season with a natural increase in organic traffic to their Web site. But if you do nothing else, you are leaving valuable traffic on the table.
It takes approximately seven touches before a customer will make a purchase decision. There is still time to get in your seven touches before the holidays are over, but not if you rely solely on organic traffic.
Add in social media, paid search, and email marketing, then you shrink the time between the first touch and the purchase. Start a full suite of digital marketing and web presence services, and you will claim a bigger slice of the holiday pie.
THE HOLIDAY SEASON is here, but there is still time to prepare your Web site and marketing strategy for the increased traffic. Do not wait – prepare for your most successful holiday season yet.
Emily Adams is content manager at Automated Marketing Group, Littleton, CO. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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