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How to prepare your site for holiday traffic

It may be hard to believe, but the holidays are almost here. If you’re expecting large spikes in traffic thanks to holiday shopping, this is the perfect time to prepare your site accordingly. When your site lags, potential customers may get frustrated and check out a competitor instead. Here are some ways to get your site ready for a bump in traffic:

  • Analyze the amount of traffic you’re getting now: Before you can figure out how to prepare accordingly, you’ll want to spend some time analyzing your site’s typical traffic patterns. Are there certain days where you’re seeing increases? Are there certain pages that people seem to visit over and over again? This information is useful when you’re making a plan for holiday traffic.

  • Take a look at last year’s patterns: Another helpful way to prepare is by digging into your analytics during last year’s holiday season. While the numbers probably won’t be identical to this year, they can still give you a sense of what to expect so that you can prepare accordingly.

  • Make sure you’re confident in your hosting plan: If you bought the cheapest hosting plan possible, don’t be shocked when it can’t handle your holiday traffic spike. Before Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around, dig into your hosting plan and make sure it’s sufficient.

  • View your site through the eyes of a first-time visitor: If you’re anticipating new visitors to your site this holiday season, you’ll want to take a minute and analyze the kind of experience they’ll get when they check your business out for the first time. Is the content updated? Are the pictures current? Is your contact information correct? You only have one chance to make a first impression, as they say, so make sure yours is as good as it can possibly be!

  • Make sure all of your company policies are updated: If you offer free returns, make sure to specify that on your site. If you offer free delivery with a particular purchase amount, make that clear. The last thing you need is to be answering the same four questions over and over again during the holiday rush because you forgot to clearly state your policies on your website.

Lastly, you might consider having a friend or family member check out your website and offer feedback. They can pick up on errors that you don’t see since you spend significant time on the site each day.

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