Last year, our Website Optimisation Manager, Suze, gave some great conversion rate optimisation tips for maximising online sales at Christmas time. To follow on from her recommendations, I have provided a few more tips to ensure you ride the sleigh of success straight to the North Pole this holiday season.
Give your page titles and meta descriptions the attention they deserve
Your page titles and meta descriptions are essentially your organic ad copy and are often neglected. As the volume of searches ramps up towards Christmas, a fraction of an improvement on your click-through rate could mean additional sales or enquiries to help hit those vital targets.
Ensure your listings stand out in the crowded SERPs with well written and thought out page titles and enticing meta descriptions. You can take this a step further by adding mark-up to your page content to add rich snippets such as product stock level, star ratings and price to your results. You can do this using schema.org or to some extent Google Search Console’s Data Highlighter.
Check for ‘page not found’ errors in Google’s Search Console
A link to a ‘page not found’ is a lost link. It can also mean a search engine drops your page from its index and offers visitors a poor user experience. Google Search Console kindly shares ‘page not found’ errors as it finds them. Work to get these cleared up before the Christmas rush.
Page load speed
Spend some time checking how fast your most important pages load. How do they compare to the site average, are they slow? Do they load slowly on mobile devices? Is there anything you can do to speed them up?
All of this information can be found by taking a look in Google Analytics to see how long it is actually taking your pages to load for site visitors.
Use Google’s Page Insights tool to identify what you can do to speed up your pages. One of the most common issues that slows page load is having large images. Lossless compression of your images is also probably the easiest (if time consuming) thing to work on.
Check mobile usability
Again Google’s Search Console can help you out here; it will point you in the direction of pages with mobile usability issues and provide some detail how to resolve the issue.
Have a dig around analytics for any other potential site issues
Look at what happened last year. What pages performed well? Which ones didn’t?
Take a look at what pages had high exit and bounce rates last year. Was there a reason for that? Is there anything
you can do to improve these pages, for example, can you help your users better navigate your site with improved signposting on these pages? Is the information the searcher is looking for immediately obvious?
It doesn’t look good to Google if there is a large proportion of searches bouncing straight back to the SERPs from your pages.
Optimise your images for search
Finally optimise your images, give them friendly names, and set the alt attribute to something that describes the image. People use Google Image search to look for products so you need to make sure yours are there.
As you can see, there are a couple of quick wins you can make to your website to ensure that you are maximising your online sales this Christmas. With only 41 days to go, don’t delay in making these changes. Good luck!
Image via Kaboompics.com.