We Wish You a Merry Christmas & Here's How to Make It Happen | Social Joey

Christmas in July.

Yep, we said Christmas! When it’s blazing hot outside you are unlikely to be thinking of hot chocolate and warm blankets.

Believe it or not, though, planning and preparing now will be the key to your Q4 success this year. So, what can you do now to get ready?

There are a lot of steps you can take mid-year to set your business up for success at the end of the year. But if you want to focus on one specific action you can take, it’s time to hone in on your website.

If the last 18-ish months have taught us nothing else, it’s that consumers are willing to stick with businesses that make their online experience convenient and streamlined. Does your brand’s user experience fit the bill?

Read on as we offer some tips for how you can have your customers saying “All I want for Christmas is you…”

Jingle ALL the Way

When people visit your website for the first time, are they able to find—within a matter of seconds—what they came there for? Don’t forget to think about the mobile experience; most customers in today’s world find their way to business websites from a smartphone or tablet.

The online customer journey is as volatile as any point of contact you’ll ever have with potential purchasers because they know they can leave at any point should something be even remotely unpleasant, complicated, or time-consuming. Because of that, you have to ensure their experience from the moment they click on your website link is a positive one.

Schedule lunch with a friend and ask to borrow his or her phone at some point. Type in your website address in the internet browser, and pretend like you’re visiting this site for the first time.

Does the page load quickly? Are there any images not in full resolution? Is the appointment scheduler easy to identify and use? Does your contact form contain too many fields?

In other words, find where those bells would stop jingling, and then focus on easing the user experience there.

Run Rudolph Run

One of the biggest hiccups in the user experience is page speed. And while it falls into the category we listed above, it’s significant enough to deserve its own set of tips!

Page speed is the amount of time it takes for your website to fully load. It’s important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it impacts your website’s SEO.

There’s little wiggle room when it comes to page speed. Research has found that when a website doesn’t load within three seconds, one-quarter of visitors will leave the site. That’s a lot of lost potential customers!

Think about it, though. When you’re looking for information, most of the time, you want or need it quickly. When you have to wait on the website to appear, it’s not a positive user experience.

There are multiple tools online that allow you to check your website’s page speed, including this one from Google. Use one of those to review the speed on each page of your website, ensuring that all pages load quickly.

Having a speed problem? Look at speeding up Rudolph by reducing the size of the images and videos on the site. There are many other steps you can take to help improve page speed, but many are a bit complicated, so they may take the assistance of your web developer.

(Not So) Silent Night

When you’re thinking user experience, it’s also important to think about when people are shopping. We know, that sounds like a weird point to consider; what does shopping time have to do with user experience?

Well, in a recent study, the most e-commerce conversions (aka purchases) happen between 10 and 11 a.m., with a second peak between 8 and 9 p.m. Now, here’s why it matters:

Most smartphones and tablets now have a feature that dims the amount of light that is coming from a screen at night. This makes the screen easier to read, and it also reduces eyestrain and resulting headaches.

That’s an important, user-friendly feature that many people use. But is your website at its best when viewed in the dimmer setting?

If your website is too text-heavy, this will make the content difficult to read. You also need to think through the color scheme on your website. If you’re selling a product, is the contrast between the item and the background easy to decipher?

Consider also that some users activate Dark Mode on their phones, tablets and even computers. Your website needs to be optimized in a way that’s easily viewable and appealing in all modes—that means using transparent imagery when possible, being mindful of colors used in the design, checking the contrast, and having your web team test the website in both light and dark modes.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

There’s another potential snag that can keep potential customers from turning into customers. When a person has a question (or a problem, like a run-over grandma), does your website make it easy to find the answer or a solution?

There are actually two components at play here—and two parts of solving this problem for website visitors before it occurs.

The first is that you need to pause and thoughtfully consider the purchase process for your product or service. If you weren’t an aficionado when it came to your business, what questions would you have? It’s important that your website answer any and all questions you can think of.

Put together a list of potential questions and thoroughly answer them on an FAQ page. If there are some topics that deserve longer answers, you can provide a short answer in the FAQs and then link to a longer-form blog or white paper.

As additional questions pop up, you can easily add those to provide greater depth and information for your website visitors.

The second component here relates to customer service. When a reindeer strikes, is it clear to customers where to obtain relief? Is your contact information easily accessible? Do you offer chat or another way to quickly resolve a problem?

Customers today want a resolution within minutes or hours, not days. So, make sure that fixing a problem is a relatively easy process on your website.

A solid social media marketing strategy is the perfect complement to an optimized website. Ready to get started? Reach out today to find out how we can help.