How to Prepare Your Site for Black Friday

02 October 2023

Posted in: Ecommerce Events Marketing

Black Friday has undeniably become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the retail calendar. After all, who can resist the allure of a discounted air fryer? For online businesses, Black Friday has gained even more prominence, as online shopping has become the preferred choice for the majority of shoppers wanting to avoid in-person mayhem!

Last year, online sales on Black Friday experienced a 2.3% increase compared to 2021. So, if you haven’t already, now’s the time to get your ecommerce SEO in check. 

Unsure of where to begin? Here are some key aspects of your website to focus on as you prepare for Black Friday.

How to prepare your website for Black Friday: The basics

Ecommerce SEO is something that online retailers should prioritise all year round (you can find some handy ecommerce SEO hacks in our latest post!) so when it comes to events like Black Friday, you’re already in a great position. The key to having a successful Black Friday? Planning ahead. 

But, don’t forget about the basic checks and changes your website needs for Black Friday. A fast-loading, well-optimised, and user-friendly site will go a long way in securing online sales.

Here are some simple but very important ways of preparing your site for Black Friday.

Make your landing pages stand out

The lead-up to Black Friday provides an excellent opportunity to fine-tune your landing pages. Your Black Friday landing pages must fulfill three basic needs — they need to captivate the audience visually, immediately highlight your special offers, and move them through the sales funnel. 

A well-designed landing page should include:

  • Engaging visuals such as a banner, bold fonts, and vibrant colours.
  • A clear call to action such as well-positioned buttons saying “Shop Now” or “Get Offer”
  • Easy navigation with a clear layout and hierarchy of information.

During Black Friday, numerous businesses compete for consumer attention. A standout landing page sets you apart from competitors, making your offers and brand more memorable and enticing to potential customers.

Let’s take PrettyLittleThing for example. Their approach was to prepare consumers ahead of time by encouraging keen shoppers to sign up for Black Friday email updates (this is a great way of capturing your audience for future promotions and marketing) and makes it very clear when the sale will begin by adding a countdown feature. 

But while banners are a great way of making your landing pages stand out, they do require testing:

“Large interactive banners require a lot of design time so it’s important to start this process months in advance. They have the potential to influence critical metrics, so it’s advisable to conduct A/B testing well before the launch. Evaluate key metrics like bounce rate to gauge their impact. For larger banners, assess potential effects on page hierarchy, as they may displace essential buttons or images that affect the shopping experience.”

 Annika Haataja 

Update your headings, meta descriptions and titles

Improving the SEO of e-commerce product pages and landing pages is essential for boosting online visibility, but don’t just concentrate on the on-page copy. Adding ‘Black Friday’ to your title tag and meta description of landing pages can help you stand out, leading to higher click-through rates and improved engagement.

It’s also a good idea to reoptimise your H1’s, especially for pages of high-profit products. This ensures that these critical elements are finely tuned to align with the heightened demand during this period, further maximising your potential for increased visibility, conversions and ultimately, success, during the Black Friday rush.

Prioritise mobile optimisation

Did you know that in 2021, 73% of online sales were made using a mobile device? For online retailers, mobile optimisation should be a big priority, and having a mobile-first approach can help.

Here are some important mobile optimisation tips to consider:

  • Design the page with a vertical layout: mimic the natural scrolling behavior of mobile users, making it easier for them to navigate and engage with the content.
  • Compress images and minimise code: avoid overcomplicated designs to enhance page loading speed on mobile devices, keeping users engaged and preventing them from abandoning the page due to slow loading times.
  • Present concise and clear content: focus on the most relevant information related to Black Friday offers to eliminate unnecessary elements, avoid clutter and confusion on smaller screens.
  • Use mobile-friendly CTAs: ensure that call-to-action (CTA) buttons are appropriately sized, well-spaced, and easily tappable on mobile screens

Getting ready for the traffic

Black Friday arrives, your landing pages are live and you’re ready to go, but as soon as your site experiences an influx of traffic, it crashes… Not ideal. It’s a predicament that occurs more often than you’d think, but it can be avoided, provided you take the right precautions. 

Firstly, you want to check your server’s health. Can the state of your current server handle your forecasted traffic? Conduct load testing in advance to simulate high-traffic scenarios and identify potential bottlenecks in your server’s performance. This helps in understanding the limits of your current infrastructure.

You should also prepare for your seasonal reporting. Establish not only traffic and revenue targets but also ensure that your reports attribute the traffic to Black Friday, enabling a year-over-year comparison and facilitating improvements for upcoming events, such as Christmas sales!

Work on your site’s speed

Picture this: you’re eagerly trying to snag a Black Friday deal, but the website takes an eternity to load. It’s not just frustrating for you as an online seller; it’s equally exasperating for your potential customers. A slow website speed can easily drive them away — straight into the arms of your competitors.

Loading times have a huge impact in the realm of ecommerce SEO, and during the frenzied Black Friday shopping spree, they’re even more important. To maintain a swift and smooth user experience, it’s crucial to optimise the landing pages you’re anticipating will attract the most traffic. By doing so, you’re not only enhancing the customer experience but also increasing the likelihood of successful conversions during this critical shopping event.

If you plan on customising your pages, such as adding banners, keep it to a minimum — the more complex or elaborate the customisations, the more data and resources are required to load these elements. 

Optimise your product pages for cross-selling

The great thing about Black Friday is people are more likely to make larger orders both in terms of cost and the number of items they purchase. With this in mind, optimise your product pages for cross-selling to encourage bundle purchases and smaller add-on items.

“Personalisation is a great way of cross-selling by suggesting other relevant items on your product pages. Or, if you’re offering free delivery with a minimum spend, suggest smaller items that will allow shoppers to meet the criteria such as accessories or other related products from other categories.” 

Annika Haataja

Here’s a great example on Amazon. On this product page selling gardening gloves, they’ve also included a useful ‘frequently bought together’ that includes a related item, in this case, secateurs, to encourage additional sales. This technique is especially powerful during Black Friday when customers are already in a buying mindset and more likely to indulge in additional purchases.

You might also want to create a ‘Black Friday Exclusive Bundle’ so it’s a good idea to start deciding on your products ahead of time and if you need additional software to get your bundles live, make sure you’ve tested everything before you go live.

Update and improve your product descriptions

A great way of enhancing SEO on ecommerce product pages involves revising your product descriptions in preparation for Black Friday, particularly focusing on your highly profitable products.

“Crafting compelling product descriptions is a crucial aspect of making your products appealing to both new and existing customers. Especially during Black Friday, when shoppers are actively researching high-value purchases in advance, providing detailed and engaging product descriptions can significantly increase the likelihood of making a sale. Even for lower-priced items, optimising the descriptions with relevant keywords and up-to-date terms is essential to improve search rankings and attract potential buyers.”

Annika Haataja

It’s important to consider two types of shoppers. On one hand, there are shoppers who enjoy browsing in the run-up to Black Friday. For these individuals, comprehensive descriptions are valuable, as they compare what you’re offering to your competitors. 

On the day of the event itself, new customers might prefer concise descriptions that they can quickly scan before making a purchase. For high-value items, it’s beneficial to provide both a detailed written description and a succinct bullet-pointed list highlighting the key features.

You can also optimise your descriptions and meta titles by temporarily targeting words like ‘cheap’ to attract those looking for particular discounted items over Black Friday. Keeping track of which products you’ve optimised means you know which pages to be changed after the event. Tools like Screaming Frog can be helpful in detecting mentions of specific terms like ‘Black Friday’ across your site for easy removal.

Repurpose your sales pages

Using a single sales page means you can put a temporary redirect on the page when it’s not in use. For example, you may use the page for your Black Friday sale, but once that’s over, simply redirect it to your general sales page.

Alternatively, keep the content up-to-date to reflect when the next sale is — generating anticipation and demand with a ‘coming soon’ message — even if you don’t list any products on the page. Remember, these pages can be very beneficial in the future. 

You need to have a good URL structure for SEO too, so avoid putting the year in the URL, this way you can repurpose your landing pages in the future. 

Preparing your site for Black Friday may be time-consuming, but it’s a valuable investment that can significantly boost sales, and enhance visibility, so it’s well worth the effort! To learn more about the significance of Black Friday for online sellers, delve into our latest blog.

Need more help with your ecommerce store? If you’re looking for an SEO company in Bristol, get in touch with Seeker today, and find out how we can propel your business to new heights!

Share This