They say God is in the details… or is it the devil? Either way, somebody is definitely in those details, and they’re important.
But amid all the big tasks that need doing this time of year—ramping up production, creating content, building your mailing list—it’s easy to overlook some of the nitty-gritty details that can really impact your BFCM success.
Luckily, we’re here to remind you! And the best part? The tasks this week are all (relatively) quick wins.
With less than four weeks to go before the biggest shopping weekend of the year, now isn’t the time to be launching new products or overhauling your site’s design. This week, it’s all about fine-tuning, optimizing, and putting on the polish.
Got 20 minutes to spare? That’s all you need. Let’s get to work!
Optimize your media.
Images and videos are an important part of any online store, but if they’re not properly compressed for web, they can bloat your site and drag it down. (Bad news, when even a quarter-second page delay can drive customers away.)
To keep things running quickly and customers clicking freely, use Photoshop to save your images for web (this compresses them down to the lowest acceptable file size) or try a tool like Pixlr — a super user-friendly smartphone app that lets you edit images on the go.
Use simple, relevant, targeted keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
Did you know that approximately 70% of website visitors come through organic search results? It’s true! But to really maximize that traffic, you need to apply some basic SEO principles to your store.
The good news: it’s not as hard as you think.
Something as simple as picking the right keywords — and putting them in the right places — can give you a real boost. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify which keywords are best for your business and campaigns, then drop them into your page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
(Bonus tip: Terms like “Black Friday” and “gifts” are red-hot right now, so pepper those throughout your site and capitalize on people’s holiday searching habits.)
Run a broken link check.
As sites evolve, pages and redirects tend to get deleted and become neglected. Why is this a problem? Well, for one thing, dead-ending is super annoying to your customers, and for another, Google will penalize you for it.
Checking for broken links should be part of your standard operating procedure, and you should definitely make a point of it ahead of Black Friday. We have a soft spot for Broken Link Checker (works as advertised!) but there are plenty of Shopify-specific apps you can use to get the job done, too.
Improve your 404 (Page Not Found) and 500 (Internal Server Error) pages.
No matter how diligent you are with your broken link checks, something will inevitably slip through the cracks. Besides setting up a script that notifies you when these errors are found on your site, you can also tailor the content of 404 and 500 pages to engage customers and improve their experience.
Here are some brilliantly designed examples to get your creative juices flowing.
Check to see when your domain name expires.
Hey, it happens. Every year, someone’s site redirects to that god-awful GoDaddy landing page — on Black Friday, of all days.
Just don’t be that guy. If your domain name expires between now and the end of the year, now is the time to pay up!
Get a professional to audit your website for security vulnerabilities.
Hackers don’t take vacation during the holidays — if anything, they do overtime, with 40% of fraud happening in Q4. To fortify your site against a potentially disastrous BFCM attack, call in a professional to give your site a security once-over.
You can also bump up your payment security using CAPTCHA, a tool that can tell the difference between real human customers and bots out to scam you. Programs like Verified by Visa and VeriSign offer additional security benefits, so do some research and find the one that’s best for you.
Consider updating your theme to the latest version.
This one can take a bit of time — depending just how out of date your theme has become— but updating is worth it. You’ll gain access to all the latest features and functionality, and also be protected against the type of bugs and security vulnerabilities we just covered.
To learn more about what’s involved, see our article on updating your Shopify theme, or reach out to our support team if you need a hand.
Which nitty-gritty details did we miss? Share your thoughts in the comments, and make sure to check back next week when we cover one of the hottest BFCM topics of all: shipping and fulfillment. You won’t want to miss it!
Running behind on your Black Friday prep? Don’t sweat it. There’s still 25 days to go, and you can find all kinds of helpful tips and quality content right here.