November is here, and for many shoppers, that means the time for holiday shopping has begun. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days in the lead-up to Christmas, ensuring that your website and digital ad campaigns are ready for the season must begin well in advance.

When your digital content is fully ready for the season, you will be able to make the most out of the influx of shoppers who will visit your site looking for great deals. Here are a few essential practices for getting the most out of the holiday season.

1. Optimize Google Ads NOW

According to data from WordStream, most industries see increased traffic on their digital ad campaigns as early as October as more people start their holiday shopping. Industries like toys and sports apparel see growth of over 200 percent in daily ad spend prior to Black Friday as retailers begin their efforts to capture those early shoppers.

This is one of those times when it’s a good idea to follow the crowd. If your competition is increasing its ad spend, so should you. Many advertisers see campaigns reach exponentially more shoppers over the Black Friday weekend. However, the added competition means that if you don’t up your spending, your own ads could get buried in a sea of Black Friday deals.

2. Make Sure Your Site Can Handle Additional Traffic

Online traffic spikes significantly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Getting more visitors to your site is a good thing, but you want to be sure that the traffic won’t overwhelm your servers. The last thing you want is for your site to become sluggish or crash because it gets more web traffic than usual.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to audit your site prior to Black Friday. Google’s Test My Site tool can alert you to issues like unoptimized images that could slow site load time. This is also a good time to ensure that your checkout process is simple and straightforward. The easier your site is to use, the less likely you will struggle with abandoned shopping carts.

3. Highlight Holiday Deals On Your Site

Giving your site a holiday makeover in the weeks leading up to Black Friday is a great way to spread the word about deals and promotions. Even using holiday-themed images on your website and in social media posts can put shoppers in the right mindset.

Seemingly small things like swapping out website header images or changing to a red and green color scheme can make it easier to highlight holiday deals. Be sure to link directly from your home page to the items that are part of your Black Friday sale so customers can quickly find what they are looking for.

Get Ready For Shoppers!

Online Black Friday sales hit a record $6.22 billion in 2018, and chances are good that the numbers will be even higher this year. You don’t want to miss out on this major opportunity for your online store! By ensuring that your site and digital ads are ready for the season, you will be more likely to have a happy holiday sales season.