As a business owner, you ‘re probably looking forward to holiday shopping. The retail season is important for many business owners and is a great time to generate revenue. But increased traffic to your website can cause problems if you’re not prepared for it. To maximize your profits, it’s important to look at optimizing the experiences your customers have on your website as they shop online. Here are four ways to prepare your website for the holiday shopping season.

Check your site speed

With an influx of online shoppers, you want your site to perform its best. If images or other elements on your website are too big or load slowly, that can impact your customer’s experience. Plus, slow site speeds can hurt your SEO results. You should test your site performance both on desktop and mobile, since almost half of consumers use their mobile devices to shop all the time. You can test your site speed using a tool from Google. Make sure to run a few tests to get a good average, and then look for areas to improve.

Crash-proof your site

Popular retail holidays, like Black Friday, can mean a huge influx of customers, which can slow your website down and even cause it to crash. Having your website go down during a big sale can really hurt your profits. A content delivery network (CDN) can help you deliver your website to more visitors because the data transfer takes place in the cloud.

Run updates and tests

After you’ve implemented changes to fix your site speed and to prevent site crashes, it’s a good idea to run any necessary updates on your content management system. Updates address any bugs or security issues that could hurt your customer’s experience. Be sure to test your site as well, including running through the checkout systems and any of your automated emails so things run seamlessly. You should also boost your website’s security to make sure it is safe for your customers to use.

Get your customer service team ready

Your customer service team will likely be under a lot of stress with added holiday traffic, returns, and other customer concerns. Think about what you can do to make their jobs easier, like writing up an FAQ document to address customer questions or setting up a chat bot. Be clear about what customers can expect in terms of shipping times and returns to reduce customer complaints.

Don’t miss out on the important holiday retail season! Take steps now to make sure the online shopping experience is seamless for your customers to save time and heartache during the major retail holidays.

How else are you preparing for the holiday retail season? Share with us @CenturyLink!

Kirsten Queen is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Since she started writing professionally, Kirsten has dabbled in nonprofit grant writing and communications, social media marketing, and now writes content about life with technology. In her free time, Kirsten likes to cook, garden, and hike in the mountains of Colorado. Her name rhymes with first, not cheer.