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Holiday Ecommerce Tip: Keep Your Landing Pages Static

The phrase “static web pages” conjures up images of plain, single-column HTML sites from the web’s earliest days in the 1990s. Much of the web today is powered by dynamic, interactive content, capable of changing from user to user, with personalization driving more engagement. For the most part, the Internet is better for it.

But static content still has its place. First of all, static content is a little less pedestrian than it used to be. It can include not only HTML, but images, JavaScript files, CSS files, and videos. As long as content doesn’t change in response to a user’s requests or inputs, is the same from user to user, it qualifies as static content. Because of this, static content is faster to cache, process, and deliver.

Which brings us to why and how ecommerce sites should take advantage of static content. The first experience customers will have with your site this holiday shopping season is your landing page. Whether customers come from a Google search, an ad campaign, or just entering your homepage URL in their browser, the page they land on needs to load fast and be almost immediately interactive.

For that reason, you should always use static landing pages. Save the personalization for when customers actually begin to explore products on your site; you need to ensure a consistent user experience when they first get to your site. These static landing pages needn’t be boring, they can be rich in graphics, video, and engaging content. As long as they are just pulling that content from a server rather than dynamically generating new content using time and resource-consuming application logic, they are static landing pages.

Static landing pages are also easier for search engines to crawl and index and thus generate better search engine rankings.

Be sure to host all static content on content delivery networks for maximum speed. They deliver static content faster by reducing network latency. Pre-compiling and caching static HTML files will make your site load faster the first time customers access it. You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.

For building static content pages optimized for mobile devices, you may wish to explore the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, including AMP HTML, the AMP JS library, and the Google AMP Cache, for caching and delivering AMP pages. AMP will speed up your mobile site, which is especially helpful for converting shoppers into buyers and improving omnichannel retail operations.

For more tips on how to make your site fast and reliable this holiday season, no matter how many customers you get, download our updated ebook, The Most Trafficked Time of the Year.

 

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