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I’ve been fortunate enough to work with clients ahead of them being featured on Shark Tank.  The obvious excitement for a Shark Tank-featured business is that they’re going to get a flood of traffic.  However, what many people don’t think ahead about is how that flood of traffic can crush your website… leaving you in the dust with no sales as your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity passes you by.

Don’t let your website get crushed by Shark Tank.

There are three goals that you should keep in mind as your prepare your website ahead of being featured on Shark Tank.

  1. Make sure your website will be able to handle the influx of traffic without crashing.
  2. Improve your website’s design to cash in on all of the traffic my maximizing your conversion rate.
  3. Optimize your website for consistent, long-term search engine optimization after you’re featured.
  4. Secure your website
  5. Prepare your customer service team.
  6. Notify your merchant account provider.
Shark Tank

(pixabay / Hans)

Start with website optimization basics

As a business owner, you should start by confirming the basics of your website’s stability. Make sure that your domain isn’t going to expire anytime soon and ensure that your hosting account is paid to avoid interruption.

With how much extra traffic will be heading your way, it’s a no-brainer to pay a few extra dollars a month to your host to upgrade your website’s capabilities. This will ensure that your website can handle the traffic peaks.

Once you ensure that your domain or hosting isn’t going to expire anytime soon, it’s time to dial in your website’s efficiency.

First, make sure that your website loads quickly. A slow website = people leaving your site = no sales.

Use a free tool like GTmetrix.com to identify why your site is loading slow and how to fix it.

Before example:

website speed before

After example:

website speed after

Google also offers a free tool at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.

Don’t forget to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Having a mobile-friendly site is no longer a small advantage over your competition. It’s a necessity.

As of 2016, most industries see the majority of their traffic come from mobile devices. Use Google’s free Mobile Friendly test tool to see how your page looks on mobile and what areas of mobile display to improve.

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Value propositions matter

Once your website is running smoothly, tell visitors why you’re different. What separates your product or service from the hundreds or thousands of other companies that are out there that offer the same thing?

Make sure that your website outlines your value propositions front-and-center so your Shark Tank visitors instantly identify why they need your product or service.

Secure your website

While you hope that the increase in traffic that Shark Tanks brings an increase in sales, you’ll also be exposed to plenty of shady people, too. You never know when someone may find your site to be an attractive target.

Maybe a competitor is jealous. Maybe someone has the opposite opinion of the cause you support. Or, maybe someone just wants to have a high-value target hacked under their name.

Double down on security enhancements to minimize website downtime during your once-in-a-lifetime exposure on Shark Tank. Providers like Cloudflare can minimize brute force login attempts, DDoS attacks, visits from foreign country IP’s, and so much more. If your site runs on WordPress, add a plugin like Wordfence for an instant added layer of protection.

website security

(pixabay / mohamed_hassan)

Prepare customer service

With your website dialed in, you’ll need all hands on deck elsewhere. Make sure that your correct phone number is displayed on your website and that contact form submissions are delivered to an inbox of someone that can reply to promptly. Don’t hesitate to place a few test orders to ensure that your website and email provider sync hand-in-hand to get confirmation emails out to your new customers, quickly and efficiently.

Notify your merchant account provider

Lastly, don’t forget to notify your merchant account of an upcoming increase in sales. You probably forgot that when you set up your merchant account that it had a cap on how much you can process in a month. Well, with Shark Tank, you’re about to exceed that in a day.

Call your merchant account rep and let them know about the upcoming exposure. This will ensure that they spike in sales doesn’t automatically suspend your merchant account, leaving you high and dry.