With the holiday season in full swing, many people are buying or receiving tablet devices. This raises important questions for businesses that want to abide by search engine optimization best practices in relation to tablet devices.
Google was able to provide some tips on the matter and offer some insight on what they expect to see for websites viewed on a tablet. More information from the Google blog post covering this topic can be found here. The key point they made was that users are expecting to see the desktop version of a website when using a tablet device, not the mobile version. If your website has a mobile version, they would rather have the desktop version be returned to users on tablet devices.
The best practice from a search engine optimization perspective is to develop a responsive website, which will allow seamless transition across all devices. More information on using responsive design can be found in this blog post. The key benefits as mentioned in the previous blog post are:
Google also made the point that if your website is using redirects to send mobile device users to a mobile version, they don’t want to see tablet device users being redirected to the mobile version. As always, it is important to follow general SEO best practices as these will ensure your best results from search engine optimization.
Businesses should always be looking to gain new customers and keep the ones they have happy. One way of doing this is adapting to the way your customers like to shop. E-commerce companies should be aware of consumers increased spending on mobile devices, especially tablets, and changes should be made to reach them.
According to an article on Direct Marketing News, “Tablet users who visited e-commerce websites in 2011 spent 54% more per purchase than smartphone visitors and 21% more than desktop or laptop visitors, according to a Jan. 19 report by Adobe Systems.” Tablets are a viable way to reach your target audience and businesses should be willing to make website adjustments to reach returning and potential customers. What type of adjustments? Make sure they can easily navigate and purchase on your site.
When a visitor comes to your website via a tablet, what do they see? Does your website adjust to fit their screen or will the user have to play with their display settings just to get a clear picture of the item they want? It may sound silly to ask such a question, but businesses can frequently lose out on sales due to visitor frustration.
The other night my mom went online to buy some books using a tablet. However, unlike a computer, she could only see one book per page. (The website wasn’t optimized to fit a tablet.) She spent some time attempting to find the books she wanted, but eventually ended up ordering over the phone. Instead of buying multiple books, she only bought one. This particular company lost business because their site wasn’t user friendly on a tablet. How can a company fix this? Easy, use a sniffer. A sniffer can detect what type of device a visitor is using and serve them a landing page that is configured for their device. It would behoove this bookstore to add a sniffer to their site. Who knows how many other tablet users have passed up on buying, due to the lack of a good user experience on a particular site?
When it’s all said and done businesses have to make changes to reach their consumers. If a decent amount of your target audience is using tablets to access your site, consider getting a sniffer. How can a company determine how many visitors are coming from mobile devices and tablets? Read the following article on obtaining this data through analytics.