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I kind of hate Pinterest. One night I spent two hours looking at nail polish on Pinterest.
Nail polish. Two hours.
Aint nobody got time for that.
That’s probably why I’m terrified of the arrival of my new tablet. I guarantee my Pinterest time will be amplified, and I will accumulate an absolutely ridiculous collection of nail polish hues, and I will not be able to buy my own house because I’ll have spent all my money on said nail polish. Oh but don’t feel bad for me—my nails will look absolutely incredible.
The thing is, I’m usually the last one to jump on the band wagon. I never even watched the Lord of the Rings series until this year and it blew my damaged-from-inhaling-too-many-nail-polish-fumes mind. So if I’m getting a tablet, it means that probably everyone else already has one. Which means that they are probably trying to view your website on their tablets. So what does your website look like on a tablet? If you haven’t optimized your site for tablets, it probably looks worse than my nails after I try to execute an elaborate Pinterest nail design.
Take Advantage of Couch Commerce
Last holiday season, The New York Times reported the increase of tablet use for online shopping, with 75 percent of web shoppers making a purchase on their tablet. Don’t act like you’ve never sat on your couch and watched Jersey Shore while stuffing your face with Doritos and online shopping on your tablet before. Welcome to couch commerce, betches.
Optimizing Your Site for Tablets with Responsive Design
So how DO you optimize your site for a tablet? Having a site optimized for mobile is not enough! Tablet screens are much bigger than mobile screens, so your customers do not want to see the mobile version of your site on their tablet. So unless you build another site that is specifically optimized for tablets, you can bet your bippy that people will be viewing the desktop version of your website on their tablet, not the mobile version.
In a recent blog post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, Google wrote that,
“Our recommendation for smartphone-optimized sites is to use responsive web design, which means you have one site to serve all devices. If your website uses responsive web design as recommended, be sure to test your website on a variety of tablets to make sure it serves them well too. Remember, just like for smartphones, there are a variety of device sizes and screen resolutions to test.”
So when you’re optimizing your site for tablets, first think about your business and why someone goes to your website in the first place. Someone visiting a plumbing or HVAC site has different needs than someone looking for a remodeler to do their new kitchen. Make sure the web designer or online marketing company you’re working with this understands this (most web designers don’t know jack about business!).
Next, think about how tablet users are physically navigating your site—they’re using their fingertips, not a mouse. Tablet screens are also usually smaller than desktop or laptop screens. If your website has small fonts for links and a lot of them next to each other, or small call to action buttons, your potential customers are going to have a hard time navigating your site because, well, I’ve been around the block enough to know that not everyone is good with their fingers. If your customers can’t navigate your website on their tablet, they’re probably not going to say “Oh let me go get my laptop.” They are going to move on to a different site that is better optimized for the device they are currently using.
Next, and I can’t believe I even have to ask this question, but do you use Flash on your website? This won’t display right on an iPad. And for that matter, it also isn’t Google / search engine friendly. You’re all around better off using HTML5. This isn’t the 90s—and we don’t all have Geocities and Angelfire websites anymore.
Another thing to consider when optimizing your site for tablets is the images you use. Many tablets offer a higher resolution screen, so you’re going to want to use high quality images. Because most tablet users are using a Wi-Fi network, this won’t impact the page load times. In addition to using high quality images, it’s also important that these images can be rotated and enlarged—as this makes them easier to view on a tablet.
If you’re interested in optimizing your site for tablet or mobile devices, contact Blue Corona today. If you’re interested in a really elaborate Pinterest-inspired nail polish design, go elsewhere.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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