Optimising Your Site for Tablets

by Gary on October 8, 2011

in Accessibility,Website Design

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Tablets have become ubiquitous, so much so that any website owner would be foolish not to optimise their site to make it friendlier for tablet users. To help you get started here are some tips for redesigning your site and realigning your strategy to ensure you don’t miss out on the gaining popularity of tablets:

  • Convert Flash content to HTML5 – While other tablets may support Flash, iPad, which is still the most popular tablet, does not. If you want your site’s content to render correctly on an iPad, then you’d better start converting all that flashy Flash content to HTML5. Need more reason than the significant number of iPad users you’re missing out on? Then do it for your SEO efforts, after all flash is just about as search bot friendly as it is iPad friendly, which means not friendly at all.
  • Use larger fonts and buttons – Tablets may have smaller displays than computer screens, but the funny thing is that larger fonts work better (read: more user friendly) on mobile devices. Please your mobile users by making things easier on their eyes. It is also super annoying to keep on pressing the wrong button, so make buttons finger-friendly and make them as large as possible.
  • Offer a way for users to toggle between tablet view and normal view – Ideally this toggle alert should only be appear when the browser detects the tablet, but you can also just embed a toggle button on your site.
  • Avoid paginated pages – While clicking on next page or swiping a finger to get to the next page is not that hard, it will mean more waiting time for your user as the next page loads. Since scrolling down is pretty easy in tablets, you should opt for view all pages as much as possible.
  • Make your content downloadable – You don’t have to make everything downloadable, but at least choose the most popular or useful ones and make PDF downloadable versions for them. A lot of people use their tablets as ebook readers and would appreciate being able to read your content even if they are not connected to the Internet.
  • Be speed conscious – While studies show that tablet users are using their devices at home more and more, a significant amount of time spent on the tablet browsing is still done while on the go. This means that you have to make sure that your site has fast loading time if you want tablet users to stick around.
  • Simplify your checkout – This is important (especially for your conversion rate) since typing on a tablet is still not as easy as typing on your keyboard (unless they have an external keyboard attached of course). Make life easier for your users by simplifying your checkout and so avoid discouraging them from completing the purchase action.

 

Resources:

Start Thinking Mobile SEO by Steve Wiideman
SEO for the iPad by Phil Nottingham
Is It Time to Start Optimizing Your Sites for Tablets? by SEOPub

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