Draw more traffic by making your blog tablet-friendly
Tablet sales are skyrocketing, with over 50 million tablet users in the US alone (that’s 25% of all American internet users). Men and women are equally represented among tablet users, and the average user is young, rich, and well-educated—just over half earning more than $75,000 per year.
However you monetize your blog, you can’t afford to ignore this growing, lucrative sector of internet traffic. Here are some ways you can accommodate tablet users to drop your bounce rate and draw increased traffic.
Don’t ignore tablets!
Ignoring tablet users is just about the only way you can really mess this up. Tablet and mobile design aren’t all that different from browser design, and if you make just a few simple changes to accommodate tablets, you’ll be a cut above other blogs. As a tablet user myself, I can testify that when I’m on my tablet, I don’t waste time with sites that don’t have a decent mobile interface, and I spend a great deal more time on sites that do. Your readers will notice, your advertisers will notice, and your online reputation will improve and grow.
Keep your design with 1000px
Tablet users hate having to constantly swipe and zoom to read content because you made your page too big. Work around a 1000px limit—or better yet, instead of a one-size-fits-all design, look into Adaptive CSS to change your design to fit the user’s display, whether they’re reading from a tablet, smartphone, or laptop.
Think about creating a mobile version of your blog
If you want mobile and tablet users to see a totally different interface than browser users, consider creating a mobile version of your site. It’s a bit more work, but the versatility of having two different interfaces often pays off—you can keep your mobile version spare and clean without “dumbing down” your browser interface. This can be especially important if you want to attract the lucrative market of people who use their tablet PC as a business tool, because they can access the important sections of your blog (specifically the parts that are integral to your revenue stream) at-a-glance, rather than having to dig around for them.
4. Give your links plenty of breathing room
Another huge frustration of tablet browsing is trying to click a tiny link, packed in with half a dozen other tiny links. No matter how responsive your user’s touchscreen is, fingers are like clubs compared to the precision of a mouse. Anything you want a tablet user to click should be well spaced out. Check out Mozilla’s main page; they don’t have a dedicated tablet version, because they don’t need one. Their main page is easy to access on a tablet, because they limit the content on their front page, and provide plenty of space to make it easy to click.
5. Make sure your design works for both portrait and landscape orientation
There are two ways tablet design can fail this test—either the text will be tiny and illegible in portrait mode, or landscape mode will display a huge amount of wasted space and only a fraction of the page’s text. Again, adaptive CSS is a big help here, but simply staying within your size limitations and being mindful of tablet users is enough to create a compatible design for both orientations.
6. Consider a “mobile-first” design strategy
If you’re overhauling your site design, it helps to start from the most limited, constrained display medium—and that means smartphones. Begin with the idea that your site should look clean and function properly on a smartphone, and it will be easy to expand that design to include tablets. Even browser users will benefit from a site that is uncluttered, simple, and easy to navigate. If tablet users see a friendly interface when they click your blog’s URL, your bounce rate will drop precipitously.
About the Author:
Patricia Shuler is a BBGeeks.com staff writer from Oakland, California. She’s an admitted tech-junkie who’s quick to share her honest opinion on all things consumer electronic—including up-to-date news, user reviews, and “no holds barred” opinions on a variety of social media, tech, computer, and mobile accessories topics.