It’s Not You, It’s Your Tablet


Image from: Tablet Image / Shutterstock

Often times while browsing search referral data, I notice that product specific keywords are often among the top drivers to websites month over month. In particular, the ever-popular tablet line has done wonders for traffic to its producers’ websites. In addition to users searching specifically for the iPhone and the iPod, benefits greatly from online users searching “iPad”. Of course, the hope among these mass manufacturers with a variety of products is that the purchase of a top of the line item, such as a tablet, will open the customer up to the various other products the website has to offer (i.e. the iPod, iPhone, & accessories). In order to visualize tablet driven traffic, I took a look at the search referral traffic generated to Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Amazon for the signature tablets the Nook, iPad, and Kindle, respectively. Pulling a list of the top 100 search referral terms to these three websites, I then identified how many of these terms were tablet specific. Here’s a look at just how much each company is benefiting from these tablet searches:

Top Tablet Searches as percentage of Total Traffic

Out of the Top 100 search referral terms to Barnes and Noble, an extreme 30% contained the keyword “Nook”. Of the top search referral terms to, 17% included “Kindle” in the entry. Lastly, depended on the term “iPad” for 14% of its Top 100 search term phrases. Now let’s put this data in the context of each site’s total visits last month.

percentage of Top Search Terms That Are Tablet Specific

As we all know, each website depends on search referrals for a certain percentage of its total monthly visits, and these proportions are different for each site. In order to start to understand the overall impact that these tablet searches are making on traffic generation, the chart above highlights the percentage of total traffic that the tablet terms in the top 100 search referrals account for. The Top 30 Tablet Specific Search Term Referrals to account for almost 3% of total traffic to the site last month. The 14 terms we found relating to the iPad in the Top 100 Search Referrals to account for 1.2% of the site’s total traffic in February. In terms of “Kindle” search term referrals to, the 17 associated terms we identified in the Top 100 Search Term Referrals were responsible for just under 1% of total traffic to

We might expect a smaller amount of dependency from Amazon due to the nature of the online store itself. Priding itself on its extreme range of products, had over 88 million search referrals last month, while Apple reached just under 13 million and Barnes and Noble just short of 5 million.

From this search referral data, it’s clear to us having a feature tablet or product can be a successful marketing tactic in itself. Do you think there are limitations or detriments to this strategy? Which types of businesses would benefit more from employing a similar approach and why?

About Jen Duguay:
Jen Duguay joins Compete to take on all things social media. She comes from a social issue background, most recently having worked for the Social Innovation Forum, the venture philanthropy arm of Root Cause, a nonprofit research and consulting firm. Jen's interests include singing, marketing, running, art, making guacemole, and using social entrepreneurship to tackle world issues. She has spent time in Belize and the Dominican Republic working on microfinance initiatives and recently traveled to Kenya where she studied the public healthcare system. Follow Jen @jenduguay on Twitter.