Optimizing for the browsers in the target market is something very important to look at when you are trying to bring more traffic into your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which includes Social Media Optimization (SMO) also as a subset in my definition of SEO, is useless if the website does not appear correctly in the browsers of the target market as they will come to your site but will not be able to access or use it properly. So this is also another key aspect related to getting more traffic into your website.
Few important notes are as follows;
- You can not optimize for all the available browsers and versions that is available in the world (Including numerous Browsers which are used by minorities and older version like IE4 or IE5).
- You have to pick and choose the browsers and the versions applicable to your niche.
- If you are using well known frameworks such as WordPress which is used for my blog, the platform itself will handle the majority of the browser compatibility. But since this is not your platform you will not have the greatest flexibility, but you will hardly need that 🙂
- If it’s something that can not directly handled with a platform, you will have to do the tedious job of doing that by your self.
To get an idea on the browser usages you can use many statical sources available on the internet.
Stat Counter is my preferred source.
Some time back I had post on social commenting platfroms (DISQUS vs IntenseDebate) where I took IE6 as the base where I had a comment questioning the base I have selected. The commenter is probably from US, but if you look at the Sri Lankans who are mostly likely to view this post they have a different pattern compared to the global pattern where IE6 is the most used variant if Internet Explorer which I have explained below in the third graph.
Sri Lankans are more into Firefox, With IE and Google Chrome (Which is my personal favorite) in a close race at second and third. With a rapid growth shown by Google Chrome in the last 12 months.
Considering the browser versions Firefox 3.6 at first with IE6 amazingly sitting at the second place justifying my decision to take IE6 as the base browser (which is one of the worst browsers ever to be released)
Few interesting tweets from @statcountergs
- Firefox overtakes Internet Explorer in Europe in browser wars 4th Jan 2011
- Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser falls below 50% of worldwide market for first time 5th Oct 2010
- Chrome Market Share Rises Above 10 Percent 10th Sep 2010
So in conclusion I have to say is that make your own R&D and optimize and assure quality for your niche set of browsers.
* Note: These statistics are the latest available as at January 2011 (From Jan 2010 to December 2010)