Start growing your mobile bookings today
With 335 million devices sold around the world during Q1 2015, smartphones are ubiquitous and their usage keeps growing. Travellers are no exception – today more than half of them book their hotel stays and flights with their smartphones. In the US alone, last year 40% of travellers switched from traditional desktop/laptop computers to mobile devices for travel-related tasks.
How can you take advantage of this trend?
First and foremost, if your hotel has its own website make sure it displays nicely on the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets. In fact, after the recent adjustment of Google’s algorithm mobile device compatibility has become a must: your site might have been on the first page of Google’s search results, if it’s not mobile friendly it will no longer be visible. Google’s decision may be controversial but it reflects the key role of mobile Internet usage.
A website content you see on a large computer screen will most likely appear differently on a mobile device. In particular, information might be shown in a different order, so it is important to keep the most important elements „above the fold” – i.e. in the area immediately visible after the user has loaded the page. The phone number and the email address of your hotel, as well as the contact form, should be in this area. A mobile webpage can be very long so don’t make your visitors search for your contact details endlessly!
Next, if you already have w responsive, mobile-friendly website, keep in mind a few rules which might help you grow your bookings.
If you are using a booking engine make sure it is usable on a mobile screen. In particular, navigation elements should be large enough (make it easy for your visitor to hit the „book it” button with his/her finger). Luckily a growing number of booking engines are mobile friendly. And if you choose YieldPlanet’s Booking Engine, you will also benefit from seamless integration with your website – the booking page is just another page within your web domain, rather than a pop-up window hosted on a third-party booking domain.
How to get there…
Some of your potential guests are searching for accommodation whilst already on the road. Make it easy for them to reach your hotel, wherever they are. It is as simple as adding a Google map to your website with your hotel’s position marked – visitors of the mobile version will be able to use your coordinates to navigate and find your hotel easily.
Minimize the weight of your pages
Despite broadband access offered by most cellular networks, in many places around the world mobile Internet can still be painfully slow. This means that your web pages, when accessed via a mobile device, should be lighter than your standard pages. For example, your mobile page can use smaller and fewer pictures – you can keep just a couple of images that illustrate your property the best.
If you advertise via Google Adwords remember to optimize your ads for mobile devices. This will increase the number of visits to your website. If you send email newsletters do you know that most email marketing service providers make it possible to send responsive emails, adapted to mobile devices? Simply provide an alternative design, adapted to smaller screens, to improve the results of your email campaigns.
Become a “mobile-friendly” hotelier to stay ahead of your competitors and grow your bookings today.