Lodging Interactive, named among the best interactive agencies worldwide for its excellence in website design, is assisting hoteliers by building responsive mobile websites.
When Google talks, hotel marketers need to listen, especially when it comes to responsive website design. With mobile traffic gaining market share month after month, hotels need to ensure their desktop versions of their websites are optimized for smaller screens and deliver fast loading times. Lodging Interactive, the interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry and winner of numerous prestigious awards for its website design services, says the more responsive a hotel website, the higher its SEO rankings on Google, and the easier it will be to maintain.
'SEO is a core component of any business' digital marketing strategy, and as such Google has gone so far as to call responsive web design an industry best practice," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "For hotels, this means keeping content on one website and one URL, making it much easier for travelers to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site. Some hotels have learned quickly that trying to build separate sites for mobile and tablet environments (all while trying to maintain their existing PC site) is exhaustive for staff, and it presents potential duplicate content issues with Google which negatively effects organic search engine results."
Responsive websites turn visitors into customers
According to a study conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger for Google:
- 96% of consumers say they've encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices
- 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site
- 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site
- 61% of consumers say that they'd quickly move onto another site if they didn't find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site.
- 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
- 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly
- 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that's not mobile-friendly
If the site didn't work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn't care about their business
"This research confirms that mobile users actively seek out and prefer to engage with mobile-friendly, responsive sites," Vallauri said. "Travelers attitudes about your hotel can quickly and easily be shaped by mobile site experiences. Having a great mobile site is no longer just about making a few reservations; it's become a critical component of building a strong brand image, nurturing customer loyalty, and making the hotel's mobile strategy work for the property and the brand."
Consider this scenario: A potential hotel guest searches for your hotel on their smartphone during a lunch break at work. They find your site, and your hotel has exactly the accommodations and amenities they're looking for, so the traveler decides to continue researching your hotel using the site when they get home. Except, when they get home, they will use their desktop instead of their smartphone. If the hotel's site is responsive, the potential guest will have a positive user-experience when transitioning from mobile to desktop because they will view the same site on their desktop as they did on their smartphone. On the other hand, if the site is a dedicated mobile site, this person may not find the same content they viewed on their mobile site.
"The beauty of responsive web design is that a responsive website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes," Vallauri said. "Since it's nearly impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes guests will use to access your site, hotel marketers need to ensure that the mobile site works well regardless of these variables to provide a better and more consistent user-experience. Having to build a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size is simply a waste of staff time and it doesn't enhance the user experience.
"Having a separate desktop and mobile site also requires having separate SEO campaigns," he said. "Hotels have enough trouble managing their main website, let alone having to update and orchestrate multiple versions with multiple SEO campaigns...