The growth in mobile phone use has completely changed the ways businesses work online, including those in the hospitality industry. While they benefit from the potentially huge audience of guests that can see them on the web, it also means they need to adapt to the fact that a variety of different devices are being used to view their content. Because tablet and smartphone screens are very different to PCs, websites need to be optimised so they are what’s known as responsive.What is responsive website design for hotels? A responsive website will automatically correct people’s viewing experience to suit the type of device they are using, meaning they will get customised content that fits their screen orientation and the type of platform they are on.
It makes for a much improved user experience and means would-be guests won’t have to keep resizing the page or pinching it to zoom in and out, something that can quickly become irksome.Do I really need a responsive website? It might sound like a lot of effort to have to redesign parts of your hotel website, but it’s worth remembering that failing to do so can cause issues that may harm your revenue in the long run. Sites designed for PCs only can fail to load when viewed on mobile devices or can appear with parts of the screen or images missing. This is frustrating and could increase your bounce rate. Even if they do load, they can be significantly slower and that can influence people’s decision to leave your site and go to your competitors.
Emarketer research suggests mobile devices will account for 37 per cent of all online hotel and travel bookings by 2018, while half of the money spent in hospitality is expected to come from mobile-friendly millennials by 2020. If a hotel website is only optimised for desktop, it’s likely to alienate this growing audience of users and prompt them to simply book elsewhere.Another good point is that choosing to make a website responsive for mobile now is likely to save time in future. We don’t yet know if a new device is just around the corner waiting to be invented, or if PCs will eventually die out and be replaced completely.If a site is already responsive and able to adapt to suit a multitude of screens, it is effectively future-proofed for all kinds of potential inventions without hotel owners having to worry about it.What to consider when making sites responsive Making hotel website responsive is a largely technical task, but it also requires consideration as to what content needs to be displayed prominently for mobile users when they arrive on your pages.If people are browsing on tablets or smartphones, there’s a chance they may be on the move or trying to find accommodation last-minute, so ensure they can see rates and room availability clearly laid out without them having to jump through too many click-throughs to find them.
Another key point is the provision of essential information such as local amenities, hotel location and transport details – and finally, a quick and easy booking process. Making your site as user-friendly as possible and paring down information for mobile devices could be key to your marketing strategy going forward. It should also help you stand out from your competitors who aren’t quite as ahead of the technological game.