Mobile phones have to rank right up there with the all-time biggest inventions that have changed our lives for good. We could scarcely have imagined when the first yuppies stepped out with them that they would become so ubiquitous and so useful on a day-to-day basis as they have.
According to a recent study published by Search Engine Land, searches performed on smartphones or tablets now outnumber those carried out on PCs in ten different countries – we’re no longer confined to a desktop while we go online, but can look for information wherever we happen to be.Three-quarters of internet users went online using a mobile device at the end of 2015 and this year, they’re starting to overtake all other devices in terms of the time spent online with them, according to Global Web Index.This is hugely for important for businesses, including those in the travel and hospitality.
Although it means that a potentially huge audience can now see your hotel’s website during their daily commute or as they check their phones over their morning coffee, it doesn’t necessarily meant they can see it in the manner you intended them to.This is because websites need to be optimised so that they are mobile responsive. You can get around it by providing a separate, mobile version of your site, but this is unnecessarily time-consuming and expensive. Instead, take the time to ensure your site is fully mobile-friendly.What is responsive web design? A responsive Website Design For Hotels is one that automatically and instantly corrects a person’s web viewing experience to suit the type of device they are using. So, for instance, if they visit a website on their phone, the site will recognise this and adjust its settings accordingly so it provides the correct version for them. People will get customised content that fits their screen orientation and the type of platform they are on. This keeps user experience firmly in mind and means you won’t be frustrating your visitors by providing a site that won’t load properly.Why bother with responsive web design?It might sound as though this is a lot of effort – after all, as long as people can get on your site, they should be able to get the information they want, right?
Actually, this is incorrect. Sites designed for PCs can fail to load on mobile screens, or can appear with parts of the screen or images missing. This can mean some of your crucial and well-written information isn’t displayed and so could cost you a booking.Standard pages can also take a really long time to appear on mobile screens and people just won’t wait for that. Studies have shown that if a page doesn’t appear properly within the space of just a few seconds, they’ll bounce right back to the search engine from whence they can and look for one that will. Indeed, bounce rates for non-responsive websites can be as high as 90 per cent, showing that you could be losing a large part of your clientele.
Furthermore, having a responsive website can boost your search engine rankings because Google put into place an algorithm in 2015 that gives favourable positions to those that have been optimised and penalises those that haven’t.This means it’s a really easy way to boost your SEO campaigns and appear higher in search rankings without having to do anything at all to your content.Another thing to consider about responsive design is that it simply improves the user experience, and that’s a huge factor in whether or not someone decides to make a booking via your website or decides a competitor is better.
According to Google, you are 67 per cent more likely to achieve a sale if your visitor has a positive and enjoyable experience while navigating your website because people inadvertently judge your quality and trustworthiness based on what they see on screen.If pages won’t load and pictures are replaced by ‘failed to load’ signs, they might assume your hotel is poor-quality, which isn’t the image you want to convey at all. Finally, if you build a responsive site as opposed to just launching another for mobile, you don’t have to build your authority from scratch and instead can maintain any backlinks and positive SEO results you have already achieved. A simple look around the web will allow you to see that there are still surprising numbers of websites that haven’t been optimised for mobile.
However, with the growth of mobile search and time spent online using such devices showing no sign of abating, this surely cannot be the case much longer.In future, the web will undoubtedly be dominated by sites that allow their users to have a positive experience no matter what device they are on – and if that includes your hotel, then you will have the edge over your non-responsive competitors.