Your customers are booking rooms on mobile devices.
As travelers increasingly use smartphones and tablets to search and book hotel rooms, Google continues to dominate as the most widely used search engine in the world. Best-in-class hotels improve their search rankings, appearing higher on Google search results, by having a mobile-responsive website and booking engine. Mobile-responsive websites and booking engines are easy to navigate on any mobile device or computer the traveler is using.
Meanwhile, Google has indicated that hotels with non-responsive booking engines will be penalized beginning in 2017. What’s more, Google will soon be exclusively focused on mobile-responsive sites in its ranking assessments.
Here are 3 reasons mobile-responsive websites and booking engines are no longer optional:
1. Google says so. Not only is Google using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, but their algorithms will progressively use only the mobile version of your site to rank it. Since most travelers use Google to search, playing by these rules increases your chances of being found.
2. Your customers are moving to mobile, with or without you. Internet users are impatient. They expect a fast and simple booking experience, whether using a mobile device or desktop computer. According to eMarketer, 2016 was the first year when more than half of the hotel accommodations booked online were done so using a mobile device. This percentage is steadily increasing with no slowdown in sight.
3. It’s critical if you want to compete with OTAs. OTAs are capturing a huge share of your mobile bookings, and they’ve invested large sums of money to do so. Much of their investment is in developing amazing mobile booking experiences for travelers. To compete with OTAs and increase direct bookings on your own website, a straightforward, mobile-responsive experience for travelers is critical.
Are your website and booking engines mobile-responsive? If not, don’t lose hope. Upgrading your website and booking experience can be done on a surprisingly affordable budget, if you work with the right experts.