“With savvy hotel travellers using their mobile phones to book hotel accommodation on the go, mobile web design is growing in importance.”
Mobile web design for hotels is another exciting development in the world of hotel marketing as more travellers research and book hotels using mobiles. In a recent survey by leading travel site, TripAdvisor, nearly 40 per cent of respondents have planned trips using mobile devices while 60 per cent have downloaded travel apps and 52% researched restaurants on their mobile device.
“Smartphone adoption around the world is skyrocketing, and is fundamentally changing the way people get travel advice,” said Mike Putnam, director of mobile product for TripAdvisor.
“Whether it is finding the perfect museum or restaurant, booking a hotel or a flight, or sharing advice, it is clear that travellers around the world now rely on their smartphones and other mobile devices to plan and have better trips.”
Mobiles signal a new era in accessibility and convenience but mobile browsers, at this stage, are still limited to what they can display. Here are seven challenges hotel website designers need to overcome to create mobile-compliant hotel websites.
Simple site architecture
With the time-critical nature of portable devices, usability guidelines for mobiles are different than for PCs or laptops. To make your site cross-platform friendly, a website must meet user’s expectations and needs very quickly with smart navigation, easy-to-read content, minimal images, intuitive links and a simple booking process. Find out how your site looks on a mobile browser with this clever tool.
Fast loading times
Page speed is an important consideration in traditional hotel website design but it is essential that a hotel mobile website has fast loading times. Mobile Web design should follow a few simple design rules, the most important one being that website pages ideally should be smaller than 20KB. By the nature of mobile phone usage, people need to find information in a hurry, time is definitely of the essence with mobile-search.
Standard hotel web design dictates that large images should be used to attract hotel bookers but the opposite applies for mobile Web design. Mobile-friendly websites preferably should have an uncluttered design, minimal use of images and videos and focused on giving the visitor the basic information they require. Good use of white space is also essential when browsing websites on a mobile with no distracting colour schemes.
No Flash technology
Have a click-to-call button
A click-to-call option on a hotel mobile website is essential. Often people browsing hotel websites on their smartphone are on the go and may not be able to fill out a booking engine via the smaller screen. Make it easy as possible for mobile web browsers to book your hotel by displaying the number of your hotel in a large font with the “+” sign and relevant country code so that international users can call your hotel.
Simplified booking process
A mobile-friendly booking engine is also a design fundamental in mobile Web design for hotels. You can reach hotel bookers on the move with a booking engine that is integrated with your hotel’s website design. As above, you should also offer guests multiple ways to book your hotel, such as a click-to-call option and a request a room form for example, to increase conversion rates.
Mobile SEO is very important in the competitive hotel market. The technical limitation of mobile platforms is that a phone screen generally only allows for approximately 5 search results to be displayed. Less is more with mobile SEO, with shorter and location-based keyword searches being used by your prospects. Descriptions, title tags, URLs/file naming, alt tags and other meta data must be also be short, sharp and succinct.
Hotel website design best practices continue to play a vital role in any type of website design but you will need to make to make a few modifications to capture the mobile market. Contact us to find out how we can create a mobile Web design which is user friendly, renders quickly and efficiently on phones and is optimised to convert traffic into enquiries and bookings. So ask yourself, are you mobile-ready?