Web designers have a lot on their plates. The world of web design is changing so fast that what was once considered cutting edge has become obsolete in the space of a few years. For instance, while responsive websites were once unheard of, these days a website that doesn’t display well on mobile devices is considered backward.
Responsive websites automatically resize to fit the device being used to view them. Whether you’re viewing a site on a tiny mobile phone screen, a tablet or a desktop computer, the site morphs to fit the device. This can be a great alternative to creating a separate mobile site.
As an added bonus, Google looks upon responsive websites favorably in terms of SEO and page speed. In addition, hoteliers love them, too, for the cost savings and convenience they offer, since only one website needs to be updated.
Here are some responsive website design tips hotels can benefit from…
1. Keep navigation simple
Visitors to your website are at the mercy of your menu bar when it comes to navigation, and the menu bar is one of the elements most greatly affected by screen size. Having an uncomplicated menu structure will save you and your visitors a lot of pain.
While a cluttered menu bar might be acceptable on a desktop screen, on the much smaller screen of a mobile device, navigation needs to be quick, simple and visible. With some websites, the existing navigation can work well. In other situations where there is more content you may want to use a toggle menu or hidden shelf.
2. Bold key text
Internet users are bombarded by information these days, and if you have any important messages for your visitors, such as a call to action, these should be highlighted, preferably with bold text.
Design the text to which you want to bring attention to stand out while still complementing the overall appearance of your site.
3. Have clear call to action options
On smaller mobile screens, where the user is forced to scroll down much further to see all your content, your call to action can easily get lost. This is especially so on a hotel’s website, where users will be torn between viewing photos of the property and making actual bookings.
Your call to action needs to be obvious and easy to locate, not relegated to the bottom of a page. Make it easy for visitors to know what they should do next by placing your call to action close to the top of the page.
4. Ensure your site is SEO friendly
Just because your site displays beautifully on devices of all sorts, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in good health SEO-wise. Hotels rely heavily on organic traffic from search engines, so it’s important to ensure your responsive site is optimised.
Having a responsive site instead of a mobile site can be advantageous since you’ll have a single URL, but there are other challenges. For instance, you’ll have to ensure you are able to lower the bounce rate by making your site user-friendly on mobile or risk hurting your search engine rankings.
5. Do lots of testing
You should you never just build a website and make it live right away. Ensure that you test the new site indefatigably and iron out all creases no matter how subtle before your customers are able to access your site. Having customers access a site that’s full of glitches can cost you a lot of money in forgone business.
If you’ve decided to adapt your website to mobile devices using responsive design, the above tips form the basic principles behind every effective site. It is key to look at your site from the user’s point of view in order to identify how navigation, calls to action and important information should be positioned and designed.