Digital Design Imperative: Does Your Hotel Have A Mobile-Friendly Website?
Like it or not, it’s impossible to deny the facts – the number of potential hotel visitors seeking out and booking rooms via a smartphone or tablet is ever rising. In fact, current research suggests that in 2017 a full quarter of bookings (25%) will be made online, while just 7% of them were secured via the Internet in 2014 – that’s a rise of 18% in just three years. To say change is in the air is putting it mildly; change is here and it’s present – the wind’s moving in only one direction. So much so, actually, that it’s recently been discovered that of those who book a hotel within 24 hours or less of them checking in, 65% of them now book online.
For hotels then, the need to ensure their websites are mobile-friendly in order to accommodate for online bookers is of paramount importance. Any hotelier worth their salt knows that they’re not just competing with their rivals on price of rooms and suites, but in services and facilities as well. You simply can’t afford not to be mobile-friendly if your competitors are. You can’t afford to lose out on today’s enormous online audience that’s surfing the ’Net every moment of the day in search of the perfect accommodation.
However, don’t forget too that it’s crucial your hotel website design is effectively centred within your hotel’s distribution and revenue management strategy, however successfully a new mobile-friendly site brings in direct business. Unless the site is thoroughly integrated into your business model you won’t be properly set up to maintain market share – because you won’t be able to deliver customers the best possible integrated mobile experience via your site.
It’s important too to bear in mind that unless you converts to a mobile-friendly website your hotel’s standing in Google search rankings – an all-critical, primary way that businesses of all stripes reach customers in today’s digital world. The reason for this is that over the course of the last 18 or so months, Google has deliberately attempted to boots mobile-friendly pages in its search results via the introduction of a specific ranking algorithm. This means then that non-mobile-capable websites are – and have been for some time – at a disadvantage and missing out on attracting customers and clients.
Overall, there’s no getting away from it, the evidence points to one inevitable conclusion – if your hotel’s website isn’t optimised for mobile devices you’re allowing your rivals to get a jump on you and better enable potential visitors to find them and book their rooms. And what hotelier can afford for that to happen?