Web Design

The Need for Speed: What can AMP Do for Your Hotel’s Site?

The chances are your hotel has a website to advertise all its rooms and amenities and, ideally, to ensure travellers can book rooms directly. If that’s the case (and if not, seriously, why don’t you have a site?), then one thing you may or may not be aware of is the importance of speed. Specifically, the speed it takes for the site – and its pages – to load when someone visits it. Plus, don’t doubt it, of just as much importance is the need for the site and its pages to appear successfully on mobile devices.

Page Speed

That’s because it doesn’t take a genius to realise smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous; practically everybody seems to have one today – indeed, research last year concluded that nearly than two-thirds (65%) of the time people spend accessing digital media is conducted via mobile. And, if you’re not convinced of the importance of page loading speed, consider the fact that, these days, 40% of mobile users abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Yes, really.

So, if it’s now occurring to you that your hotel site could look better on mobile and could load faster, don’t fret; help’s available thanks to a recently launched project from Google called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
What is AMP?
Put simply, AMP ensures that the page loading time of web pages is, yes, ‘accelerated’ on mobile devices, while they’re also smartly tailored to fit a mobile or tablet screen perfectly. How does it work? Well, AMP basically cuts out the clutter that ordinarily appears on a page, the sort of stuff (flash ads, big banners and pop ups) that can considerably slow down its loading. It does this by removing data and only keeping necessary code – an AMP page is best facilitated to do this when it’s been built using specialist HTML, CSS and JavaScript codes, with mobile-friendly protocols thrown in. It may not provide the easiest-on-the-eye experience, sure; but it’ll provide a clever and effective hotel responsive web design, which is the whole point.

And, when it comes to mobile responsive web design, AMP comes up trumps as it enables fast loading on a handheld device because it only loads content that fits within the parameters of the device’s screen. This means that additional content doesn’t load until the user wants to see it and scrolls down in order to do so. Indeed, there’s another upside to this – less downloading time means fewer bounced visitors which, in turn, means AMP pages indirectly boost a website’s search engine optimised (SEO) rankings, as more people are visiting a site for longer. Which is a moot point because, in the not too dim future, it may well be that Google starts favouring more mobile-friendly web pages in its search page rankings.
How to get the most out of AMP?
So, AMP certainly sounds good, but how can you truly get the best you possibly can from it, should you part with good money to put it on your site? Well, it’s an initiative that’s also been designed to encourage user engagement, which means driving up visitors clicking links (Google loves ‘link clicking’ and SEO). In which case, you’d be best advised to apply AMP to the pages of your site on which clicks are going to really matter; that is, when clicks are going to make you money. That means pages that feature room and amenity details, promotions and takes users to a booking engine. Not only then will it improve mobile users’ experience of your site, but it’ll also boost your revenue from their visits.