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Reel in the 70% of Travelers Relying on Their Phones

Make it easy for guests to book with you by optimizing your website for mobile use.

Most Americans rely on their phones these days for everyday tasks. Use that reliance to your advantage.

Opera Mediaworks, a software group, surveyed a thousand American consumers about their phones and travel habits. They found that 70 percent use their phones to research potential trip accommodations and 45 percent book those accommodations directly from their phones.

Travel site Expedia reports that of the 156 million U.S. consumers who engage with digital travel content, 90 percent of website visitors browse using their smartphones and tablets. Even better, 70 percent of mobile searches result in action within an hour of the original search.

Having an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use website can increase your bookings. Travelers looking to book something from the convenience of their phones may be quick to click off of your website if you don’t make things easy for them.

Here are a few ways to make sure you get and keep travelers’ attention.

Easy booking

Make sure the booking form fits into a single, mobile-optimized page. Include only essential fields, like check-in and check-out dates, room type, number of guests, and contact information. Minimize any need for extra scrolling unless necessary.

Choosing dates should be as simple as possible. Use features like a calendar view and the option to choose flexible dates. You should also allow guests to move forward in the process without making an account. You’ll still have to ask them for an email address, which you can use for a confirmation email and any future marketing efforts. But giving them the option to opt out of a full signup process will feel like a big plus to them.

Give guests the option to pay through third-party processes like PayPal or Apple Pay. They may not have even picked up their phone with the full intention of booking a room. If they’re enticed, you want it to be as easy as a few clicks so that the thought of finding their payment card doesn’t demotivate them.

Easy navigation

A clear and intuitive menu structure is essential for optimized mobile use. Mobile sites don’t have large navigation bars like desktop sites. A clear menu structure on mobile should act as a clear guide for users to get to where they need. Using easily recognizable icons and labels for menu items is especially helpful. Large, touch-friendly buttons ensure that users with small screens can interact with the menu without trouble.

Make sure your menu isn’t cluttered either. The main menu items should only be the most essential. You should also make use of “sticky headers.” These are buttons that remain easily accessible at the top of the screen. Use this feature for buttons like “Book Now” or “Contact Us.”

Mobile SEO

SEO, search engine optimization. This is the practice of making sure search engines like Google and Yahoo push your website further up in search results. It’s an important process for your mobile site just like it is for your desktop site. Mobile site speed is a crucial SEO factor. Optimize your mobile site’s speed by compressing images and minimizing code.

Next, Google will pay attention to how easy your website is to use. Ensure that your content is readable on mobile devices and tablets. Use a legible font size, proper line spacing, and well-structured, concise paragraphs. Avoid pop-ups that could hurt the user experience.