In case you haven’t noticed, your market is adopting to browsing on mobile devices at increasing rate. Today’s travelers aren’t going to travel agents’ offices to discuss their trips, they’re taking their smartphones out their pockets and searching on Google and on TripAdvisor. If your website isn’t displaying and functioning properly on those devices, you can wave goodbye to a large (and growing) percentage of your market.
It’s not just the travelers themselves your site needs to be optimized for. Google recently rolled out an update to their algorithm on April 21, 2015. Which favors mobile-friendly websites, and ranks them higher than websites that are not optimized for mobile devices.
Not only does a mobile-friendly site improve the user’s experience (and likelihood of them booking with you), it actually increases the chance of them finding out about you in the first place! Here are few tips for ensuring your site’s meeting the mobile standard.
Keep the design of your website clean and simple without any visual clutter or intrusive animations and sliders. People using your website on a smartphone or tablet are looking for information they can process quickly, and clear visual elements easy-to-use features like well marked buttons help in this regard.
Your NAP (name, address, phone) details should be immediately visible and easy to read on a small device – we like to put all this in the site’s header or in a easily located menu item so that travelers are never at a loss for how to reach you.
One of the most important mobile features for tour operators is a prominently placed CTA (call to action) like a “book now” button that allows customers to create a booking from their device. These should lead visitors to well optimized forms, bringing us to the next point…
Nothing is more frustrating that a form with fields so small you can’t tap to select them, and when the keyboard pops up it obscures the field you’re trying to fill. Make sure the forms on your site appear clearly on mobile screens – we’re big fans of Caldera Forms.
Optimize all videos and images that are on your website so that they can be quickly loaded and easily viewed on a mobile device. Be sure not to use flash on your website as it slow and often won’t work on mobile browsers.
Light on code
Make sure that your page will load quickly and completely, and test the time it takes for it to load on all devices. According to one study, 74 percent of mobile users will leave a webpage if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. Using a lightweight theme like our own free LSX Theme will help to keep your page-load times down – it’s light-weight and optimized for mobile.
This isn’t so much a website optimization as it is a marketing tool, but for mobile it can’t be left out: you need to be on Google Maps! A proper Google Business listing with reviews, images and website details is a vital way to get your business in front travelers on the move.
These are just a few ways of increasing your site’s users experience on mobile, if you have any more you feel we’ve missed out, or have an idea for mobile optimization you’d like to see including, please comment below!