Let’s face it; we’re attached to our smartphones. A study by Apple found that on average we unlock our smartphones 80 times per day, or roughly every 10 minutes. With all this time we spend on mobile devices, naturally some time is dedicated to travel. In fact 70% of travelers with a smartphone have used it to research travel.

In our most recent webinar, we were joined by Catlyn Origitano, Senior Content Marketing Manager for Sojern, to discuss how hotels can drive more bookings from their mobile website.

It’s a worthwhile topic, given that many hotels are struggling to keep pace with the mobile movement. In our webinar poll, 36% of attendees revealed that they did not yet have a mobile website built specifically for mobile devices. (Though it’s always worth noting that 60% did). Of those who did have a mobile website, most indicated they were struggling to drive direct bookings from it. Only 10% felt they were driving sufficient mobile bookings, while 65% did not, and 25% were not sure.

Catlyn stressed the need to offer a full-funnel mobile experience, removing friction points from the inspiration and research phases of the travel shopping journey, through to the booking itself. She provided actionable tips to increase mobile bookings, as well as explained the importance of a mobile website in relation to your SEO & SEM strategies. Not only do websites that receive Google’s “mobile-friendly” designation get boosted higher in search results, but Google is switching to a mobile-first index. This change means that Google will crawl your mobile site for information first when determining search results, so it’s never been more important for your website to be optimized for mobile.

Here Are Some of the Highlights from Our Discussion

  • 40% of visits to US travel sites are made on mobile devices.
  • 94% of leisure travelers switch between devices as they plan or book a trip. This highlights the value of a mobile website in the travel shopping journey, even if the booking is eventually made on a desktop.
  • 31% of leisure travelers and 53% of business travelers have booked on a smartphone.
  • Economy hotels have the highest share of mobile hotel queries at 73%, compared to 45% for luxury hotels.
  • However, luxury hotels are seeing the largest year-over-year growth in mobile hotel queries at 23%, and all classes of hotels are experiencing double digit growth.
  • The share of mobile hotel searches and bookings increase on the weekends.
  • You need to develop a strong search strategy, SEO & SEM are increasingly important in order to be found by travel shoppers.
  • Target long-tail keywords - search terms comprising 4 or more words - in your SEO strategy.
  • Long-tail keywords are specific, less competitive, transaction-based in nature and convert 2.5x better than head terms.
  • Your SEM strategy needs to involve mobile. Your ads shouldn’t only live on desktops since travelers don’t only use desktops. Be present where they are.
  • Elements of a great mobile website (according to Google):
    • Content renders on mobile (no zooming, pinching or scrolling).
    • Avoids software not compatible with mobile (e.g. Flash).
    • Avoids intrusive pop-ups between Google search results page and your webpage.
    • Loads quickly.
    • Caters to touch (e.g. links spaced out)

Catch up on all the insights by watching our webinar recording on-demand.

Watch The Recording

Learn how mobile trends are changing the travel-shopping journey, effective targeting strategies for mobile users, and elements of a successful mobile website that converts. Watch our on demand webinar, Drive Direct Bookings With A Killer Mobile Website/strong>.

About the Author Leonardo

Leonardo is a technology company serving the global hospitality industry. We provide e-marketers at hotel brands, management companies, hotel properties and travel websites with technology solutions that improve the way they present their hotels online to travel shoppers.