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Updates from Avondata and the hospitality technology sector

Why mobile optimisation is key

Mobile bookings are soaring, with mobile accounting for 28% of all travel bookings in the UK in the first quarter of 2016, according to online advertising expert Criteo.

The UK saw a 44% rise in the amount of time people spent consuming digital travel content last year to 2.4 billion minutes, figures from Expedia revealed.

So, with this in mind hotels must ensure their websites are mobile optimised or risk losing visibility and, even more importantly, bookings.

Here are some key things to consider:

Speed is of the essence

Smartphones and other advances in technology have created a generation of very impatient consumers. Businesses like hotels have about 15 seconds to make a good impression with potential customers browsing online.

Mobile download times are a key factor in getting customers to your booking page – customers now expect the same speed via mobile as via their desktops. A massive 19% of mobile users will abandon a page that doesn’t load within five seconds, while 30% will give up if a page does not load within six to ten seconds, according to Kissmetrics.

Failing to ensure your site is mobile optimised to load quickly on a phone, really can affect your bottom line.

Looks do matter

Navigating an overcomplicated home screen on your mobile is no fun. In fact, it’s very irritating. When it comes to mobile sites, less is definitely more. They need distinct headlines, strong visuals and large bright ‘call to action’ buttons, and forms easy to manage via a small touchscreen.

Keep everything button-friendly and auto-zoom optimised. It must look and function well on all the different mobile device screen sizes. Nearly a third – 30% – of visitors will abandon a transaction due to a poorly optimised site.

Concise content

There are only so many words you can fit on a mobile phone screen. Messages must be clear and concise. No-one wants to be scrolling through reams of text on their phone. Make the most of videos and images to support, not distract from, the key ‘calls to action’

Boost your SEO by using a conversational style when configuring your keyword search. Think in language people actually use.

Mobile searches will boost your Google ranking

The major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo all factor mobile searches into their search rankings. In April 2015 Google updated their ranking algorithm to improve search results for mobile friendly sites. Sites are now either rewarded or penalised, depending upon their mobile-friendly status.

For Avon Data customers mobile optimisation is made easy as Hotel Executive’s affiliated booking engines are designed for mobile use. A new browser based version of Hotel Executive, due out in 2018, will also be entirely usable via a mobile.

Mobile optimisation for the future

Modern travellers not only wish to browse and book via their mobile, many now look for additional mobile services such as check-in and customer services. Hotels should think about what more they can do to improve their customer experiences using mobile technology.

If you would like more advice on how we can help with any of this, then please get in touch.