I am sure by now everyone has a website they are happy with but have you checked it on your mobile? It should be a priority as we come to the end of 2016 to mobile optimize your website, as stated by Mobile Path to Purchase 47% of smartphone users now use their phones to research travel plans and places of interest.

Google loves Mobile Optimisation

Google is now giving higher ranking to mobile optimized sites, they have added a label to websites if they are “mobile friendly” due to the percentage of people using phones is now outweighing laptop and desktop usage. Google checks points such as – links placed far enough apart to be tapped, text that is readable without zooming, avoiding software that is not common to mobiles and content size so it can be easily read. There is a link through Google called the “mobile-friendly test”, it will analyze your website in seconds to check that your page is deemed mobile friendly.

67% of smartphone users said they were more likely to purchase from a business’ mobile-friendly site, while 61% said they’d most likely leave a site that wasn’t optimised for mobile (Tourism Research Australia)

Achieving the Required Website

Basically you need to have the existing sections of your desktop website organised into a mobile friendly design. It may not cost anything to build a site for a mobile device if you use a responsive template or theme that will adapt the display no matter what size screen the person is using. If your original website is a few years old, it may be cheaper and easier for a web developer to start from scratch due to new web development techniques that may make it hard to modify for mobile. Often there will be an existing template that can be used and all of your original content can be simply carried across.

If updating your website for mobile optimisation check that all content is up to date, read through your whole site to check for spelling and grammatical errors, don’t just skim read, slowly read through all pages. Update all photos used to hi-resolution, so colours will pop out of those little mobile screens. Remember your brand and target audience and aim all photos and text to them.

According to a study by Hotels.com the most important factors for people when booking accommodation on mobiles are- 54% payment method, 48% genuine guest reviews, 48% price is the best value, 46% detailed information and 43% said lots of hotel photos. It’s all about making it easy for people to book from their mobile and giving them as much information and visual prompts as possible.

Further Steps to Help the Mobile Customer

Your website must load fast, if your website takes more than a couple of seconds to load your potential clients will move on to the next mobile optimised site on Google. 60% of mobile users expect a site to load in 3 seconds or less (Forbes). No one has time to wait and this is your opportunity to showcase your property.

It must be easy to book through mobile, you need a simple book now button that doesn’t require too many steps to complete. Payments and credit card details must be secure and this should be shown to the person booking.

You must make it quick and simple for your potential guests to see what you have to offer, they need to check your availability easily and book with a minimum of information and changing screens. This is your chance to lure in another happy customer. Most smartphone users are also linked to social media by the same phone, the potential word of mouth you can achieve from this one guest is astounding and don’t forget the great reviews they can share, it all starts here.

Who is Looking at You

According to the Australian Governments Tourism Research for June 2016, domestic travel is continuing to rise. Domestic overnight trips are up 7% to a record 88.9 million, nights increasing 5% to 328 million and spend up 6% to a record $59 billion.

The overall increase in domestic spend for the year was 7%, up $4.8 billion to a record $78.5 billion and contributing over 67% of all tourism spend in Australia. Combined, domestic overnight and day trip spend in regional areas increased 6% to reach a record $45.1 billion, accounting for 90% of all tourism.

Domestic travelers are more likely to look at your website as they know the area they are travelling to and can get a feel for your property by looking directly at your site. Domestic overnight travelers are looking to their mobiles while on driving holidays and the quicker and easier it is to find you the quicker you will receive their booking.

The international sector also saw strong growth for the same period, with an increase in spend of 14% (or $4.7 billion) to $38.1 billion.

Total tourism spend (international, domestic overnight and daytrip spend combined) for the year reached a record $116.7 billion; an increase of 9% (or $9.6 billion) on the previous year. (Tourism Research)

The opportunity is there for you to access even more of these potential tourist dollars, you just need to stay ahead of your tech savvy competition.