How Your Hotel Can Win in a Mobile First World
July 6, 2017 11:25am
by Lisa McCreary | GCommerce Solutions | Search Marketing Manager
The world has gone mobile and it shouldn’t come as any surprise. How many hours do you clock per day on your mobile device? Google has been vocal about the importance of mobile for years and it’s something that GCommerce has been preparing clients for since the first iPhone was released (that’s dating back to 2007 for quick reference).
First, a quick history of a few of Google’s mobile-ly motivated actions. In 2013, Google Adwords transitioned to Enhanced Campaigns, effectively taking away the ability to target a campaign to only one device type. Why? Because they want you to deliver the same experience to every consumer, no matter what device they are using. It also forced advertisers to start playing in the mobile space, where most saw lower conversion rates and poor revenue performance. In May 2015 Google confirmed that more searches are on mobile than desktop. Then, in the fall of 2016 Google announced they will be rolling out a new mobile-first index.
What does this all mean for hotels and how can your hotel succeed at (mobile) marketing? A successful marketing strategy these days means optimizing for all devices and understanding that consumer behavior is different depending on what device they are using at that time. We’re here to outline the steps for your hotel to achieve a successful marketing strategy for all devices.
STEP 1: THE FOUNDATION OF SUCCESS IS A WELL OPTIMIZED, RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website it’s the first, most important step you should take in your hotel’s digital marketing strategy. Most KPIs funnel from traffic sent to your website. Take out your smartphone right now. Go to your hotel’s website. Can you easily navigate and find the information you need to complete the action you want visitors to take whether that’s an online reservation, click to call or important information such as location, directions, photos and more?
MAKE IT RESPONSIVE – In the early days of smartphones, many businesses turned to mobile websites to display unique, different versions of their web pages for mobile. New technology and Google’s directives are favoring the structure of responsive sites.
MAKE IT FAST – page load time is extremely important for website performance and search engine rankings. Consumers have come to expect page content to load instantly, and when it doesn’t they bounce. Kissmetrics completed a study that found 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. On top of that, Kissmetrics found that a 1-second delay in page response time could result in a 7% reduction in conversions. COMMIT THE BUDGET NECESSARY FOR IMPLEMENTING WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT IMPROVEMENTS FOR PAGE SPEED – you are certain to make your money back in no time.
OPTIMIZE IT – set up your site for SERP success with well-optimized pages that include:
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR VISITORS TO CONVERT –The easier you make it to navigate to what your consumers are looking for, the more likely the visitor is to convert. Don’t forget to look beyond your web pages – is your booking engine easy to use on mobile devices?
STEP 2: MAKE SURE YOUR HOTEL IS VISIBLE WITH LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION
46% of all searches on Google are local and in 2015 Google confirmed that mobile search surpassed desktop. Ensuring your hotel is optimized for local is more important than ever. Here’s a breakdown on how to make sure your hotel is visible in local searches:
STEP 3: DRIVE QUALIFIED TRAFFIC THROUGH A MIX OF MEDIA CAMPAIGNS ON MOBILE
Set up and optimize media campaigns for mobile devices driving exposure and generated qualified traffic to your mobile friendly website. Channels include:
STEP 4: UNDERSTAND PERFORMANCE THROUGH KPIS AND CONVERSION TRACKING – are you tracking all points of conversion? Across all channels and all devices?
It’s important to understand that conversions on mobile devices may differ from desktop or tablet. Mobile phones are used intensively for research while desktop and tablet are still the main devices used to book online for hotels. Conversion types you should be using to measure mobile success include:
A major issue for many hotels is the inability to attribute phone call revenue to specific media campaigns or channels. There are a few solutions to track phone calls, from basic reporting that allows you to track the number of phone calls with duration and area code to solutions that can attribute booked revenue to specific campaigns. Some of our favorite solutions to help you track phone call conversions for hotels include:
What it all boils down to is that you need to optimize your online presence for an all-device world, taking into deep consideration the device types that are sending the most traffic to your website. Mobile, tablet and desktop traffic all play a role in the online lives of consumers and they expect a high standard of performance no matter what device they use. Optimize your hotel’s website for mobile but remember that all device types play a role in the online success of your business.
Are you ready to win in a mobile first world? Let’s talk!
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Lisa McCreary is the Search Marketing Manager at GCommerce, a hospitality digital marketing agency based in Park City, Utah. She currently manages the company's paid search marketing and search engine optimization strategies for hotel and resort clients. She has a passion for travel and marketing that has evolved into a career, which began at GCommerce in 2008 as a marketing specialist. Since then she's served different roles within the company before finding her passion in search marketing.
Built on the belief that one-size-fits-none, GCommerce strives to eliminate the cookie-cutter approach to digital marketing. Catering to a wide variety of clients in the hospitality and tourism industry, GCommerce provides a customized, strategic, and client-focused approach to digital marketing. Services provided include but are not limited to search engine optimization and marketing, website design and development, display advertising, email marketing, and social media advertising and consultation.
Boasting a robust and diverse clientele, GCommerce serves at the pleasure of its clients, which include industry-leading hotel management groups, luxury and boutique hotel brands, resorts and casinos, franchises and independents, and more. No matter the scope of work, GCommerce remains focused on delivering a customized approach and incredible customer service to all its clients.
Focused on helping you discover the efficient frontier of digital marketing, GCommerce is waiting for your call. Contact us by phone at 435.214.5100 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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