We live in the era of mobile, particularly when it comes to travel. In 2016, nearly three quarters of all US travelers used a mobile device to research their trip, and mobile purchases accounted for more than one third of all digital-travel sales in the US. By 2019, it’s estimated that 46% of all digital-travel purchases will be mobile. With a growing portion of consumer spending now being done via mobile devices, it’s critical that your business is ready to meet the demand. Here are some tips on how to optimize your website for mobile and reach more customers on the go.

Make your website mobile-friendly

The first step is to make sure your business website is optimized for mobile users. This doesn’t mean you need to rebuild from scratch—most of today’s most popular web publishing tools already include options that enable “responsive” site design: a design format that automatically adjusts site content based on whatever device the consumer happens to be using.

Increase readability

Look for ways to optimize your website content for mobile so users can easily access and interact with your site on their smartphones or tablets. Increase your font size to improve readability and make links bigger so they’re easier to click using a touchscreen.

Eliminate unnecessary forms and fields

Speed and convenience are paramount to the mobile experience—an environment where small screens make the booking process more challenging. With this in mind, look for ways to simplify the mobile experience and purchase process. Eliminate unnecessary text, forms, and fields that take up space and enable options that pre-save users’ information for added speed and convenience. You want to remove as many barriers to the purchase process as possible to maximize your conversion.

Take advantage of mobile features

Today’s smartphones offer functionality that can help simplify and streamline the mobile-booking process. For example, instead of making a potential customer fill out a mobile form, could you add a button that activates a phone call or a text chat with one of your employees? Or instead of writing out directions, could your mobile site open a link to your address in a mobile map app? Or perhaps open the Uber or Lyft app so the customer can book a ride to the trip’s starting point?

Skip the pop-ups

Mobile users are looking for the simplest path possible to complete their purchase. That means extra pop-ups or interactive features can slow down mobile transactions. Look to eliminate these website elements on mobile wherever possible.

Speed up mobile-load times

Speed matters to mobile users. If it takes too long for your website page to load, your potential customer may abandon the process before your transaction even gets started. Talk to your site designer about opportunities to reduce the size of images and compress your site’s Javascript, CSS or HTML code to improve load times.

Use a lead capture form

Even though more mobile website visitors are ready and willing to purchase using their device vs. switching to desktop, it’s worth asking for an email address to make sure users who don’t have the time or connectivity can easily revisit at a later time—plus then you can add them to your marketing database.

Evaluate your website analytics

Free web insight tools like Google Analytics are a great way to understand what proportion of your visitor traffic comes from mobile devices, and what actions those visitors take while visiting your site. What pages are most popular among mobile visitors? How much time do mobile visitors spend on each page? These are clues that can help inform future mobile site design and booking features.

Test and learn

How does your website function for mobile visitors? The simplest way to find out is by testing it yourself and flagging any trouble spots. As you conduct this process, think through what a mobile visitor might want to accomplish on a given page of your site, and assess whether or not your current mobile site is able to deliver. Test various features and functionalities to see what performs best with your visitors.

Maintain your branding

Make sure to maintain brand consistency in logos, fonts, and colors between your mobile and desktop sites. This will help avoid any customer confusion, and reinforce the perception of a seamless customer experience.

Try a reservation system

Reservation systems centralize your bookings, inventory, pricing, availability, and channel distribution all in once place—maximizing your distribution opportunities and taking the hassle out of your day-to-day operations. Plus using a reservation system makes mobile bookings a breeze. 

About the Author: Rachel Hammel

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