Next-Generation Mobile

Director of Research and Online Marketing
Published 9/17/15
Share This Post: 

Share This:

Taking your mobile presence to a new level of engagement and results

At our September 16 webinar, CA Clark, Lara Ortiz and I presented a road map for enhancing your mobile presence via your mobile-specific or responsive website and in your overall online marketing. Mobile has moved beyond the mainstream to become an increasingly central part of online marketing. The July State of the American Traveler highlighted for the first time that more than 50% of US leisure travelers are now using smartphones in their trip planning. The Global Mobile Readiness Index conducted by Ryerson University (and sponsored by Miles) showed that, as of June 2015, more than 95% of 50 state tourism organizations and the 41 largest CVBs in the US has a mobile-friendly website – over 50% with a responsive site.

Due to the benefits of responsive sites – advantages in maintenance, SEO and a seamless multi device experience – we emphasized again its importance at the center of your mobile strategy.

So how do you take your responsive site to a new level of results? This blog briefly highlights the eight “quick wins” we identified during the webinar– updates that can be completed today to improve your responsive site’s experience:

1.Click-to-Call

A simple yet highly effective step is to ensure you have click-to-call functionality set up for all device types. Embed analytics tracking codes and measure this as a critical site goal or Signal of Intent to Travel.

2.Card-Based Interface Design

Popularized by Pinterest, card-based design has become a staple of mobile-friendly design and content display. Though they present some limitations for displaying certain types of information, cards generally work well across all device types and can be made highly interactive and engaging.

3.Mapping

Mapping is amongst the most important features and content type for mobile users. Integrate the map and directional features of online mapping platforms such as Google Maps across your site; these platforms work seamlessly across all device types. Again, clicking through to view mapping information can be an important Signal of Intent to Travel to track.

4.Tap Targets

Tap targets are the navigational elements on your mobile site. Make sure these are large enough for users to easily interact with them – especially for navigational elements that encourage the use of thumbs.

5.Content

DMO and hospitality sites need to offer the content types that smartphone users find most relevant and engaging – especially when traveling in the destination. In our analysis of top-performing pages on smartphones, we have identified a range of content types for destinations to focus on in their content planning. These include; social media-based content or integrated features, things to do (especially for outdoor activities), top lists (e.g., Top 10 Things to Do in Destination X), family-based content (here’s an example from Colorado.com), dining and cuisine information, events/festivals, maps and directions and, finally, calls to action including click-to-call, deals and booking features.

6.Mobile-Friendly Campaigns

In your content planning, make sure the landing pages for your mobile-specific advertising – and the ad creative – has been developed and tested for the mobile user. Many interactive campaigns now include significant spends on mobile – but destination and hospitality advertisers often fail to ensure that the advertising and the website experience deliver a mobile-friendly experience beyond the click.

7.Online Booking

For destinations, and especially for hospitality organizations, offering a mobile-friendly booking experience is critical. Currently many booking platforms do not support mobile in a seamless and intuitive manner. Checking pricing and availability, as well as actual bookings, are critical Signals of Intent to Travel, so emphasize this as a priority for your mobile booking solution. Quick step – test how easy and simple your current solution is by having a few staff and friends complete some “dummy” bookings.

8.Mobile Performance

Finally, ensure your mobile experience is seamless by ensuring the performance of your site has been optimized. By some counts you have as little as three seconds to deliver relevant content – so performance optimization is critical, especially for users in more remote and/or congested areas. There are many options under each area of the testing and optimization; here are just a few tools to consider:

Managed DNS hosting

CDN

Image Optimization

This is a brief introduction of eight “quick wins” that you can execute today/tomorrow. In future blog posts we will outline the options and opportunities for medium-term enhancements to your responsive website.

All the best with going mobile in the rest of 2015 and into 2016!

Additional Resources: