Not only is smartphone usage on the rise, but a large percentage of those users are using their device specifically for this industry. If you’re a hotelier that has a website with any type of flash imagery, iPhone users cannot see those images on their phone.
All hoteliers should understand the importance of having a mobile friendly website. Not only will it help with your rankings in search engines on mobile devices, it provides a better user experience for all users looking for information on your business. While text-only mobile websites are better than a standard desktop site, with the rise in smartphone users TIG Global recommends building a website optimized for these devices specifically with swipe and multi-touch functionality. But remember that having a mobile website is not enough. Be sure you have a comprehensive mobile strategy that leverages all appropriate social media and online marketing trends. As mentioned previously, 92% of users seek local information on their mobile device. If you have a restaurant or spa on property, be sure you are making it easy for users to find you, whether that is by optimizing your Google Places page, having a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook, standing out on location based services like Foursquare or ideally, all of the above. Additionally, after creating a mobile site, don’t just let it sit there. If you’re going to build a website, don’t be afraid to market it. Take advantage of QR codes or paid search to show off your new website and show users you are ahead of the curve. Search engines allow you to target specific mobile devices, and as mentioned previously, Google Adwords considers your mobile landing page as a factor in quality score. Now more than ever it is important to start optimizing your mobile marketing efforts. The space is rapidly growing and for hotels, 2012 is definitely the year of mobile.
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