Have you ever navigated a website from your smartphone and found yourself zooming in and out of its pages in order to read its content? You probably didn’t find it very user friendly, so you just gave up after a few attempts and moved on to the next website. Do you want your future guests to have the same feeling while visiting your vacation rental website? I bet not.
Having a mobile-optimised vacation rental website is now a must as it will help you improve your visitors’ user experience, increase your direct bookings, boost your ranking in search results and build credibility. If you are a property manager with a website or you are planning on building one, this article will shed some light on the importance of having a mobile optimised vacation rental website.
Mobile-optimised websites offer a better user experience
Building a website that is not optimised for mobile usage will negatively impact your exposure as you will not reach a wide part of users that might browse your vacation rental website from their smartphone or tablet. In fact, websites that are not optimised for mobile usage appear much lower in search results and receive fewer visitors (more on that later).
According to recent surveys, people on average spend 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on their phone, which results in more internet searches made through smartphones. In the last 10 years, internet searches made through mobile increased significantly representing 48.62% of all internet searches.
It is not surprising that Booking.com introduced mobile rates, and so a lower price for guests who book through their mobile application. The channel embraces the trend and transforms it into a real opportunity, counting an increase in the number of mobile bookings over desktop ones.
Understanding that a great portion of Internet traffic is generated from mobile devices, it is easier to recognise the necessity to provide your users a mobile optimised website. Having a mobile optimised and friendly vacation rental website becomes not only advisable, but imperative – unless you want to give up on almost half of potential visitors. Be aware that visitors who have a hard time navigating your vacation rental website are more likely to switch to a competitor who offers a better user experience.
A mobile-optimised vacation rental website helps you secure bookings
Did you know that 67% of visitors are more likely to buy from a website that is mobile optimised? This means that if you build or are planning to build a vacation rental website to drive more direct bookings, you have to ensure your guests have an optimal user experience that will convince them to book through your website rather than on any online travel agencies (OTA). The competition out there is fierce and if you want to generate more direct bookings, you not only have to compete with other property managers in your area, but also with the well optimised guests booking experience the OTAs provide.
As we already saw in our previous article Why do you need your own vacation rental website, becoming less dependent on OTAs has become a necessity for those Property Managers who want to establish a more direct interaction with their guests while increasing their revenues. However, as OTAs are adapting to their customers’ needs, you should do the same in order to be more competitive – it is not only a matter of offering your best deal with a lower price.
If you want to convince your guests to book directly through your vacation rental website, it is important you offer a flawless experience to users. An organised and easy to navigate website will make it easier for your potential guests to understand and evaluate if your offer matches their demand. Do not lose potential customers because your vacation rental website is hard to understand. Fewer customers would purchase from a website with a poor user experience especially when this is not a renowned and trusted brand.
The lack of direct bookings is, however, a complex matter that deserves to be explained in more details. You can have a look at the mistakes to avoid if you want to generate more direct bookings for your vacation rental business in our article “How to get more Direct Bookings: 4 common mistakes to avoid”.
Check your website health through page speed and bounce rate
The more time your visitors spend on browsing your website, the more inclined they are to book your listing. Do not try the patience of your users by making them wait before your page loads. Statistics show that 53% of mobile visitors tend to abandon a page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. If you found your bounce rate to be higher than 55% a slow loading time might be a factor. In simpler words, if your website is not mobile-optimised and takes too much time to load, your visitors might get impatient and leave your page even before they take actions on it. If you are wondering if your users are having a good experience while accessing your site from their mobile devices, just check it out here by running a simple test created by Google to assess your mobile-optimization.
Also, don’t forget your guests can come from all around the globe, hence, it is important to optimise the experience regardless where they browse from. For example, if your vacation rental website is hosted in Spain, the speed might not be optimal for your Japanese guests. Therefore, consider adopting techniques, such as a CDN, that allow your end-users to load your website from their geographically closest location.
By the way, localising your content has been shown to increase users’ conversion rate. If you know a big chunk of your guests come from Italy, provide an optimal experience by translating your website into Italian.
Visiting a website that is slow and hard to read, regardless of its content, makes the brand lose credibility and potential customers. If your visitors have a hard time browsing your webpage, it will make them lean towards OTAs that even offer mobile Apps and have a well-established reputation. A fast and mobile-optimised vacation rental website will help you establish your brand, build credibility and improve your guests’ booking experience. Remember that your website is your business card.
Mobile-optimised websites ranked higher on search engines
Your website’s desktop version might be impeccable, but if you do not optimise your website for mobile, your ranking will be penalised. In 2018, Google announced they would prioritise Mobile-Friendly websites in their ranking search, so if your website doesn’t meet Google’s criteria, it will be lowered in pages’ results. Since Google counts for 92.16% of the total Internet search traffic, if you want to beat the competition and increase your visibility, you can’t afford not to appear and be high ranked on its search results.
I know, now you might be thinking it would be a real pity if your website is not receiving the deserved attention because you did not believe mobile optimatimazion was a determining factor for your performances. However, I hope this article shed some light on the main reasons why your website should be optimised for mobile usage.
We truly believe in the importance of providing users the best experience ever. This is the reason why Your.Rentals has a dedicated team of professionals that help Property Managers designing a fully customised and mobile optimised website for their vacation rentals.