According to Skift’s 2015 State of Travel Report (Europe), bookings via mobile smartphones in Europe have risen from 6% of total bookings to 17% in 2015 and are estimated to reach 22% by 2016. And they predict that by next year 70% of European leisure travelers will be using mobile phones. Many will be viewing and booking directly from their smartphones.
More lookers mean more bookers
So why should you care? Because, on the received wisdom that ‘more lookers means more bookers’, you could fall behind in the growing competition for travelers’ bookings.
If you do not have a mobile-optimized vacation rental website, important information may not appear on the smartphone screen and any graphic design effects could be compromised. The site will also be difficult to navigate. The result will likely be that the impatient browser gives up and looks elsewhere for a more easily-accessed, mobile-optimized vacation rental website.
If further proof were needed, browse a few of your competitor’s websites on your mobile smartphone to see how they present and if they have a mobile-optimized vacation rental website. When you find a site that has not been optimized, imagine you’re a potential guest seeking a vacation rental. Imagine how frustrated you might feel.
Mobile-optimized vacation rental websites work for tablets too
This is also true of tablets, including the ubiquitous iPad. Even more people use their tablets when searching for and booking vacation rentals. Having a mobile-optimized vacation rental website also ensures your site appears correctly on these devices.
When we raised this issue in July last year, we said: ‘We’re so convinced by the benefits of mobile optimization that we can’t imagine an effective property website without it.’ That still holds true – even more so. Particularly for independent vacation rental owners such as ourselves who must keep a close eye on what the opposition is doing.
Now the really good news….
Good news if you’re a Homes and Rooms subscriber: we’ve had it covered since day one! You might say we saw it coming. As a subscriber using the free website we provided, you may be pleased to learn that you already have a mobile-optimized vacation rental website, fully compatible with all devices.
Anyone landing on your site will get the best possible display whatever device they’re using – desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
As we’ve said before, there are other good reasons for having a mobile-optimized vacation rental website. Because of the way Google works, it could improve your SEO (search engine optimization) and increase the chances of your property being discovered and booked.
Last time, we ended by saying: ‘One thing is for sure, with internet-enabled tablet and smartphone use growing so fast, the need for optimization for your mobile website can only increase.’
Soon 4 in 5 people will be a using a tablet and a laptop
Things are moving as fast as we imagined if Skift’s predictions prove accurate. They claim that by next year, of those with a smartphone, 4 in 5 will have a tablet and a laptop computer in Europe.
Perhaps even more eye-watering: by 2017, they say, it’s estimated that 3 billion people will have mobile internet access.
This is not going away!