If you ask for opinion on responsive versus mobile versus traditional website design; recommending responsive as 'the' design to rule them all is what you'll probably hear from most web companies.
When it comes to the tourism industry however, our ReserveGroup tourism marketing specialists know responsive and mobile websites serve very different purposes.
We consider best practice for tourism clients is to utilise responsive design for their full website, and to create a separate mobile phone specific website to cater for the unique demands of travellers on the go.
One size, best fit?
Smart responsive design accommodates the multiple devices your potential and existing customers use to view your website. From desktops to tablets, smart phones to laptops; a website built as responsive adjusts content and page size to best fit the screen it’s being viewed on. This provides ease of navigation to eliminate unnecessary scrolling, squinting and screen pinching. Although responsive delivers the best 'fit' for all devices, if conversion rate is truly important to you, responsive shouldn't replace a phone specific mobile website.
The needs of the smart phone website visitor are quite different to the needs of a tablet or desktop based visitor. A recent 'Mobile Traveller Satisfaction*' study revealed 76% of tourists on the go use their smart phone to serve an immediate need; like booking a last minute room, checking flights or finding an activity in their area. In the same study, 52% of tablet users and 60% of smart phone users complained traditional travel websites were too slow to load, causing these potential customers to leave the site, and refuse returning.
Browsers on the move demand convenience and speed; they want quick access to important information and little to no load downtime. Tourism based websites are typically content and image rich; describing the property or activity with vast amounts of text and galleries of impressive photography. When the same full website is viewed from a smart phone, the speed and amount of data downloaded via a 3G service compromises the mobile visitor experience due to the sheer quantity of data being processed. Speed aside, it's also about choice, a mobile website should enable your visitor to easily look, book, contact and locate your business, and if they want to visit your full website from their mobile, they can, enter...Responsive Design.
Key benefits of responsive:
The foremost benefit of a responsive design is its flexibility to adapt to different screens. Your website is easily accessible on all types of devices. According to the size of the screen, the website shuffles content, images resize, and font size adjusts to deliver a quality experience to your users. Regardless of what device a user is viewing your website from, they can conveniently read and navigate the site with ease.
2. Easy to maintain
If you create multiple versions of your website – for desktop, mobiles, tablets, etc. you will end up updating all the different versions every time there is a change; from adding a new page to editing content or correcting a typo. A responsive web design is easy to maintain simply because it is a single website, edited from one source, yet tailored to different devices. When you want to edit your site, you only need to update one platform, and have just one set of content to manage which saves precious time and money.
3. Better SEO
Mobile search engine optimisation is first based on the visitor experience, so if your site is optimised for mobile you'll rank higher when searched from that device. Instead of optimising content or building links for multiple sites, responsive design creates a single model that is easy to update and optimized for all devices. In addition, the URL structure also remains the same for all devices be it an iPad, desktop computer or a mobile that makes it easy for Google to index your site.
4. Boost conversions, better ROI
The 'Mobile Traveller Satisfaction*' study found 35% of travellers who had a poor website experience from their mobile, left the site frustrated and refused to return to that travel brand again. We strongly recommend creating a smart phone specific website, but in the event you opt for responsive only, this design will still deliver an enhanced user experience increasing potential for a better conversion rate, over a traditionally designed site.
More companies are turning to responsive and mobile web design for the obvious benefits we've highlighted. Both are easy to maintain and update, they ensure a user friendly experience across all devices and browsers, and ultimately guarantee better return on investment.
Drive bookings through better experiences
To find out more about transforming your potential customer's online experience through responsive or mobile specific design, contact our marketing team today on 07 541 1111 or email@example.com. Great news for ReserveGroup clients who have both an evoSuite website and evoSuite booking engine, you are now eligible for a free templated evoSuite mobile website, just contact our marketing team to arrange.
*Source: Mobiquity Connected Traveller Report