12 Tips for Boosting Bookings on Mobile

Millions of visitors to our mobile site. 440 million+ downloads of our mobile apps so far. At TripAdvisor, we’ve learned a thing or twelve about attracting and engaging mobile users. So check out these best practices for standalone mobile sites that can help your property increase mobile bookings. (Not sure what a mobile site is? Read our Mobile Marketing Guide.)

1. Put yourself in their flip flops.

Ask yourself, “What’s the top thing a tourist or business traveler wants to do on this page?” Identify that main priority, and include the bare minimum of information to support it.

Action Item: Make your potential guest’s motivation your top priority. For mobile users, booking is a higher priority than browsing room types. Calling your front desk beats filling out a form. Also consider when a particular page will be viewed — will someone look at it while researching at home, or while standing at baggage claim or even in your lobby?

2. Do fewer things better.

When they say, “Less is more,” with mobile that means less distraction and more conversion. So keep things simple and easily accessible.

Action Item: Unsure about mobile optimization? Direct 10-20% of your mobile traffic to a slimmed down mobile homepage. Only include the essentials: property name, phone number, links to room types and a special offer. If the mobile homepage outperforms your regular site, create mobile versions of interior pages to further increase conversion.

3. Go big for small screens. 

Don’t just cut down on text — make it bigger so it’s easier to read on a smaller device. Same goes for text links and buttons.

Action Item: Make your links big enough. Apple recommends a minimum tap target of 44 pixels, while Microsoft suggests 34 pixels. If you can’t comfortably tap a link with your thumb, it’s not big enough. You don’t want visitors accidentally going to — and getting distracted — by “View Amenities” when they meant to go straight to “Book Now,” right?

4. Picture a faster loading site. 

Optimize your pictures for mobile or you’ll push away visitors. Especially with on-the-go visitors, every second counts — towards your bottom line.

Action Item: Want your mobile site to load faster? Use fewer images than on your desktop site. And reduce image dimensions so you’re not burdening visitors with unnecessarily large photos that take longer to load.

5. Start mobile but offer full.

Bring mobile visitors to your optimized site, but include a link to your full site too. In particular, tablet users might prefer the full experience.

Action Item: Include a “Full site” link at the bottom of your mobile site. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

6. Bring your brand with you. 

Maintain your full site’s branding so both sites are consistent. You’ll reassure previous visitors, and keep things consistent for new visitors.

Action Item: Use the same colors and visual elements you do on your traditional website. Think of it as tailoring your signature outfit, not getting a whole new wardrobe.

7. Get hands-on with your links. 

Save precious tenths of a second by taking full advantage of mobile touch screens. How? By changing what triggers a user’s desired action.

Action Item: Set your mobile site links to be touchend events, not click events. Otherwise on mobile browsers you’re adding an extra .3 to .5 seconds to each page transition. NOT what you — or your impatient visitors — want.

8. Think shrink. 

Your Web guys can use compression and minification to shrink the amount of data — by as much as 70% — that needs to be transmitted to load your site.

Action Item: Compress your HTML, JavaScript and CSS code to shrink data payloads by as much as 70%. And minifying scripts and style sheets can save 20% or so. Your pages will load faster, which can even help with your search engine page ranking.

9. Prevent finger fatigue. And frustration. 

Typing on smartphones and tablets can be a pain. So make it easy for potential guests to become actual guests.

Action Item: Minimize the number of required text fields in forms (the Uber app does a great job with this). Absolutely need to get certain info? Consider using a dropdown or radio buttons instead. The less typing you require, the higher your conversion rate will be.

10. Make analytics your friend. 

Tracking analytics for mobile is invaluable because you can see how your visitors are using your site — and whether they’re using a desktop, smartphone or tablet.

Action Item: Check out popular Google Analytics and its robust features. Or ask colleagues how they track things. Whichever analytics tool you choose, you’ll gain invaluable information to guide future marketing, testing and more.

11. Remember it’s “one or done.” 

Mobile users want a one-window experience. Otherwise they’ll abandon your mobile site out of annoyance.

Action Item: Don’t include popups. And resist the temptation to open links in new windows or annoyed mobile visitors won’t be able to resist abandoning your site.

12. Subscribe to Business Advantage

Enhance your mobile site with Business Advantage to reach on-the-go travelers.

Action Item: Use Business Advantage to put millions of potential guests one click, call or email away from a direct booking by publishing your contact information on TripAdvisor -- and tap into mobile bookings by adding click-to-call functionality on our mobile app. Learn more about boosting your mobile presence with Business Advantage.

Learn how to drive mobile bookings

Learn how to drive mobile bookings

Last Updated: January 10, 2018