The shift to mobile devices for planning and booking is a big opportunity for travel brands, mobile bookings are expected to surpass desktop transactions for the first time ever.
If you’re focused on improving your hotel’s booking app, keep in mind conversions start long before the reservation itself. Nearly three-quarters of travelers will research their trips on smartphones and tablets in 2016.
The Research Before Booking
Consumers no longer sit down to do all their travel planning at one time. They’ve shifted their behavior to planning in short increments to fit busy lifestyles. Idle moments, like commuting or waiting for appointments, are opportunities to plan.
Since these sessions are away from home and the office, consumers rely on smartphones. Each brief period, they’re looking for quick inspiration and information to plan their trip. Put your brand in front of them with a strong mobile presence during each phase.
Preliminary content needs to include more than just facts, prices, and figures. For leisure travelers in particular, travel decisions begin with inspiration. During the explorative stage, they’re still dreaming about a getaway experience. They’re open to considering several travel styles, companies, and even destinations. This is when brand loyalty and preferences start to form.
During initial planning stages, brands and what sets them apart are unclear to travelers. It’s the perfect time to present your product or service in the context of a dream vacation. To inspire, focus SEO on destination-based queries instead of specific brand names.
Consider broad categories your site can rank for. For example, a traveler may search for “where to stay in Charleston” rather than “Charleston bed and breakfasts”.