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The Power of Mobile in Driving Direct Traffic Conversions for Hotels

Expert insights on how to bolster direct bookings with a killer mobile strategy

  07, Apr 2022

 Tags: Hotel Marketing Conversion Mobile

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At The Hotels Network (THN), we recently partnered with Net Affinity to bring hoteliers an inspiring webinar around the power of building a robust mobile strategy to boost hotel website conversions. Special guest Deidre Featherstone, Group Digital Marketing Manager for McGettigan Hotels, also shared first-hand experience with all things mobile.

Missed the webinar? Watch the recording here or read our summary of the 6 key takeaways below.

1. Mobile dominates transaction, traffic and revenue volume

Mobile dominates online traffic to hotel websites. Today, 78% of the traffic volume experienced by Net Affinity’s hotel clients, and 62% of transaction volume comes via a handheld device.

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Mobile data and device trends. Source: Net Affinity’s hotel clients

Looking at revenue, we see that back in 2014 mobile only represented 12% of hotel direct revenue. However, there has been a consistent growth year over year, with mobile starting to overtake desktop revenue during the pandemic in 2020. Although this growth appears to have slowed slightly towards the end of 2021, direct revenue from mobile continues to be visibly higher than desktop, with no signs of this changing.

These figures reinforce just how critical mobile is, calling on the need for hoteliers to build a hotel marketing strategy to specifically increase conversions from these devices.

"At McGettigan Hotels, 65% of our website traffic comes mobile. This represents a huge part, so we’re always making sure that when mobile visitors land on the mobile homepage they know exactly where they’re going.”
Dierdre Featherstone, Group Digital Marketing Manager at McGettigan Hotels


2. Mobile is no longer a second thought

Shift your mindset towards mobile. You need to adopt a mobile-first approach and strategy across everything you do. And the first step is with the marketing activity at your hotel brand. It's important to know where your guests are spending their time online in order to create and deliver engaging communications that resonate among visitors and drive conversions.

No matter where you deliver content or where your guests land, the experience should follow the three mobile golden rules: Less is best, clear and consistent messaging, and effectiveness.


3. Maximize your marketing efforts for mobile

It’s not just optimizing the user experience for your hotel’s mobile users. It’s much more than that, and it starts much earlier in the online booking journey. Everything you do, whether it’s traffic generation, or any marketing campaign has to be seen from a mobile perspective.

77% of impressions of Google Search or Display ads are on mobile and an incredible 98% of ad traffic on Facebook and Instagram is on mobile. It makes total sense therefore to optimize your marketing campaigns for the relevant device and always view how your campaigns look on mobile, be it a banner on Twitter or a newsletter sent to your database.


4. Provide a smooth mobile user experience

A smooth hotel mobile experience should be a given today. It’s critical for hotels to have that optimized mobile user interface.

Do your images load quickly? Is your Book Now button easily accessible? Are guests finding what they are looking for? Always put yourself in the shoes of potential mobile guests navigating your website.

“Everything is mobile friendly on our hotel website and we make sure
everything is responsive to get those smooth 3-click bookings.”
Dierdre Featherstone, Group Digital Marketing Manager at McGettigan Hotels


5. Create exclusive offers for mobile users

Showcasing personalized offers in the mobile booking experience is an effective way to grab visitors’ attention and encourage them to actually confirm that direct booking right now.

THN data from a client hotel showed a 144% increase in booking engine to booking conversion rate when displaying a discount targeted towards mobile users with a message clearly indicating its mobile exclusivity. Pushing time-limited offers can also be another great way to better convert mobile reservations.

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A targeted THN Layer with an exclusive 10% discount visible only on mobile

“At McGettigan Hotels, we push little offers on the mobile platform like free parking or 10% off food and beverage to get people to book direct.”
Dierdre Featherstone, Group Digital Marketing Manager at McGettigan Hotels


6. Keep it short and simple

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Comparison of the design of the same offer on a Layer for mobile versus desktop

Data shows that you only have 7 seconds to capture the attention of your mobile user, so keeping messaging short and simple is always the best approach. Adapting marketing messages to fit easily on a mobile screen is key. Images should be optimized, and there’s no need to overload on choice; no one wants to scroll through endless pages of room types. Keeping choices relevant and encouraging conversions with targeted offerings will always win over showing all of your cards at once.

So, there you have it, the 6 key takeaways from a riveting session with some great industry partners. A huge thank you to both Net Affinity, and McGettigan Hotels for sharing their insights - and of course to THN’s own Fiona and Maria! Interested in watching the session or downloading the webinar slides? Click here.


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