Speed is King with Mobile Websites

Tips to Make Your Website's Mobile Presentation Load at an Acceptable Rate

By Larry Mogelonsky President & Founder, LMA Communications | March 01, 2015

When it comes to a website's mobile presentation, slow and steady does not win the race. You want your web pages to load as fast as possible with a fluid, oft-simple navigational flow that lets viewers easily bounce around to find exactly what they want. It's a different behavior than someone surfing the web via a desktop or laptop. Some of the reasons for this may be obvious while others may not.

It's a given that we all despise the lag while our smart devices' browsers fill our screens. An extension of this is cognitive drift – the point at which we've waited so long we just don't care anymore. We move on to another site, which (in dire situations) might be an OTA or a direct competitor. While statistics vary by device, demographic and one's state of mind at the time, a rule-of-thumb average for cognitive drift on mobile platforms is four seconds. Anything longer than that and you'll risk consumers migrating away from your website out of frustration or not returning for subsequent visits.

Given that consumers nowadays are increasingly using smartphones and tablets for more and more of their daily web-related tasks, designing a comfortable user experience on these platforms must be a top priority. Add to this the fact that websites loading is delayed on mobile devices relative to desktops or laptops because of reduced processing speeds, memory capacities and 3G/4G/LTE setbacks. Not only is cognitive drift a problem, but any sluggishness in this regard decreases consumer confidence in your product; they'll uphold another web address as their reputable source.

As a start, have you ever looked at your website from a guest's perspective? Obviously this point-of-view exercise is something you embark upon right from the start. Furthermore, have you tried your site out on various mobile platforms? Given that the screen sizes are different, consumers' purposes are likewise different from platform to platform. As it concerns travel, smaller devices are often used for quick information access whereas larger screens are for exploratory research. And if prospective guests cannot utilize your brand.com's mobile presentation to speedily find what they need, they will look elsewhere while you will lose the chance to subtly build relationships and give said guests the opportunity to discover other pages.

Solutions Abound

While it's great to know the magnitude of this issue, what's better is to have a few solutions at the ready. While this could easily digress into a conversation about behind-the-scenes programming tactics such as consolidating a page's cascading style sheets (CSS), eliminating unused code or utilizing image sprites, let's steer clear of the outright tech talk and focus on what managers can do.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.