Times have changed how people plan their vacations. There is no longer the need for bulky guidebooks and paper maps. Today, Google shows that an increasing number of travelers are planning vacations by using their smartphones and other mobile devices. If you own a business in the tourism industry, it is imperative to remember that travel visits via mobile search have exceeded at least 40 per cent in recent years. Also, mobile web conversions for travel websites also grew to 88 per cent. With that in mind, this seems like the ripe time to embrace mobile SEO and optimize websites for mobile users; making it easier for your target audience to research and book trips.
Mobile SEO for Tourism Service Providers: Understanding Micro-Moments
Have you experienced those brief moments when you had a strong urge to act on a need? For example, you were looking at images of the Great Ocean Road online and suddenly felt the urge to book a flight to Australia. This is called a micro-moment. Tourism businesses must leverage these micro-moments; moments of intent when a potential customer acts on an urge.
Google has organized these moments into four main categories: I-want-to-buy moments; I-want-to-do moments; I-want-to-go moments; and I-want-to-know moments. Let’s tweak these names slightly for the tourism industry:
“Can’t Wait To Do Activities There” Moments
Also known as experiencing moments, this area shows huge potential. One needs to be prepared to take advantage of their customers’ spontaneous plans. Research has shown that over 80 per cent of leisure travelers decide on activities after arriving at their destinations. In addition to planning on the spot, they do this through their mobile devices, e.g. searching for day tours. If your tourism business does not cater to this growing audience, you are missing out on potential business.
“Let’s Book Our Vacay Now” Moments
Today, many travelers make final booking decisions on a laptop or desktop computer. These individuals, however, perform travel research while on the go; via their mobile devices. It is imperative that your business is present during these moments whether on mobile or computer. This allows your tourism business to rise above the competition.
How does one improve the mobile booking experience for their customers? Well, you can consider streamlining the check-out process by eliminating unnecessary steps and securing your site with the latest SSL encryption technology.
“Time To Start Planning” Moments
Also known as organizing moments, they are times when a traveler has already decided to go on a vacation but is still comparing airlines and hotels with an open mind to making choices. In most cases, they are sorting out these logistical details of the upcoming journey. One should aim to increase visibility in mobile hotel searches and mobile flight-related searches. You can consider running online PPC campaigns or leverage Google services such as Google Flights and/or Hotel Ads. Don’t forget to make your site mobile-friendly too!
“I Just Want To Get Away From Here” Moments
Nearly 40 per cent of U.S. travelers think about going on a holiday at least once a month. During these moments, they will pick up their smartphones and perform non-branded travel searches. Today, the number of dreaming moments continues to increase. It is imperative that your tourism business is ready to cater to this growing audience. Your website should feature answers to commonly asked questions such as “Where is Insert Destination?” “What are the most popular Insert Destination attractions?” You can even spice things up by providing content on YouTube and other social media platforms!