Maintaining Efficiency in a Dynamic Mobile Environment

Mobile Metasearch: How to Maintain Efficiency

The Year of Mobile… Again

2017 is on track to see more than triple the amount of metasearch traffic compared to three years ago. To date, mobile devices make up roughly 40% of metasearch traffic, but this number has considerable growth potential. Mobile traffic is trending 25-30% higher in a year-over-year comparison, and publishers continue to invest in new technologies that enhance the user experience and integrate other mobile capabilities into their travel products. In short, a strong mobile presence is becoming increasingly important for advertisers, though maintaining efficiency is what can be tricky.

With publishers making frequent updates to their UI, as well as the conversion rate gap that we see between mobile and desktop, advertising on mobile devices poses a unique set of challenges and opportunities. We have laid out a number of tips and considerations for optimizing your mobile presence below. But to fully understand the direction many publishers are taking their mobile platforms, let’s first take a look at a couple examples of how TripAdvisor and Google have worked to integrate a broader set of mobile services into the booking experience:

TripAdvisor Restaurant Reservations on Mobile

TripAdvisor Map View on Mobile

Google Transit Options on Mobile

The mobile metasearch platform has transitioned from a mere booking engine to a more dynamic experience that utilizes various mobile capabilities – spanning from map services and ridesharing apps to reviews of local attractions and more. If publishers continue to invest in the mobile experience like we’ve seen so far, we can anticipate continued growth in mobile traffic.

Staying Competitive on Mobile

Given the growing importance of mobile, here are some ideas to help promote strong mobile returns:

  • Conduct an overarching review that looks at what properties are actually being highlighted by the publishers’ mobile experience. Because of the smaller size of mobile screens, the click curve for mobile tends to be steep with higher auction competitiveness towards the top.
  • Keep an eye on changing mobile interfaces and how publishers are working to improve the user experience. Staying ahead of the curve in respect to UI alterations can help you maintain a competitive advantage on mobile bidding.
  • Analyze your current mobile booking funnel from start to finish and assess the overall quality of the user experience. If you think your UX could be improved, read our tips for improving the mobile metasearch booking experience.

Daily Rate Consideration

Optimizing for mobile means more than monitoring and optimizing the UI and UX, however. Another important factor to consider when reviewing mobile performance is the property mix you’re pushing on mobile. While a high average daily rate (ADR) vacation property might be a star performer on desktop, mobile users tend to select for an entirely different property type. They typically search for less expensive hotels and shorter stay lengths within relative proximity of their current location. See below for a breakdown of how ADR affects device traffic:

Average Daily Rate TrafficWhile mobile makes up a small portion of luxury brand traffic, it accounts for the majority of traffic on value brands. Therefore, to help optimize your mobile traffic, review the properties being pushed on mobile and give special attention to their ADR. If you see poor mobile returns on your high ADR properties, you may want to consider reinvesting the money into your budget properties’ mobile presence at a higher incremental return. By the same token, if you have poor mobile exposure on your low ADR properties, it would be worth testing a stronger positioning on these properties to see if greater incremental returns are possible.

With increased user traffic and growing investment from publishers, the mobile platform presents an awesome opportunity for advertisers to reach large markets. The need to stay competitive on mobile is more important now than ever. But don’t panic, we’ve got you covered on all of this and more. Check out some of our other content on mobile or subscribe to the blog below. For a comprehensive and in-depth look at mobile metasearch, download our free whitepaper.

Mobile Metasearch: How to Maintain Efficiency