Winning Mobile Bookings in Metasearch - Revisited

Winning Mobile Bookings in Metasearch

About a year ago, we published a post outlining how to win mobile bookings. In this post, we will revisit some of the concepts we described in 2016 and update them to account for recent changes.

Mobile has continued to be one of the largest segments of traffic on metasearch publishers. For many hotels, it is not uncommon to see the mobile opportunities on par with desktop. According to our Google data, the percentage of opportunities has remained around 40% for mobile. Additionally, we have seen a 31% growth year over year in total opportunities for mobile. With aggressive growth and 40% of the potential volume coming from mobile, it is important to ensure you aren’t losing in the battle for mobile bookings.

Mobile Growth Opportunities

**31% increase in total opportunities YoY. Period compared is Jan 1st through April 31st**

User Experience Trends on Mobile

We have looked into the mobile experience of many of the major hotel advertisers participating in metasearch. We found the following averages across these advertisers’ websites:

Winning Mobile Bookings on Metasearch

  1. Fields to Fill– We found that mobile sites with fewer fields to fill out on their forms had a 65% higher conversion rate on mobile.
  2. Clicks to Book – Websites that had fewer clicks necessary to get to the final booking confirmation page (an average of 4.6) had a 14% higher conversion rate on mobile.
  3. Call To Action– One of the largest differentiators amongst the sites we looked into was whether or not they had a “Call to Action” that encouraged the user to book. This could be as simple as a clickable box next to the booking value that said, “Book now.” Websites that had a call to action saw, on average, a 124% higher conversion rate.
  4. Visible/Easily Changeable Date– Allowing the user the flexibility to change the check-in dates and making that option easy-to-use is crucial. We found that websites that had an intuitive means of changing the booking date saw a 170% higher conversion rate.
  5. Formatted for mobile– Redirecting mobile users to a website that is specifically formatted for mobile makes the booking experience more seamless.  Mobile-friendly websites saw, on average, a 22% higher conversion rate than those that directed to the desktop site.

How to Improve Your Mobile Booking Experience

There is no one perfect solution to mobile booking, but there are definitely aspects we see across mobile websites that consistently see higher conversion rates. If you’ve already paid for the click to get the user to your mobile site, the last thing you want is for them to leave due to a poor experience.

It is important to analyze your own mobile experience and see how it compares to other advertisers. Do you only require the user to fill out eight form fields to book, but don’t have a call to action encouraging the user to book? Consider adding the call to action. If users are able to easily change the check-in date but are redirected to a desktop version of the site, consider making a mobile specific web page.

The important thing to consider with mobile websites is that you should always encourage trying new things. Perhaps your site meets or exceeds all the above-mentioned criteria, but when you go to the site without WiFi, you find that the load times are too long due to unnecessary background images. Mobile is a constantly changing environment and one that requires careful attention in order to maximize its output.