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Mobiletravel marketing-checklist

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What you need to know about building and marketing mobile websites

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Mobiletravel marketing-checklist

  1. 1. [1] MOBILE TRAVEL Smartphonetraveller.com mobile applications and travelonthego.mobi are two of AXSES initiatives in mobile travel marketing. APPS & WEBSITES When & how to use and when not. Why websites are a better choice in many cases MARKETING How do you get seen. How do travelers use smartphones and how will they find hotels and tourism suppliers Things you need to know & do with your mobile site MOBILECHECKLIST Mobile Tips & Checklist
  2. 2. [2] CHECK LIST Following our very popular white paper on Responsive Web Design (RWD) for tourism, which now has over 12,000 views on SlideShare alone, we have been monitoring mobile technology for travel carefully. It is going to be covered in depth in a future book on mobile for travel. It’s also reviewed in the next book By Ian Clayton in which he says; “Today, online shoppers often begin tasks on Smartphones and later go to their laptop or desktop computers to adjust, fine-tune and complete the task. A ‘Google Think Insights’ study suggests that up to 90% of people used multiple devices to accomplish a goal. To meet these expectations, your content must adapt to any and all screens and the user experience must be coordinated across all devices. Really the only way to achieve this is with a Responsive Web Design. For example, a traveller may select options on one device and add them to a wish list. He or she will want the choices to be available again on the next device used. Using customer profiles, you can save these choices across multiple devices. RWD presents the information to the traveller in a consistent, yet optimized, manner across all their devices”. That is why we embarked on building one of the worlds most extensive RWD for the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia, a site that has thousands and thousands of pages and some very leading edge technology. Our view on RWD has softened a bit and we know that it is not the answer for everyone. It requires a lot of resources and is hard work to get it right on all devices with one design, especially when we rely today on so many widgets that just don’t support the RWD framework. That takes real time and expertise to work around and sometimes it may be best to just do a separate mobile site. More on that later!
  3. 3. [3] Mobile CheckList In this checklist we are including a summary of an excellent report by MOZ - we link to the original report at the end of this checklist. The Moz report was light on RWD so we start off by looking at what was missing and adding our points to make it complete. 1. For a good primer on Mobile Travel see our report with some case studies on Slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/irclay/hotelmobile3a- hres For more on RWD first read our report which you will find on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/irclay/responsivewebdesign-boost-tourism-bookings If you are building a RWD Kathy-Lynn Ward, author of RWD report and COO of AXSES suggest these tips (below) based on her own experience after the launch of Barbados.org’s redesign and the many clients sites that followed. 2. Use measurement tools (such as Google Analytics) to determine if users are carrying out the key calls to action such as purchase, contact, share, etc. The goals you establish for your mobile site might be different from your desktop site. Your digital measurement strategy should reflect this. 3. Tailor content for your mobile site. Images should be resized (either manually or with a server-side solution) for faster download, less bandwidth and better display. Text content should be broken down into smaller, expandable units. 4. A good search feature is a must on mobile, with users wanting quick access to specific information. Make sure your search is highly visible in a consistent location and sends users to mobile pages. 5. When using plugins, make sure they too are mobile-friendly. Many claim to be but fall short in reality. Research and testing is a must. 6. When using 3rd party services for critical functions (like credit card processing, booking engine, etc), make sure that it delivers a positive user experience on mobile. There is no point in delivering a great mobile experience on your own site only to lose the customer on an inadequate closing site.
  4. 4. [4] 7. Shelly Burke, Webmaster at AXSES offers tips on what tools you can use to get around some of the road blocks and incompatibilities when designing for a diverse audience. She offers these tips on testing resources. Where real-time testing on physical devices is not possible, use some of the online resources available to test your design on as many interfaces as possible. Examples include: ◦ http://ipadpeek.com/ ◦ http://quirktools.com/screenfly/ ◦ http://responsivepx.com/ ◦ http://ami.responsivedesign.is/ (view major devices on one screen) ◦ http://www.browserstack.com/ 8. It is tempting to avoid RWD and do a Mobile site. In some cases that’s the best option but there is one reason that prevails in making RWD the strategy that will win out. That is what we call the Multi Screen Shift. We mentioned that in the beginning but it is worth repeating. It’s especially important as we move into an age of shared intelligence across multiple devices, the Internet of Things and of communication. The reason why this is so vital is that the intelligent systems now being put in place require sharing between devices and this is often achieved by connections, messages and tokens that pass between devices and shared programs. This is pretty hard to achieve if the devices are not working together and are on entirely different platforms. It’s just a lot more effective if one design, program and platform is used across the devices. 9. If you don’t do a RWD your options are to look at Applications (Native Apps) and Web Apps (websites designed for mobile). Native apps work well for Online Travel Agents and Destinations where the traveler is searching and comparing multiple offers. They work for hotels and tourism operators when combined to provide services like room keys, etc that are simply not available on the Internet. In our opinion they do not work for independent hotels at all. Travellers look at many sites, some say 30 on average before making a decision, the average traveller is not going to download an app for every hotel they look at. On average they download about 6 and those are the consolidators and aggregator apps like Facebook, TripAdvisor and OTA sites.
  5. 5. [5] Summary of MOZ CheckList We have summarized the original document making it less technical and orienting somewhat to mobile travel. For full details we provide a link to the original article at the end of this section. Connecting your mobile site with your desktop site (when not using RWD) Redirect your pages between desktop and mobile • Many get this wrong. It’s important to lead travelers to the exact page not just the homepage. It’s also important to give them the choice. Many may want to see the desktop version even on their Smartphone. Allow mobile visitors to see the desktop version of the site • Make sure the option to get to the desktop is easy to find and make sure they can switch back at will. Separate URL sites: Check rel=alternate/canonical tags • Make sure that you code the site metatags so that search engines know it’s a variant of your desktop site. If not you might get penalized for duplicate content- see the MOZ report on how to do this. Technical issues Use Google Webmaster Tools to see if Google is having a hard time crawling your mobile site • You do have to make sure all is working and that Google and other search engines will find the site. Check the MOZ pages for details on how to do this. Check/add the mobile XML sitemap • You need to setup a separate sitemap for your separate mobile website and submit that to Google. Google will then index those pages separately. Review the mobile site as you would review any site • Geoff Kenyon's Technical Site Audit Checklist is a great place to start. Check the site speed for mobile devices • Use the page speed tool to get recommendations on how to optimize site loading for mobile. Phones have less computing power and heavy coding and/or images will compromise the mobile user experience.
  6. 6. [6] Design View the site on a variety of mobile devices • Check it on all of the leading phones and make sure it looks good on iPhone (iOS), Samsung Galaxy S4 (Android), Nexus 5 (another Android), and Nokia Lumia 520 (Windows). • Do the same with tablets like iPad (iOS), Samsung Galaxy Tab in multiple sizes (Android), Kindle Fire (Amazon), and Asus Transformer Book (Windows). See the Moz report for more details. Navigation • Mobile sites typically summarize the content of the main website. It’s important to link to more content on the website even if it’s not mobile. Use analytics to determine what content users want. Content Map mobile to desktop pages • There should be an equivalent mobile page for every desktop page. • There may be more mobile than desktop pages, since it's often easier to navigate mobile sites if you break up the desktop content into multiple pages. • In some instances, you may have extra mobile pages based on location capabilities, but it's still best to offer them in both versions, so visitors never feel like they can't find something they remembered on your site. Edit wordy content • Mobile visitors have to deal with small screens, and are often on the go and have less patience. • Get the same message across as briefly as possible. Remove unnecessary images • Use only images that really communicate your message and make them smaller.
  7. 7. [7] Video Use an HTML5 video player • It's lightweight and easy for phones to render. Many video sites like YouTube will automatically configure the video for the device but check. SEO Page Tags Does your title work on two lines? • Titles are often about 70 characters (512 pixels) and with the smaller screen that gets rendered as two lines. Check that it works - You may have to summarize it. Check your description meta tags • The mobile meta descriptions will get cut at about 120 characters by Google and other search engines. Your desktop is usually more (150 characters) so make sure the shorter version works. Have a snappy, keyword rich mobile URL • If all your redirects are setup properly Google and others will show the mobile URL for mobile searches. Make sure it looks enticing and has your keywords in it. For more on redirects see the report. Final Check Run pages through the W3C's mobileOK checker to make sure you haven't missed any small coding errors. It's fairly finicky, but that makes sure it finds a lot of issues you may have overlooked. For More Details on the MOZ checklist go to http://moz.com/blog/ mobile-site-audit-checklist
  8. 8. [8] Resources Responsive Web Design White Paper http://slideshare.net/irclay/responsivewebdesign-boost-tourism-bookings Mobile Travel Report http://www.slideshare.net/irclay/hotelmobile3a-hres Widgets and Testers ◦ http://ipadpeek.com/ ◦ http://quirktools.com/screenfly/ ◦ http://responsivepx.com/ ◦ http://www.browserstack.com/ ◦ http://validator.w3.org/mobile/ ◦ https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ ◦ http://moz.com/blog/mobile-site-audit-checklist ABOUT AXSES AXSES builds brand authority and sustainable direct business with personalized, intelligent visual communications. Our proprietary marketing strategies have proven success over two decades in tourism. AXSES is a pioneer in tourism marketing developing and publishing applications on the leading edge of technology. Check out our latest venture Visual Marketing Technology for Tourism http://tourism.VisualMarketingTechnology.com Validation tools Moz Checklist
  9. 9. [9] Your Brand on Facebook * Direct Sales & Bookings (no commissions) * Increase Fans & Bookings * Content Management *arcRes Secure Booking Engine * Photos, Rooms, Seasons, Rates * Family Plans/Specials Packages (i) * Flexible terms * Flexible Inventory Options * Many More Marketing Options i. Requires arcRes Specials 50$US First 3 month Free 25$US per month after 3 PRODUCTS http://arcres.com/products/travel- marketing-products.cfm FACEBOOK arcResBookings on Facebook Build Brand loyalty with Facebook social engagement and arcRes-powered direct sales & bookings. Offer Special Fan rates and privileges your brand & bookings on Facebook AXSES FAN PAGE BOOKINGS The first Facebook bookings App for independent hotels
  10. 10. VISUAL MARKETING TECHNOLOGY AXSES VISUAL MARKETING & PUBLISHING P. O. Box 16B, Brittons Hill, St. Michael, BB11090 Barbados, West Indies Proprietary Marketing Powered by Personalized & Intelligent Visual Information Technology AXSES Marketing & Publishing Technology For Tourism Tourism.VisualMarketingTechnology.com Find out more about visual travel planning - visual bookings technology and visual marketing at the website above Tel 246 429 2653 mail: ianrclayton (at) axses.com AXSES INC. 211 Kennedy Rd Boutiliers Point Nova Scotia Canada, B3Z 1V5

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