If you ever wonder whether your hotel’s digital future is secure, just ask yourself one question: Am I mobile-ready?
All key digital trends in recent years served one primary purpose: to provide better experience to mobile users. From responsive design to mobile first indexing, these technologies were born out of the need for improved browsing on smaller screens.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (or AMP for short) is the latest thing you must pay attention to. But what is AMP?
Spearheaded by Google, it is a global project designed to make web pages load faster when opened on a mobile device. AMP essentially work by presenting a lightweight version of your pages developed in addition to your existing website. Accelerated Mobile Pages must be submitted to Google so they can be hosted by the search engine – removing the need to fetch information from your server.
1. They generate greater guest engagement
Web browsers differ in many ways around the world but they are united in their need to be served at once. A few second wait would be reasonable at the front desk, but it equals a lifetime on the Internet.
Web pages published in AMP format load immediately – providing users with a smoother experience. While traditional pages take about 3-6 seconds to load, an AMP take virtually no time. User testing clearly shows: the longer it takes for content to appear, the more likely that browsers will bounce from the page. Even if your site has a breathtaking design, it is all in vain if users turn away before the homepage appears. Ensuring that pages load swiftly must be a top priority.
2. They get you better Google rankings
AMP can achieve higher positions for your hotel on the search engine pages for non-brand keywords. When searching on a mobile device, websites that have AMP versions stored by Google will be presented to users in a prime position above other content.
Better ranking leads to increased visibility with an estimated 10-20% jump in impressions. As your hotel’s name is seen by more potential guests, sessions will also increase on your website by up to 20%.
3. They sell more hotel rooms
Here is the logic: If people get to your content faster, they will be happier to spend time on your website and browse your offers. The longer they stay around, the more opportunity you will get to convert lookers into bookers. In fact, customers spend twice as long browsing AMP than standard website pages.
Marked by a lightning bolt symbol, Accelerated Mobile Pages are distinctly presented by Google on the search pages. As users are becoming more familiar with the concept of super-fast pages, they will lookout for the mark – putting those businesses at advantages that invested into AMP.
4. They are the future of e-commerce
More than 1.5 billion AMP have been published to date across 25 million domains spanning the areas of publishing, advertising and e-commerce. Both international brands and small businesses have recognised the importance of meeting their customers’ digital needs.
Smartphones and tablets are now the preferred method of travellers to book hotel rooms. If your property does not offer a mobile-friendly experience, competitors – including online travel agents – will have considerable advantage over you.
What is the next step?
Ensure that sufficient budget is allocated for Accelerated Mobile Pages in 2019. Your responsive main site remains your flagship platform – AMP just provide additional touchpoints. Concentrate on the fundamental sections of your website such as special offers, accommodation, restaurant, location or any other information that is crucial to your property.
While AMP present a simplified version of your site, your branding will be preserved. Design will closely follow the guidelines of your original website, therefore users are unlikely to notice any significant difference.
Remember, the future is mobile.