Google Now Ranks Mobile-Friendly Sites Higher on SERPs

By: O'Rourke Hospitality Team

Google recently announced that starting this month, its algorithm would prioritize mobile-friendly sites on mobile Google searches. Mobile-friendly sites have been labeled accordingly on Google results pages since late 2014. And sure enough, a mobile search for “hotels in burlington vt” returned only mobile-friendly sites on the first page of results.

 

By updating their algorithm, Google is signaling that mobile-friendly sites are becoming a necessity for marketers. Skift reports that 28% of hotel bookings in 2015 were made on mobile devices, up 4% from 2014. Increased use of smartphones and tablets in the near future will require hoteliers to offer mobile-friendly sites to stay relevant to Google and to appeal to guests.

There are three types of mobile websites hoteliers can use to satisfy the mobile friendly requirement.

  • A responsive website is one where the display is rendered differently depending on the size of the screen the guest is using, but the content remains the same.
  • Dynamic sites host multiple versions of code. Depending on the device, a certain type of code will appear.
  • Some websites use separate URLs to determine what device a guest is using and then redirect the guest to the correct page.

Some mistakes that could sentence your site to the not mobile-friendly category are having video content that can’t be played on mobile, pop-ups that are hard to dismiss, font that is too small to read without zooming-in, and links or buttons that are too close for a mobile user to select the right one. You can test your site here.

Google ranks a mobile-friendly hotel website higher than websites that are not optimized for mobile devices and can provide hoteliers with an opportunity to capture guests who are using smartphones and tablets. A mobile-friendly site will also provide guests with a positive impression of your property, encouraging them to book a room.

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