There’s a significant pattern disrupt occurring in the web design world, and I’m going to share with you why I not only agree with it but embrace it. I am transforming my website for The Grainary, as well as those for all of my clients. You should, too. What is this all about? I’m talking about websites that have 80% of their whole site information on the home page. This makes the website built for “mobile-first”
Mobile-first websites aren’t new. In fact, they have been around for a while. There’s a big reason why they are becoming more popular at the minute, and it’s all to do with that little device in your hand that you can’t put down.
Your mobile phone is driving the vertical website trend.
This shift is happening at the same time as the stats show that more people are booking on a mobile phone. (Check out this podcast from the excellent Fuel Travel to find out more!) Even my clients’ Google Analytics shows a clear trend: mobile phone visitors are dominating bookings.
That being the case, it is no wonder that one-page websites are getting more popular, particularly in the hospitality industry.
Why is that?
Vertical websites make it easier to tell a story. With one-page vertical web design — if you structure it well — you can control the order in which users consume information. Left to themselves, users tend to jump from one web page to another, potentially missing out on content that is crucial in the conversion process. By utilising a single page, you can direct website visitors along that conversion path. A great example of this is The Laurels B&B in the UK
A strong design delivered quickly
The design and development of websites that have 80% of the information on the home page are inevitably much quicker and cheaper than for multiple-page sites, but it also gives the designers the chance to make sure that the design of that page is on-point. They can focus on delivering a consistent and immersive user experience, helping to boost engagement and get people on to your booking engine quicker.
Ideal for mobile devices
The push towards responsive design has eased the difficulties of navigating websites on a mobile device significantly, but it can still be less than ideal on a smartphone with a small screen. By contrast, single-page sites are much easier to optimise for mobile. They are also much easier to navigate, with users only having to scroll to find the information they need.
Improve user engagement
The attention span and patience of internet users have never been shorter. We don’t want to have to trawl through complex websites to find the information or products we need. In fact, the average web user will stay on a web page for just 15 seconds, so the sooner you can get your message across, the better.
One of the biggest reasons that users are leaving your website is slow page load speeds. If you have more than four pages on your website, combined with slow-loading pages, then you are just asking for someone to leave your website before they book.
And we all know
Once they leave your website, they are not coming back. I touch upon this, as well as how to make sure you have the right website designer for you, here.
You Control the Flow of Information
Websites require visitors to browse through the information in a linear fashion as opposed to clicking and exploring the page to page. Being able to direct visitors through the information on your site in a predetermined order is one of the perks of maintaining a one-page website. Parallax is perfect for websites that want to provide specific information before the visitor moves on to something else. You can back up this good web design with easy-to-follow icons.
Like I said above, people have a short attention span. As a generation, we don’t read blocks of text. We skim-read at best. (Yes, even this blog!)
It’s getting harder and harder to get people to your website now, so why are we giving our potential bookers an excuse to leave? Loads of text and pages to flip through will only drive your customers away.
Not just for mobile
A big misconception about one-page websites is that they are just for mobile. Not so! Check out the latest creation for Newlands Hall in Durham. With its image-first design, it’s as easy to navigate on a desktop as it is on mobile.
If you are a member of my private training website, then you will know exactly how a site for the hospitality industry should look.
What about the Booking engine?
If you work with Eviivo, Free To Book, Super control, Bookalet, or another property management system, you know that your booking engine cannot be all one page.
However, the careful placement of a “book now” button, followed by several CTA (Click To Action) buttons, on the website will ensure that the guest will follow a direct route to the booking engine.
Does it kill your SEO?
Websites designed this way do not kill your SEO. If anything there’s an argument that if you can get a visitor to stay on your website for longer (aka sticky) then it will increase the trust factor that Google looks for.
I’m a massive fan of websites that have 80% of the whole site information on the first page, and as I said right at the start, I believe these are the future for all hospitality businesses. Not only have I changed my own website, grainary.co.uk, but I have also worked with short-stay accommodation owners all over the world to adopt this method to their business too with amazing results
Not only do they look good, but they achieve what we all want: They get the guest to the booking engine as soon as possible. This is how to get that direct booking.
If you want to see some examples and find out how Boostly can help you then click here