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Mobile Madness Part 2

Dear Stephanie,

I keep hearing about mobile sites. I already struggle to update my site with posts and deals.  I’m often behind.  Do I need a mobile site and how do I keep that updated?!

– Zoe S. 

Hey Zoe,

Last month we dove into the importance of keeping your site updated and if that wasn’t possible, to convert it to a static site.  This month, we talk about why mobile is important for travel agencies.

Why Behind the What

Let’s start with the basics.  When people are on their phone and searching for a travel agency, they’re probably very serious about buying.   I’m going to go out on a limb that you won’t find many people walking around searching for a local travel agent just for fun.   Shame about that.

Anyhow, we’ve established they’re a very qualified prospective client, most likely with a strong intent to talk with or see a travel agent in the very near future.  Now we need to understand how a mobile site can respond to that consumer better than a non-mobile site.

 
Right Place, Right Time

I think the easiest way to illustrate this is through example.

You happen to be on the road and you’re suddenly inspired to get a tattoo.  Of course you would never drive and surf the web so you ask your passenger to find some local tattoo parlors.  Three options show up: one that is too scary to even consider, one with a website that is way too much to read, and one with a mobile site that has 4 options in an easy to read format – Hours, Address, Pricing,  and a big blue button that says “Call for an Appointment” .

Which one do you think is going to get first dibs at charming you?  The one that makes it the easiest.

People searching on the web have very different needs than those on desktops.  If you can set up your site so that you’re meeting those needs better than your competitors, you’re going to see results.

Click Here!

Home-based vs. Storefront

I want to mention that mobile for home-based agents has a few drawbacks.   Storefronts would love drop-by traffic but for those of us that work from home, the last thing you want is a client showing up unannounced when your house looks like it imploded on itself.  Yet, they’re on the road and you want to strike while the iron is hot.

They may want to talk to someone face-to-face immediately but that’s not the way home based agencies are setup.  First step in avoiding that is giving them another option that is easy and will give them their desired results – talking to someone.

Just like the tattoo parlor example above, have a strong call to action with your phone number, which rings on your cell phone as well as your work line so you can meet that need for immediate information.  A regular website will have your phone number as well but on a good mobile site, the number is highlighted and all that is required by the visitor is that they press the button right in front of their face.

The intricacies of building a mobile site aren’t addressed here but what you should be realizing is how mobile translates into more profits for you.   The nice thing about mobile sites is there doesn’t need to be a lot of content, upkeep is nearly non-existent, and by default, they should be simpler than a desktop site.

For the rest of you, if you have any questions on host agencies, getting started in the travel industry, growing your home-based agency, etc. drop me a line: Stephanie@hostagencyreviews.com

Until next time,
Steph

After a 6 year stretch as director of a national host agency, Stephanie Lee started Host Agency Reviews – a resource website with host reviews and articles to help travel agents start and grow their travel agencies. She was awarded the ASTA’s Young Professional of the Year and Travel Agent Magazine’s 30 under 30 award. As time marches on, the dates of the awards have been surreptitiously left out to avoid drawing attention to the fact she’s aging. She’s not.

You can connect with Steph on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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