That’s a very good question. Here’s the quick version of an answer with a few screen captures off of an IPhone:
As you can see, or I hope you can see, one is pretty readable and straightforward, the other is not.
Clients searching for services while on the road (not just RV parks) are using their smartphones more than ever to help find those services. And whether or not they become your customer could depend on whether or not they can actually read your website on their Smartphone.
Looking between the two images it’s pretty easy to pick out the mobilized website. The design for our client was pretty simple for the mobile version. We had one goal in mind. Get the potential guest to get in touch with the Tap to Call button, and get them a reservation.
Looking at the image on the left (the non-mobile site) there’s no call to action like the mobile version. Where is that “Make a reservation now,” feeling on that page? Well, it isn’t there. It’s too busy. Way too busy.
For folks traveling the country in an RV, a few simple things are really important. Each day of travel I’ve always had a few items on my mind….
- Where’s the next place to fuel?
- Can I get my Airstream into that gas station parking lot?
- I hope there’s a rest area ahead.
- Where should I stay tonight?
The last one is usually figured out after noon. Normally I have a mileage goal, but things get in the way as you travel. So I’ve learned to be flexible about my final destination each day. And that means I’m looking up RV Parks while I’m traveling. Normally I pull off into a rest area in the early afternoon. I use the AllStays App to look ahead and check for campgrounds. And when I find one near where I think I’ll finish for the day I’ll check out their website……
And normally what I find is a non-mobile website. Often the contact phone number is not on the front page. Often the address of the park is not on the front page. And navigating the tiny version of the website is more than a little frustrating.
That’s actually how the idea for this business was born. One too many bad RV park websites while I was traveling told me there was a need for this.
Mobile is here to stay, and it’s just beginning
Back in 2000 when I worked with AT&T there was a meeting about “Mobility” that I attended. I was a network engineering guy, one of the folks who made the network function. And the meeting I attended was put on by our marketing guys. They’re the ones who come up with impossible ideas that the engineers are then supposed to make happen.
What I heard didn’t make me happy as an engineer or as a consumer. They were talking about advertisers pushing ads to your phone based on location. What does that mean? Let’s say you’re driving down the road and there’s a McDonalds a mile away. You’re phone would push a message to you with a Coupon for the McDonalds you’re approaching.
Ewwww…. Advertising based on location. No thank you. That didn’t appeal to me.
There was also a lot of talk about mobile websites that day. People accessing the web from their phones. And sure enough here we are. The mobile trend will continue, and whether or not you’re pushing ads to people’s phones in your area, or just relying on your mobile web presence, mobile devices are a reality. And in the case of businesses that serve travelers, mobile web presence isn’t just a good idea, it’s necessary.