The travel press has been full of articles on the effect of the latest changes that Google have made to their algorithm for search. There has been huge scare mongering going on, but for small businesses worried about having to spend money making their sites mobile friendly there are a set of questions they should answer before hitting the panic button.
1. How well does your site do with SEO? Have you got a bunch of keywords that you rank highly for and do you rank highly for them on mobile?
2. Do you rely on your website appearing in natural listings to get any leads for your business?
3. What % of users who book a holiday do so from a mobile device?
For the majority of small to medium sized travel agents, the majority of their business will come from a number of marketing efforts and brand name would be probably at the top of the list in terms of SEO keywords. If you happen to have nailed the ‘honeymoon in the Caribbean’ keyword and you have a high converting landing page for that key phrase then of course you need to make sure that you have a mobile optimized site. For everyone else, reliant on a bunch of marketing effort to get new leads then don’t forget – this update only affects mobile search, not desktop in any way at all.
If you have a Google place listing ( and all businesses should have this as a minimum and it’s free) then any mobile search for your business name will always appear at the top because of the way that Google ranks its listings.
Sooner or later all businesses will have to upgrade their website to a mobile friendly one. If it affects your business then the cost of converting your site to mobile friendly will more than pay for itself, if it doesn’t, then upgrade as and when your budget allows.
Note – we are a tech company so we recommend that everyone has a ‘responsive’ mobile friendly website. In fact, websites by and large should be upgraded every 3 years ( 3 years ago no one built responsive websites).
Ordinarily tech companies scare monger with the best of them so they get more business. We rely on giving fair expert advice to clients. We help make them make the right decision based on their budget ( and their analytics which tell them how many people use their site on mobile and how many of these cam from search)
I founded Net Effect to provide digital marketing tools and websites to Independent Travel Businesses who sometimes find it hard to compete online with the larger Online Travel Agents.
I started off my career in Zimbabwe with British American Tobacco having developed his love of travel from spending part of my childhood in Malaysia. I quickly realised that growing tobacco wasn’t the thing he wanted to devote his life to and so returned to the UK, trained as a Chartered Accountant and joined the travel industry as Finance Director of Simply Travel and then MD, later selling the business to TUI and after a brief spell with the travel giant, realised my passion was with small businesses.
Fast forward to 2011 and a number of different businesses I saw a niche to provide marketing tools and expertise to Independent Travel Businesses whom otherwise would be unable to find the right tools to help grow their business and Net Effect was founded
Net Effect now provide CRM and Quote software, email marketing, specialist holiday search and cruise search and marketing tools to over 200 clients.