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Cruise agencies are being urged to recognise the benefits of mobile websites ahead of Google search ranking changes.
The call comes from travel technology provider Traveltek, as Google gears up to start ranking mobile-friendly websites higher within mobile search results from April 21, potentially penalising agencies that have sites only focused on desktop users.
The number of agencies who have not yet realised the potential sales they are missing out on has surprised the company.
Chan Lam, design team head of Traveltek, said: “The rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets means that more visitors than ever before are visiting travel websites from something other than a desktop PC.
“Designing your site from any other perspective other than mobile first is likely to leave your visitor disappointed and heading elsewhere.”
Global sales director peter Whittle added: “Google’s change just reflects the way people are using the web.
“Users are increasingly turning away from sites that don’t work well on their mobile device, returning back to search results to find a competitor who does.
“Potential cruise bookings start with users looking at their phones in restaurants, on trains and other places where couples and families get together, not with everyone crowded around a computer.”
Users want fully responsive experiences that adapt to the device being used, not cut down mobile versions with important features removed, he added.
“The Traveltek solution is ready for Google’s changes and we urge the cruise retailers to follow,” said Whittle.