Are You a Dinosaur….or Vacation Rental Mobile Ready?

ARE YOU A DINOSAURI don’t like to label myself, but in issues of technology I find myself overwhelmed sometimes with the speed of progress, the wealth of new gadgets and gizmos, and most of all, the ability of my 2 year old granddaughter to operate an iPad.

My label would be ‘recovering dinosaur’!

I’ve seen the light and now appreciate the need to get with the technology, and ensure that the way we market actually reaches those who are searching online.

Because they are doing it more and more on mobile devices.

There is a generation out there who grew up with mobile devices and are now starting their own families and taking vacations in rental properties. If we are still marketing to the buying habits of previous generations we could be missing out.

An article on Travel & Tour World backs this up:

“According to research by ABTA there has been a significant increase in the use of tablets and mobiles to book holidays online in the past 12 months.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of online bookers secured a getaway via a tablet compared to just 10% in 2013 and mobiles saw a steady 4% increase in usage over the past year”

While the PC (personal computer inc. Apple computers) remains the majority choice for booking, it’s clear we need to be fully aware of the growth in mobile use for search and this means paying attention to how our listings and websites look on a mobile device.

tweetIt is so important to have a mobile responsive #vacationrental website! @Cottageguru has the details.

In general you open a website on a PC and see all the images, text and navigation bars on one clear page. When you try and see all this on a tiny screen – say an iPhone – it’s a completely different experience.

If the photos look scrunched up or the text is misplaced or overwrites, you have a problem. No-one is going to look twice at a site or listing they cannot read, or at pictures they cannot see properly.

Kirby Winfield made some great points about this in Episode 46 of Vacation Rental Success, and it’s the reason Dwellable is getting such good results with its tablet app. Download it and check it out.


There’s some simple things you can do to ensure you get seen on these devices:

If you are using WordPress for your own site, make sure you have a responsive theme.

That means the layout adjusts to your device's screen size, and provides an optimal viewing experience, easy reading and navigation on mobile phones, tablets, laptop and PCs.

In the resources section we have always recommended the Thesis Theme and this has several mobile responsive skins you can use for your site. We have also used many of the responsive themes from using the Genesis platform.

When listing with an agency or using a listing site, check them out on a tablet and a phone. Imagine you are a potential guest searching online, and experience what they will see. Is it frustrating? Can you find what you are looking for? Is the navigation easy?

If not, you may need to consider another option or risk losing a significant and growing proportion of your market.


Are you mobile ready? What have you done to ensure you are going to be seen?


Great article Heather! I agree 100% and as someone who has been in the search industry for the last 10 years, mobile optimization should be on the priority list for every vacation rental professional. Not only will having a mobile ready site be easier for your prospective guests to interact with, but it will help your site perform better in natural search as well (optimizing images will help ensure your site is easy for the search engines to download faster).

    Heather Bayer

    It took me a while to really understand what mobile responsive actually meant because I didn’t spend that much time searching on a phone or tablet until recently. Now I get it! It doesn’t take much for a poor site to be swapped for one that reads easier.


      I’m sure you aren’t the only one out there! Correct, it does not take very much at all to make a site responsive! Guess it just sounds like a bigger ordeal than it actually is.

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