Imagery on a hotel’s website is one of the most crucial elements for a good user experience. The average web browser is likely not aware of the impact decent photography can have, but it only makes sense that a website with extensive, hi-res imagery would have a higher conversion rate and higher engagement than a website with outdated and amateur imagery. Some independent hotel managers hire professional photographers to capture the true essences of their properties and give web browsers an idea of the actual look and feel of the hotel. Google sends its trusted business photographers all over the world to do the same for its local search results. In a time when photos are more important than ever, both on- and off-page, to the point that Google has its own team generating original photos in order to include them on search engine results, hoteliers need to continue to stay on top of their website’s photography as well. Going along with the motto that a hotel’s website should be “new every 2 [years],” photography should be updated regularly as well and should reflect any new additions or renovations on property.
Typically, the brand.com websites are very image-centric and give guests what they want to see at first look, likely due to the involvement and resources of corporate. Independent properties, especially those that are family-owned, or hotels in which a smaller group of people has control over all aspects, more frequently than not have websites that have been neglecting the photography or gallery areas. Independent properties need to do a better job of “merchandising” their hotels with these high-quality photos. Showcasing a hotel on both the desktop and mobile websites is imperative for converting lookers into bookers, increasing engagement, and simply remaining competitive in today’s photo-driven world! It should also be a key component to a hotel’s mobile marketing strategy to include photos of the property on its mobile booking engine, as people are booking travel via mobile more than ever before.
A recent VFM Leondardo study looked at the top 10 hotel images travel shoppers want to see when searching for the perfect hotel. The research revealed the following order:
1. Guest rooms
6. Business center
Hoteliers interested in revamping the imagery on their websites might find this list helpful so they know a good place to start without getting overwhelmed.
Don’t forget the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” because this holds especially true for hotels. The power of beautiful imagery on a website is vast and should not be underestimated. Enhancing the user experience with photography will undoubtedly drive bookings and create conversation. Typically, hoteliers do not neglect updating or renovating their properties, and in turn they should not neglect their digital properties either!