Imagery on a hotel’s website is one of the most crucial elements for 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a website with extensive, hi-res imagery would have a higher conversion rate and higher engagement than a site with outdated and amateur imagery.
Some independent hotel managers hire professional photographers to capture the real 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, 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 the 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 its website is imperative for converting lookers into bookers, increasing engagement, and remaining competitive in today’s photo-driven world! It should also be a key component to a hotel’s marketing strategy to include photos of the property on its booking engine, as people are booking travel more than ever before.
A recent VFM Leonardo 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 the right 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 to update or renovate their properties, and in turn, they should not overlook their digital properties either!