People are visual creatures. Fortunately for us, advancements in technology have resulted in more and more of our online world becoming visual. Businesses in all industries have got to understand that their potential customers and clients will be searching for them online and making snap judgments about their company based on the images, video and content that they post. When it comes to hospitality internet marketing, you need to concentrate your efforts on keeping up with new technology to leverage your website and social media platforms and include enticing visual content.
- Make sure that you don’t bog down visitors to your website by using large uncompressed images. Your images should be optimized for the web and for speed. Don’t lose a booking to a competitor because a guest didn’t wait for your page to load. More importantly, Google is also checking your website speed. Slow loading can affect your ranking so use photos that are optimized for web.
- Make sure that you are using your prime real estate on your web page to show off beautiful images of your hotel. Investing in a professional photographer is a must—good photos of your hotel’s amenities or other values like a beautiful pool can significantly increase your conversion rates. The majority of people turn to the internet first when researching a vacation. Which hotel do you think they will choose: a hotel with a stunning image of the spacious rooms and poolside or a hotel with a text heavy homepage? Vacationers want to see what your hotel has to offer them. Quality photos are a must for hospitality internet marketing.
- Integrate these photos and images through social media by sharing your images on all of your social media sites. This means more than just Facebook—your potential guests will be using a variety of social networks such as Twitter, Myspace, Google +, and Instagram. From March through August 2012, Instagram alone had a 724% gain in visits by DAILY mobile users. Those are the same users who are searching for your hotel when they planning their travel. Encourage conversations and interactions when posting these photos by asking questions such as asking, “Who wants to spend their day by the poolside sipping a tropical drink?” when posting a photo of your pool or island drinks. Entice your viewers on social media and they will be more apt to comment or share. Social media is so crucial for hospitality internet marketing.
- All images should be named using ALT tags so that when the image cannot be displayed or a screen reader is being used the “alternative text” will tell users about the image. This is also important as part of your Search Engine Optimization plan for your hospitality site. Use your keywords for the file name of your image and in the ALT tags. Remember, search engines are crawling your website pages and all of its content and images to pick out certain keywords. Make it as easy as possible for your page to rank on top search engines such as Google.
That well known adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer with respect to your hotel’s search engine ranking and conversion rates. Potential guests want to see all that your hotel has to offer, they don’t just want to read about it! Post tempting photos with an interesting description and you may have just scored a new customer!
If you are struggling with your hospitality internet marketing, we are here to help you grow.
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