Are the visuals on your website engaging the right prospective guests and differentiating your tourism business? If it’s all blue skies, palm trees, smiling models or other perfectly boring crap, they’re probably not. Today, competition is fierce, and having the right visual strategy is key to generating sales and attracting more high-value guests.
The right combination of photos, videos, and illustrations can define your brand are a key part of luxury travel marketing.
Understand Your Audience and Brand
Before taking a step further, you need to understand your ideal guest or buyer’s persona.
Who are they? What sort of places do they want to visit? What activities appeal to them?
The answers to these questions should give you an idea of what types of images to use. If they’re couples, age 60+, for god sakes make sure the people on your website and other channels look like that. People want to see themselves when imagining their dream vacation.
If they want luxury holidays, you should show high-end experiences through your visuals; if adventure travel is more what they seek, make sure to show guests doing those activities.
Then think about style. I’ve seen phenomenal atmospheric images, cloudy skies, backlit models and otherwise the kinds of photos and videos that would never wind up in tourist brochures being used successfully by top tourism brands.
Get Experimental With Images And Videos
Visuals aren’t limited to great photos. While images are a great way to excite website visitors for their next vacation, you should be creative and experimental to offer something different from your competitors. This difference keeps viewers engaged.
While not as common in the travel industry, illustrations or infographics can be an effective way to explain more complicated topics, like travel logistics, in an easy-to-understand way.
Custom Photographs or Stock Pictures?
Captivating images grab our attention more than plain text, which is why they are a powerful tool in tourism marketing. An excellent scenic picture is often enough for a person to pursue their wanderlust.
Pictures for a travel website are available in two main forms: Original/Custom Photographs or Stock Pictures. (While guest or user-generated-content can be great for social media, it’s generally not a good idea for something as important as your website.)
It is best to always go for professional images as they are unique and allow the readers to connect with the destination. When working with a photographer or videographer, make sure to use a photo brief that explains the style that matches your brand.
However, pro photo shoots are expensive and time-consuming to do. On the other hand, countless fantastic sources offer stock images. They are easily accessible at an affordable price and available in numerous categories.
But regardless of the images you choose, stay relevant to your brand and destination.
Images for SEO
SEO is essential for tour and activity providers. Google is the center of everything, and for a tourist, their journey often starts directly from the search bar. With a reliable tourism SEO strategy, you can direct your guests to your tour operation.
The same SEO approach is essential for your images too. When integrating visual files within your content, make sure to:
Resize Images – Images having a high resolution will slow your website load time. You can utilize an online tool to reduce the size of your pictures.
Descriptive Alt Text – An alternate text is a piece of information that describes what an image shows. It helps the visually impaired to have a better understanding of the image offered. In terms of SEO, it helps search engines recognize your content.
Correct Image Format – Different formats are available, and each offers something substantial. It entirely depends on what kind of image you are using and how you want to use it.
- JPEG for large photos or illustrations as it offers good results with small sizes.
- PNG to preserve image background transparency.
- SVG for logos and icons.
Image Sitemap – A sitemap is a simple directory or guide that holds information about the pages and elements present on your website. Search engines crawl a sitemap’s database to find information concerning a specific search query.
Watch Out For Google’s AI
The AI behind Google aims to provide users with the most relevant search results by analyzing their search queries. Google’s AI uses the content of the text near the image to understand what the image represents and can even understand what and where the image is from the image itself. So that beautiful stock photo of an island on the other side of the world? Don’t use it. Google will probably know it’s not from your destination and penalize you for using irrelevant images.
Putting it all Together
Aventur Marketing has years of experience delivering results and growing bookings for premium tourism businesses. The luxury tourism industry is going through a big shift. Be flexible and adjust to these changes and engage with your ideal guests by using the right visual strategy.
If you need help creating a visual strategy or marketing plan for your tourism business contact us to set up a free consultation.