Imagine looking through a destination website and seeing nothing but stock photography.
What would you think?
What about reading about the gorgeous beaches and delicious destination food but not knowing if it’s true or not because there are no photos or videos to support the website copy.
Would you go to another website that did have photos?
Or how about looking through a destination website and viewing gorgeous scenic views and the fun entertainment but when arriving realizing that the destination looks nothing like it did on the website because they were stock photos.
Frustrating? Would you feel deceived?
Having photos and video integrated into your destination website design is a critical component of providing website visitors the experience they expect and deserve.
If you want to get people excited about visiting your destination, shopping at the local merchants and sharing that excitement on Facebook and Twitter you need to get them excited from the moment they arrive at your website.
Photography and video can no longer be overlooked and here are twelve reasons why.
12 Reasons Why You Need to Have Professional Photography & Video on Your Destination Website Design
- Professional website photography and video reflect your destination, not someone else’s.
Having professional photos integrated throughout your destination website design will reflect what your destination is all about.
Nothing will capture the essence, the unique aspects, quirks, style of your destination more than a photograph. Stock photography is not representative of the stores, restaurants or museums that only your destination offers. If you want visitors to get the feel of your location before they even step foot at your location your website photos and video need to do the talking for you.
- Create a connection with your visitors
Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. With photography, you create an instant connection with your visitors.
Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text so before they even get to read one word, they have most likely decided if they are going to continue viewing your website or move on to the next one.
- Original video and photography to use everywhere and anywhere
Unless your destination gets a makeover the photos and video created for your website can be used in more places than one. Including your website, they could be used in your blog posts, your emails, social media profiles and social media updates.
Once these photos of your destination are captured you’ll be able to use them over and over again. You can not underestimate how far an inventory of fantastic photographs can do for your destination.
- Appear in search results
If you have a video on your website talking about something specific for your destination lets say for example; “Farmers Market in Clovis CA” you’ll mostly likely show up in search results if someone searches for those terms, assuming you’ve had an SEO optimized website. If you also have a video and photos in addition to the copy all SEO optimized for a keyword it’ll perform better than copy alone.
Also placing that video on YouTube with an SEO optimized title and description your video will show up when individuals search on YouTube. The same is true for Google image search if the photos are SEO optimized your photos can show up in image search results. It’s the content triple whammy. Online researchers may find you via video, content, and photos.
- Increase your conversion rates.
If you’re looking to increase conversion on your website video will do just that.
Viewers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video about it. If you want more people to sign up for your email list, share your content on social media, or visit your destination then provide a video showing them why they should.
- Invites your visitor to explore more of your destination website and retain more information.
If you get your visitors captivated with a gorgeous or unique photo on your homepage they are going to want to explore more of your website.
Visual content drives engagement and increases information retention rate. Retention rate for visual information can reach 65% vs. 10% for text-based information. And visual content keeps visitors wanting to see more.
- Visitors like visual content more than just text.
Website text is easy to gleam over without much thought.
Do you ever catch yourself scrolling through the text portion of a website and stopping at the photos?
90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and as I already mentioned visuals are processed 60,000X faster than text. We’re programmed to respond to photos faster so it’s obvious that we seem to like a destination website design more when photos are integrated throughout it.
- Receive a better response from your website visitors.
Getting a better response from your visitor is always positive. Whether it be more pages viewed, signing up for your email list, or sharing a page they really like with their best friend on Facebook because they loved the photo. 40% of people will respond better to visual information such as photos and videos than just text. This is true for all channels online not just your website.
Facebook, Twitter have a higher response rate when visuals are integrated. Instagram and Pinterest and purely photo centered. Evaluating the habits of users throughout the web you’ll see how photos have an effect on an individuals response.
- Get visitors to spend more time on your website.
If you want to captivate a website visitors and keep them longer on your website you need to have a video showcasing your destination.
Website viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. The reason the time on site doubles is obvious, the visitor is too busy looking at the amazing video on your website that they can’t help but be hooked.
- Visitors consume more content in less time.
This point ties into point 7 and 3. When there are photos and video integrated throughout your destination website design your visitor is more likely to view more pages and consume more content.
Take a moment to try and remember the last time you were on cities CVB website. If indeed the homepage had a gorgeous leading image what was the first thing you did? Try to find more photos, right! More photos, more content, in less time.
- Your overall destination website design quality is increased.
Are you influenced by quality?
Do you prefer a product that looks like it was made with you in mind?
Should the same quality standards be applied to a website design? Take one of your favorite destination websites, if you were to remove all of the photograph in it would you still like it? Do you think it would have the same impact that it does? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Professional photography and video elevate a website and demonstrate quality.
- Tells a story.
There is a unique story to every destination, whether it’s your amazing architecture, organic produce, year round sunny weather or the inviting people that make your destination one of a kind. That story needs to be told through photography and video. No one is going to tell your story better than your own destination website design.
If you’re a Destination Marketing Organization and you’re looking to integrate photography and video into your destination website don’t wait.
Photos of your sunsets, stores, restaurants, food, integrated throughout your destination’s website design is what makes you unique, it’s what makes you stand out, it’s what will convince your website visitors to set the date and take a trip to your location.