At this point, I think every innkeeper understands how important photos are to the success of your bed and breakfast website. If not, consider this: TripAdvisor research showed that listings on the site that had “at least one photo had 138% more traveler engagement and a 225% increase in likelihood of a booking inquiry.” Not only that, but properties with at least 20 photos have 150% more engagement from travelers.
So, having great photos is important. What you do with those photos is important too. Let’s review how to optimize your photos for search engine optimization and user experience.
Choose The Right Image
Select an image that helps tell your property’s “story”. If you have professional photos use them. If you need to take photos with your iPhone, no problem. If you need to use stock photography, that’s fine. Just make sure you select images that will resonate with your potential guests.
Select The Correct File Format
There are three main formats to consider:
- JPEG is probably the most commonly used image format. It’s ideal for photographs and can be optimized for web easily.
- GIF is ideal for simple images. High quality photography that is converted to the GIF file format will appear pixilated and grainy.
- PNG combines the best of both JPEG and GIF. It’s file size can be a bit larger but it’s a great alternative to JPEG.
Reduce File Size
Page load speeds are an important part of search engine rankings and user experience. Try to reduce the file size of your images with your favorite image editor or JPEGmini.
Choose The Right File Name
Take the time to use keywords in your file names. For example, if your photo is of a victorian room with a queen size bed, the file name shouldn’t be 2016.05.02-DSC1276.jpg. Don’t you think victorian-room-queen-bed.jpg sounds better?
Add Alt Text
Alt text, or alternate text, is a description of your photo used by screen readers for the visually impaired and for users who have images turned off. It’s also a powerful asset for SEO.