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Guide to Hotel Photography, Visual Search, and SEO

Aug 06, 2009   |   Hotel
Hotel Photography

outside2-236x300A picture is worth a thousand words. This adage is especially true when it comes to hotel and resort pictures. Hotel images can either persuade or discourage guests from booking a room. This is why it is critical to take and choose the right pictures to feature on the hotel’s website. The photographs featured on the site should convey the experience guests can expect when staying in the hotel. Here is a guideline for properly shooting hotel images:

  1. Feature at least 5 images that highlight the values offered within the hotel’s premises. Include images of the hotel’s exterior, guest rooms, and hotel services at the minimum.  If the hotel has a pool, restaurant, or meeting space, include it in the list to be photographed.
  2. When hiring a professional photographer, make sure that he or she has experience in architectural photography. Someone with such experience would know how to capture and highlight the hotel’s best features. Get complete ownership of the pictures from the photographer to avoid copyright infringements.
  3. Prepare for the shoot. The rooms should be clean and organized. All hidden corners should be open and the room should have ample lighting.
  4. Do a walk-through prior to the shoot. Walk the photographer through each room or area to be photographed. Point out the values of each room and what needs to be featured in the picture.big_room
  5. Make the pictures timeless by avoiding use of people in the photograph. Using people will put a stamp date on the picture as fashion trends change season after season. This can make the image time sensitive and only useful for a short period of time.
  6. Highlight the values featured in the room. If the guest room has a fridge, TV, etc., these should be featured in the picture. Opt to use a roomier King Bed guest room versus  crowded Doubles.
  7. If the hotel includes a breakfast room, stage it by laying out food on the breakfast table. Use food items that are inviting to eat. If there’s a buffet, take the covers off the serving trays and show off the delectable food. The point is to convey the experience.


  1. Take pictures from a bird’s eye view – this trick allows capturing a larger space and highlighting room features.
  2. Dress up the rooms by using accent items such as potted plants, flowers, art, etc. This makes the room feel lively and homey.
  3. Use high-quality, high-resolution images for clearer pictures. Grainy pictures can make the image seem old and dated.

How do you make your images show up on top for brand searches?

Use appropriate alt text, keywords in filename, and add structured data, schema, for images. Load the images in Google My Business and via your knowledge panel to establish ownership and authority.

How much traffic can you get from Google images?

Images contribute about 2-33% of traffic from Google. The range depends on the industry and the degree of visual nature of the site’s offering. For example, ecommerce would be high and B2B tech would be low.

Does traffic from images convert?

It does but at a rate that is about 3 times lower than regular search traffic.

What % of image traffic comes from image search vs. universal image search in the regular SERPs?

About 90% comes from Google Images and 10% from Universal Images.

The purpose of featuring hotel images on the website is to convey the experience, to show the value offered within the hotel’s premises. Choosing the right images that show off the hotel’s values and services can increase online conversion and overall revenue.

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