As a DMO, you always make an effort to update the information on your site, so that everything is fresh and relevant. But what sometimes gets overlooked is the visual information you’re conveying.
Consumers today are visual decision makers. Visuals make an impression even before they’ve had a chance to read what’s on a web page.
Keeping outdated visuals on your website is like wearing a 70s jumpsuit to give a presentation in 2017. You can say all the right stuff, but people can’t hear your words over your outdated (albeit rockin’) old-school style.
So don’t neglect your visuals! Here are the top reasons why you need to update your website visuals regularly.
Relevant visuals resonate
Think about the visuals you showcase on your homepage.
Now, how many would you say are generic, one-size-fits-all, year-round photos?
These are by no means bad, but don’t forget the value of targeted, relevant visuals.
Case in point: this past holiday season, Explore Branson unveiled a fantastic Christmas themed website, complete with Christmas activity guides and a holiday photo gallery on their website.
Anybody looking for a holiday vacation in Branson would be showered with relevant holiday content that spoke exactly to the experience they were looking for.
And while you don’t have to refresh your entire website design to the scale that Branson did to stay relevant, what you can consider is this: update your website visuals with the seasons, so that your site’s look stays current and fresh every time of year.
Visit Telluride also does something creative to keep their visuals relevant to web visitors.
Telluride is a small but popular ski destination in Colorado — meaning travelers are looking for drastically different experiences in winter vs. summer.
So, on their website, they allow you to toggle between “winter view” and “summer view”.
The website magically transforms to show visitors the specific seasonal visuals that are relevant to them.
Update your website visuals and ensure your photos reflect what travelers want to see the most – at the right time.
Show that you’re on top of the latest that’s going on in your destination
In the digital age, people expect to get the most current information in real-time.
If someone comes to your website and it feels outdated (the pictures are always the same or they don’t look like they were taken recently), they might decide to look elsewhere for a source that looks more updated.
So how can updating your visuals regularly help you stand as a plugged-in source?
Travel Portland has a great way of doing this. On their homepage, they have a “Happening Now” section where they feature photos that locals and visitors alike are taking in Portland “now”. These photos are always within a week old.
This says to travelers, “We’re always looking through photos people are sharing here, and curating the best to show you.”
Even if it’s adding one new photo to an existing photo gallery, that shows visitors that you’re paying attention and making an effort to keep all your information fresh.
[Pro Tip] If you use an image slider on your website, try add upcoming events to it. It’s a great way to keep people excited about what’s going on at your destination – and show them the latest happenings right from the get go.
E.g. This was Victoria BC’s Valentine’s Day themed slider image:
You’ll rank higher on Google
If you are trying to improve your DMO’s search engine rankings, updating visuals can help.
You are likely already optimizing your site for keywords and putting a content strategy in place to help travelers find you. One SEO tactic that you probably didn’t know before is — you guessed it — refreshing your visual content.
Google smiles upon sites that keep updated with fresh, new content. And that includes your visuals.
Whether that means switching out autumn’s homepage image to one better fit for winter, or swapping your regular homepage photo gallery to a themed one, Google’s site crawlers will see this as an update.
When you update your visuals regularly, it doesn’t just offer web visitors a better experience — it lets Google know you’re up to date and deserve to be ranked up top.
If you’re looking for a free tool for periodic quick health checks on your website performance and SEO, you can check out FirstSiteGuide.
See how these DMOs are keeping fresh and creative with their visual content.
Updating your website visuals regularly isn’t always the easiest thing to do. We have lots of experience helping DMOs do just that, and we’ve learned a thing or two about keeping visuals fresh.