How to use imagery effectively: 6 top tips for your hospitality website

Food photographer
By Joe Campbell, Digital Marketing Manager, Zonal

First impressions count. Humans are visual creatures, and when it comes to websites, images capture our attention and help us to visualise an experience. With 31% of consumers now looking at photos of food and 27% looking at pictures of the venue when searching for a potential hospitality venue according to recent KAM Media/Zonal research, the visual aspect of your website is more important now than ever before.  A great emotion trigger: your website imagery is one thing you can control, and you can customise it completely to your taste and to fit your goals.

But how can you effectively use images on your website? And what is the best way to optimise your online menu? Zonal’s Digital Marketing Manager Joe Campbell shares his top suggestions:

1. Invest in quality images

If you can afford it, hiring a photographer is a great investment. Not only will you end up with professional well-composed images, but an expert will also have the knowledge on how to capture your venue and food in the best way possible. Before you start taking photographs, make sure your images are in line with the marketing goals for the business. Choose to take images of your best dishes and place them on your website with a goal in mind. You won’t be disappointed with the results.

2. Use titles and descriptions on your images

When saving a photo file do you give it a specific name? Search engines tend to read photo files, names, titles, and descriptions and not having one there can affect your overall ranking. Do not leave your metadata blank, label your images with short snappy names, and give them hospitality-related labels with relevant titles and descriptions. This will help with optimisation and provide context to the image.

3. Give an honest portrayal

The average person spends about 8 seconds on a given webpage (Strikingly.com). That’s 8 seconds for customers to connect with your business and build a relationship with your brand. Be genuine with your photos – customers can tell the difference between stock images, and real images of your venue. Where possible, use photos of you and your staff and choose images that will accurately reflect what the customer will see when they arrive.

4. Optimise your menu

The top thing consumers search for when researching a potential pub, restaurant or bar is ‘What’s on the food menu’ (54%). Getting the menu and prices right can help draw your visitors in and convert them to a potential customer.

When adding a menu online, using the right images and selecting words that match your dish can help trigger senses, giving customers an idea of what each dish tastes like. Entice your customers in with powerful visuals, and accurate menu descriptions that highlight the best features of your business – your food.

5. Display your prices

Prices are important too. With 44% of consumers looking for prices when researching a potential hospitality venue, make sure you include your pricing information clearly on the menu. Your customers are going to be more conscious of how much they’re spending, and this is a major factor in their dining decisions. Despite this, 38% are more likely to try new venues when they are fully reopened, so make it easy for them by noting your prices on your online menus.

6. Leverage responsive design

With more than four-fifths of time spent online via mobile, it is essential your website is mobile responsive. A mobile-responsive website will allow your visitors to view your website, menu and images with ease. Customers won’t stay on your website if it’s not optimised for mobile devices, and you may lose out on potential bookings. Provide a clear call to action, such as a booking link, and keep branding consistent.

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