Photos can make or break a website. You might have a wonderful design that’s sleek and easy to navigate, but you still need photos that will sell the experience in a way that written content just can’t.
But what photos will sell your tours? To help tour operators with this, we at TourismTiger have created a guide with the photos that every tour operator needs on their website.
Beautiful scenic shot
While a beautiful scenic shot can make for a gorgeous website, scenic shots should be done in moderation. Scenic photos work best on sites for tours in the mountains or countryside. Take this example from our client Select South West Tours. The location seems very remote, which will make people feel that they won’t be able to just find the location themselves, and will need to take the tour in order to see it. While you do want to show visitors the beauty that your tour will show them, most people will already know that your location is beautiful, that’s probably why they’re going there in the first place. Other photos are more important than this one.
Photos of people on tours
The photos of people on your tours are the most important photos to have on your website. They are certainly more important than scenic shots. The experience that you offer can only be shown with photos or videos that show real people enjoying their day with your company. The photo should show people having fun, laughing, and being engaged.
Check out this great photo from one of our clients Shin Tours
These photos do a great job of showing people in action during the tour. Website visitors can tell that they’re not just going to be walking around, or spending the time in a bus, they’re going to be active. Not just seeing, but doing and experiencing.
If there’s a certain demographic or type of person you want to target your tour company to, then make sure to show these types of people in the photos. Don’t hope to have more families on your tours if your website is full of single people in their twenties.
The photos of people on the tours will also give guests an idea of whether or not they’re able to do the trip. If an elderly couple looks at the site and sees that everyone is very young and athletic looking, they may decide that your tour company isn’t for them. If you’re trying to attract everyone, try to make sure there is a mix of people.
Photo of guides
People want to see who they’re going to spend the day or days with. The photos of guides should show some personality. Make sure people know that they’re going to be in good hands, and with someone who seems fun. The photos should show that guides are friendly, un-intimidating, and experts of their craft! Here’s a great example from our client Downstream Adventures.
These are photos of the two founders, next to the photos on the site, they have bios. The photos show passion and expertise.
Then, the photos of the guides show a friendly group, and each photo shows some personality, and at least to me, a fun group to spend the day with.
Photos of guides interacting with guests
It’s of course necessary to also show guides and travelers interacting. Website visitors should be sure that the experience will be personal and engaging, not just a stranger repeating the same thing every day to a different group of people. Here’s an example from TourismTiger’s client Flying Bike Tours. This gives website visitors an idea of the expertise their tour operator will have. You can see two guests attentively listening to what the tour guide is showing them.
Show what makes you special
There are so many tour companies, and you have to stand out. Your website’s photos should show why you’re special. For example, TourismTiger’s client Aloha Kayaks Maui offers kayak and snorkel tours in Hawaii. Travelers get to see amazing marine wildlife on their tours, so of course this is something they should show off on their website. Their photos show not only people on the tours, but the guests seeing incredible Hawaii wildlife during the experience.
Here are a couple of examples:
Use your photos to ease people’s fears and answer their questions
Think of what questions your content can’t perfectly answer, and use photos to demonstrate it to your website visitors. For example, if you’re a white water rafting company with beginner, intermediate, and expert level tours, you should use your photos to demonstrate that the beginner is for everyone, so someone who is looking at the tour page will know straight away that they can handle it. You can achieve this by having an action photo of rafters on very mild rapids. Additionally, you should make sure that your intermediate photo doesn’t look more intense than the expert level tour. Make sure it all makes sense with the content, and will give potential customers the best possible idea of the experience.
Show off your gear
If your tour is done with any type of essential gear, such as vehicles or bikes, make sure to show them off on the website. People want to feel safe and secure, and they want to see that you have a modern vehicle or equipment that will be reliable on the tour, not some old beat up bus that will break down or be unsafe.
If you have the budget, try painting your gear, allowing it to become part of the centerpiece of the photo, not just an obligatory and boring photo of a car or bus.
Here’s an example from our client and Rezdy’s Tiger Adventure Tours.
Death of the stock photo
Avoid using stock photos on your website. To be honest, a lot of the time people can tell that they’re stock photos. You don’t need a professional photographer to take great photos. You can actually take great photos with just an iPhone and some understanding of how the iPhone’s cameras settings work. TourismTiger has a guide on how to take high quality photos with nothing but an iPhone. You can read it here, and get those stock photos off your site!
If you simply must use stock photos on your website, I recommend using UnSplash. They offer beautiful, free photos that don’t scream stock photo.
Here’s a great example of a free photo that doesn’t scream stock photo.
User generated content
And finally, all websites should have user generated content in some form. A great way to do this is to have an Instagram feed on your site. With a second party app, you can Regram photos that your guests have taken, and then those photos will appear on your website. This is a feature that all TourismTiger sites are compatible with.
Here’s an example of how it looks on Manuel’s Tours:
Photos make or break a website. You might have a fast, easy to navigate site, but it won’t help you sell more tours if your photos are don’t show people the personality of your tour company or what makes it special. We hope this guide will help you improve your website and sell more tours.
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