How Hotel Image Choice Impacts Click-Through Rates

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Posted on Sep 7th 2012

A new study has shown that the photos hotels choose to use in their OTA booking paths have a considerable bearing on click through rates. 

The photo optimisation study, conducted by Intent Media, looked at dozens of property listings on Orbitz. It revealed that images optimised for click-through delivered an impressive improvement in CTR – in some cases by as much as 100%.

Participating hotels uploaded multiple images of their property to their Orbitz listing, which were then tested automatically using Intent Media’s Sponsored Search Network. While several different images were tested for each property, the position of the Orbitz listing, price, property description and guest ratings were kept constant to create a level playing field. The difference in performance between the better performing and ‘losing’ images was surprising. On average, the ‘winning’ images led to 15% more click throughs 76% of the time. In some cases, these images delivered 3X more clicks than the losing one. 

“We learned that our opinion and the customer’s opinion about our best photo are not the same” said Claudio Silveira, Sales Manager at multi-hotel property manager Posadas. “We saw a 46% improvement in click-through compared to the image we originally were using. It definitely blew us away” 

Although Intent Media did not examine how many of these click-throughs led to actual bookings, the value of the study, conducted on real hotel shoppers, should not be overlooked.  

It’s an important reminder that you should test every aspect of your internet marketing campaign, and the images you use to sell your property are no exception. A better image will drive better results, with increased click-throughs and perhaps increased conversions at stake, it should be up to your prospective guests to decide which is indeed better. 

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