What is one of the most inspiring pieces of media for our visitors? Photos! We have hundreds, sometimes thousands of photos on our sites to help visitors understand everything we have. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture that is poorly named and alt-tagged is worth exactly zero words to a search engine. I can go to almost any travel site, view the name of their hero image, and practically guarantee it will be named something that has nothing to do with the picture and is not SEO friendly.
Let’s look at a couple of example of the homepage hero images names from some big destination sites:
Visit California: VC_LandingPage_AWIM000957_1280x640_0
Travel Oregon: StarSlideshow_2000x1000.jpg
Visit the USA: homepage%20hero%20volcano%20honolulu.jpg
The only one of the above image names that gives a clue what the photo might be is the image from Visit the USA, and even then it is mighty boring and not at all descriptive.
Photos are one of our biggest assets. As DMOs, we want to be the primary source of information and the brand for our destinations. However, if you do any type of image search for your destination, or almost any other destination in world for that matter, you won’t find one image from a DMO site there. Why is this? Because we aren’t taking advantage of this huge piece of our content.
Fear not! I have created a handy dandy cheat sheet that you can start using today to make sure your images are optimized going forward. I encourage you to pass this along to anyone in your organization who uploads photos to your site, including your blog. Put those images to work for you!
Go forth and optimize!