Research suggests that 67% of online buyers consider high-quality photos a crucial factor for their buying decision. In the study, images were rated higher than product descriptions, specifications, user ratings, and reviews.
This means that in an attention-depleted economy, the only way to engage users and lure them to your website is to up your photography game.
When it comes to using photographs in websites, using custom images is a smart move. However, this means spending money and time on expensive photography. Unfortunately, not many business owners have the resources to utilize on photography.
The best way to resolve the issue is to purchase affordable stock photos – which is a clever alternative to not using photos at all.
Benefits Of Using Stock Photos
When you use stock photos, you can have professional-looking designs for your advertisements, website, and many other projects without spending a fortune on photographer and equipment.
These images are readily available and you can use stock images immediately at an affordable rate to achieve professional, high-quality photography for your small or medium-sized business or startup.
There are hundreds of websites that provide a plethora of stock photos. From the selection, you can easily use the ones that align with your brand. You can also transform the chosen stock photos into more engaging and personalized imagery. Use various angles of the same image and edit the ones that you don’t like.
When you need to save time or money, stock photography is a great option.
But make sure to utilize the photos you take of your team and the work your organization does when you can in your marketing strategy. It will make your business seem genuine and relatable.
However, it is worth keeping an eye out for some considerations and obstacles before diving into the world of stock images.
Below are some tips that will help you to use stock photos successfully on your website.
Let’s dive right in
- Avoid Overworked Photos
The image libraries on stock photo sites offer countless images suitable for any website. However, despite the sheer quantity of stock photos available online, the same images are repeated regularly.
Before using an image, it is best advised to drag and drop the photo in Google Images search and click the “search by image” button. This way you will see similar images available on the internet, giving you an idea of what type of visuals will make your website unique.
You may already be using a photo similar to your competitors that depicts something common to your industry. And using Google Images “search by image option” will help you avoid using the photos being used by your competitors.
Your site will look unique and more customized if you choose less commonly used stock photos.
- Use Relatable Stock Photos
Never select images before placing yourself in the shoes of your target audience. When choosing images, think about what perception these photos will reflect in your audience’s eye about your brand.
Select images that reflect how you want your brand to be recognized and how you think your visitors will respond, making sure the chosen ones give out a favorable notion of your brand.
If you are targeting Gen Z, your site should reflect digital, active, and youthfulness. Visitors on your site will subconsciously be drawn to images that illustrate the experiences of your target audience.
For instance, this photo gives out a feeling of youthfulness by showing happy employees.
When your target audience is young, using an elderly couple on your website might be irrelevant to your audience and won’t do justice to the brand.
- Add Your Unique Flavor To Stock Photos
After selecting stock photos, edit them to blend with your brand image. Crop the unnecessary elements, switch colors, typography, or use gradients to resonate with your brand image. Photoshop, Pixlr, PicMonkey, and GIMP are easy and effective tools for modifying your photos.
In addition, you do not have to choose exclusively between stock photos and custom photography. You can edit and combine both photos. This way you will be able to blend stock photos seamlessly into your website.
- Optimize Your Stock Photos for SEO
Upon downloading stock photos, you will realize that most images are named after the photographers who took the photo. To make it relevant to your audience, you need to rename the photo with the right description
Google also mentions the same on their blog:
“[…] the filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. For example, my-new-black-kitten.jpg is better than IMG00023.JPG.”
The name “IMG00023” doesn’t reveal anything about the photo while the name “new-black-kitten” gives information about the photo.
This way, when Google crawls on your photo, it’ll know what the picture is about and index it accordingly.
- Use Pictures With Natural Poses
When choosing stock photos, try to pick candid images. You might have seen stock photos that look staged and over posed. However, instead of going with the images that appear overused, pick images that look natural.
It is also important that you look at the quality of the photographs and avoid using dark, blurry, or low-quality images.
For instance, a natural pose might be like this:
Here, the emotions are pure. All three of them are fully engaged in their activity, making it a perfect candid picture.
For startups, eCommerce store owners, and well-established businesses, time, money, and convenience matters a lot. It’s more like investing time in the right tools and looking for ways to do things faster than competitors.
Using stock images over customized photos is one arena where one brand can take advantage of other brands. Now, you know how you can use stock photos to turn boring websites into engaging, relevant, and share-worthy websites.