Pictures you post on your website can play a crucial role in the success of your project. Here, we consider the pros and cons of using stock and original photos.
Stock Pictures and Original Photographs for Your Website
The choice of images for your website plays an essential role in both SEO optimization and the success of your entire project.
In this article, we will try to shed some light on the subject by showing you all the pros and cons of both stock and original photos. So let’s get right into it!
Stock Images for Your Website
When high-quality professional images are not available, archive photos become a good option. They are certainly cheaper than the original photographs and are much easier to find. When we buy images from such resources, we usually talk about royalty-free images.
“Royalty-free” is, in fact, a type of license that allows the use of photo, video, or audio files with limited restrictions and for an extremely small fee.
To find the right images, you’ll need the right method and a lot of patience. Why? Because it is absolutely necessary that you locate high-quality photos that are suitable for your project. After reviewing a vast amount of stock photos, you can get an idea of what actually works for you and what doesn’t.
Check out our quick tips for finding the right pics on some of the most popular stock image platforms, such as Shutterstock, Istockfoto, and Fotolia.
Stock Images: The First Choice is not Always the Right One
Here is an example of how the first choice may actually prove to be a fallacious one. Imagine writing a post or page for a website like https://www.buy-cheapessay.com/write-my-essay dedicated to academic services. After writing the piece, you’ll need a good image that is pertinent to the subject and can attract potential customers. So, you go to Shutterstock and use the first photo that you think is the best in terms of quality and relevance. The next day you see the exact same photo in an article from another blog that deals with online college support.
What does this example tell us? Simple. That you should put a little more effort into selecting the image and trying to be more creative. It is not a big problem. We have learned a lesson: do not use the first thing that comes your way. Research on stock image platforms by entering less obvious search queries.
Customizing the Stock Image
Add some text, remove any distracting elements, or add another layered image to the photo. There are many ways to improve a boring archive photo and make it unique.
It’s always a good idea to use a bit of creativity to ensure that the final result is nice-looking and in line with your website’s overall style.
Check Your Image for Strange or Annoying Elements
When choosing an image for your content, consider the following questions:
- Is the photograph in focus or out of focus?
- Does the subject of the photo have a strange or distracting expression?
- Do people or settings seem fake?
Sometimes, even images taken by professionals are to be chosen with caution. It always takes the right methodology and strategy.
According to our experience, stock images can be perfect for the following projects :
- Ebooks and slides/presentations
- Blog posts in your special section but possibly not for your homepage
- When you need high-resolution images on your homepage (only when you don’t have original photographs available)
So, as you can see, each type of image may have a specific purpose.
Original Images for Your Website
Now that we’ve discussed stock images, we can move on to the original ones.
A great website with excellent content and enormous potential can be compromised by the lack of care in choosing photos.
We often see projects with high potential on the Internet. They are limited by poor-quality photos that, unfortunately, fail to enhance the contents of the site and the people behind the project. In the same way, it is possible to see a graphically perfect website ruined by low-quality images (probably took with a mobile phone).
We know that creating a professionally-looking website can be quite challenging from an economic point of view. However, if you’re on a budget and want to cut a few corners, photos are the last thing you should save on. High-quality pictures can really make a big difference, especially when it comes to grabbing the attention of visitors who keep switching between multiple websites. Not only does it attract them, but it also causes them to return. Why? Because the overall result is harmonious and beautiful to look at.
Hire a Professional Photographer
There are so many good photographers out there who can take fantastic photos of your company, your office, and your products/services. However, they can also help you get great-looking pics of your team and your workspace. It is especially important if your location, your company, and the people working for you are an essential part of your brand.
Even images taken with your smartphone can make a big difference. Yes, they can work, especially if you know what you’re doing! Apps that are available online can help you create personalized images for social media and your website. However, we would like to clarify one thing: always try to be objective and rely on professionals.
Know Your Limits
While planning your website, you should figure out whether you’ll be able to create and update the elements that require images. News articles, blog posts, homepage banners: all these areas may need to be updated. Will you write news articles every week? Do you need to change the homepage banners every month? If you don’t have a designer or photographer, you can consider using stylistic elements that don’t require photographs.
Use your original photo to:
- Promote your homepage
- Promote your services or your team
- Promote materials relevant to your company’s philosophy
- Focus on your company’s unique features
Professional photography can be expensive, so it is a good solution when you lack the time or access to high-quality original images. Personalized images and original photographs are more appealing. Still, we know that we will need time or money to create original and personalized images.
Which Stock or Original Photographs Should You Choose?
Now that we have analyzed the most popular options for choosing images for your website let’s try to figure out how to make your project successful.
The Need for a Good Image in Modern Culture
With the advent of social media, web users tend to prefer visual materials over textual ones. Long pieces are increasingly giving way to smaller ones. The latter have shorter paragraphs and are accompanied by an image that summarizes the main message of the piece. It makes them attractive to people who do not feel like reading the whole article.
Consistency, Quality, and Interactivity
Images should be relevant, high-quality, and interactive. By interactivity, we mean providing users with a chance to download and share content in a few simple steps. Remember — a satisfied user will come back and bring with them more users. This kind of ‘passive advertising’ that works by word of mouth and requires no investment will increase your website traffic and, consequently, broaden your business horizons.
SEO and Original Images
Another factor that shouldn’t be underestimated is that any SEO activity also relies heavily on images. Remember — images are essential for gaining visibility on search engines and increasing your website traffic. Having beautiful and original images can also boost your search engine rankings.
The Final Result?
As we have seen, images are vital for promoting your business and making it a success. We know that an original photograph is more expensive than a stock image. However, we would like to point out that choosing the first option would be an investment that will ultimately pay off. Your website must be unique, which is why using images posted on other platforms isn’t a good idea. It’s a scientifically proven fact that most users leave a website within the first 5 seconds they’ve been on its homepage if they find nothing visually appealing there. Therefore, we need to grab their attention by providing them with beautiful and relevant images.
But be careful! We are trying not to demonize stock images but to show you what the various possibilities are for implementing these two types of elements for different types of projects. A mix of those could work just fine as long as you make your choice with care, passion, and a bit of marketing strategy.