Stock photos are a godsend for every website, since they let small and large organizations alike gain access to high quality images without needing to generate them in-house.
Of course there are worthwhile ways to use stock photos, as well as mistakes to avoid. With that in mind, here are our top tips for putting them to good use without making any missteps.
Image Source: Pexels
Avoid obvious options
There are millions of stock photos out there, but settling for the first result you find when searching will likely mean that you’re adding a pic that’s widely encountered elsewhere.
Using Google’s own image search tool is a quick way to identify whether or not a given photo is overused online, or if it’s rare enough to be worth adopting.
Select snaps that will appeal to visitors
Images on your site have to boost audience engagement, not put off prospective visitors. Think about how the stock photos you choose relate to your target audience, and make sure that they are relevant and also suitable from a branding perspective.
Rename files for SEO purposes
There’re lots of reasons to embrace SEO, and plenty of ways to improve it if your site isn’t getting the traction it needs to on SERPs.
Renaming stock photo files before you upload them is one quick yet effective trick to boost SEO, as you can add target keywords in the title.
Edit images as necessary
Tinkering with stock photos will let you put your own stamp on them, and also achieve that aforementioned audience relevance that we discussed earlier.
There are all sorts of tools out there, so whatever adjustments and enhancements you need to make, there’s the software available to do so.
Choose free stock photos
You can get attractive images free of charge from reputable sites like Freepik, which is perfect for website owners who are on a tight budget and don’t want to shell out for a premium platform.
Repositories of free stock images are often just as impressive in terms of their size and scope as their paid-for counterparts. You might need to be smarter with your searching, and more discerning with the pictures you choose, but it’s beneficial from a financial perspective.
Give credit where relevant
Both free and paid stock photo libraries have different rules about whether you need to provide credit to the original provider of the image, or even the original photographer.
This information should be clearly displayed when you go to download a file, but if in doubt it’s worth attributing images correctly to avoid consternation, especially in the case that the photos are free to use.
Adapt images for use elsewhere
Stock photos don’t just have to be put to work on your website. If you come up with the right custom design, you could easily roll this out on other platforms, such as your social media feeds.
Do remember that pics published to social sites have to adhere to different formatting rules than those on your own website, so make adjustments and don’t just fire them off unmodified.
Resize images to avoid slowdown
You’ll obviously want stock images which are formatted correctly for their position on your website, but you should also take the time to slim them down as much as possible so they aren’t a burden on page load speed.
Most good stock photo suppliers let you pick the resolution of an image at the point of download, so you don’t have to be lumbered with the full-size, uncompressed file, but can instead pick a configuration that fits your needs.