Photography is an important part of your website. Visual imagery and interesting photos capture the attention of your visitors and potential visitors. Photos also help people remember the content they are reading or viewing. Humans love visual imagery. That’s why Pinterest got so popular so fast! So do yourself a favor and incorporate photos and imagery throughout your website and in every blog post.
While big businesses will invest in hiring a photographer to shoot custom photographs for their websites and marketing materials, that approach isn’t so budget friendly for most small businesses.
That’s where stock photography comes in. Stock photography or royalty-free photography is the perfect solution for businesses owners like you! With stock photography you can acquire high quality photos, illustrations, video, and even audio at a relatively low cost.
“But wait! Can’t I just find images for my website and blog for free on Google Images?”
Yes, you can find images on Google images, but I do not recommend you use them on your website or blog without written permission from the owner of the photo or the copyright holder. Many of the images found on Google Images are copyrighted or trademarked. There have been several documented cases of website owners being sued (and having to pay hefty sums of money) because they used images on their site they didn’t have permission to use.
Using stock, rights-managed photography, and/or royalty-free photography and illustrations ensures that you have permission to use the images you purchase (according to their terms and conditions), saving you a potential big legal headache.
If you want to leverage eye-catching stock photos to add visual interest to your website and blog, here’s what you need to do:
- Head over to a stock imagery site like www.shutterstock.com
- Create an account — it’s free
- Search for photos, illustrations, audios, and even videos using keywords in alignment with your brand
- Look for imagery that would fit well with your content, message, blog articles, etc.
- Add all the images you find to a lightbox
- Buy a subscription and download the images you want to use as you need them
Here are a couple things to remember:
- Put more images than you think you need into your lightbox. This will help you find images for your posts in less time.
- If you are going to blog, we highly recommend that you buy a subscription package (That’s what we have). This way you can refer back to your lightbox and download the other images you picked out as you need them for blog posts and new projects. You’ll also be able to create themed lightboxes for specific topics.
- If you’re not sure what keywords to use for your image search, try starting with descriptions of your ideal client, descriptions of what you do, or even the names of your blog categories or article topics.
I hope this helps! We love using photos on our site and believe it makes a big difference in the success of our blog and the click-throughs from visual sites like Facebook and more and more … Pinterest.