As the saying goes 'a picture tells a thousand words', imagery has long played a leading role in website success. One of the key things we always tell our clients is to make sure they have the best imagery to compliment the content on their website.
And whilst some businesses do have the means and budget to employ a photographer, many businesses turn to stock photography for their website images.
So how do you make sure you choose the best stock imagery for your website?
10 Tips for Choosing Great Stock Images For Your Website Design
If you're a frequent reader of this space, you may have noticed: visuals matter in making your digital presence succeed. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that unequivocally, visuals are the most important part of your website.
Don't believe us? Consider these statistics:
- 65% of senior marketing professionals believe visuals are core to their brand
- 90% of the content that comes to our brain is visual
- Content with relevant visuals gets 94% more views than its alternatives.
And we could go on. But we'll keep it short: images are the core part of making your website successful. Fortunately, the internet has continued to make receiving these images easier over the years. Stock image libraries are increasingly affordable, allowing marketers in all industries to showcase their business with professional-quality, engaging photographs.
Why Choose Stock Images?
You may be naturally hesitant to using stock images in your digital marketing. But in fact, in many cases and especially for small businesses, this type of photo is a perfect fit. It enables you easy access to professional-level imagery, saving you the hassle of having to hire a photographer or making due with personally shot images. In addition, buying a stock image means you will have all the rights necessary for publication, avoiding potential (and even unintentional) copyright infringements.
But even considering all of these benefits, choosing a stock image does not make your website succeed by default. You need to make sure that you pick the right photograph to represent your business, which you can do using these 10 tips:
1) Go For Quality
By choosing stock imagery, you have access to a wide database with plenty of options. Make the most of it by choosing an image that's as professional as possible.
2) Prioritise People
People resonate more with digital audience than any other type of image or graphic. When possible, choose an image that includes a human presence.
3) Consider your Audience
Choose an image that is most likely to resonate not with you, but with your target audience. When in doubt, show a few options to a member of your audience for feedback.
4) Know the Intent
The location of your stock image will and should influence your choice. A hero image on your home page will need to look very different than one that functions as background for text on a sub page.
5) Leave Room for Text
You should always leave room to add text that connects the image with your brand and core value propositions. Stock images that leave room for this text or any type of headline tend to function best.
6) Play With Emotions
Images that most resonate with your audiences are those that elicit an emotion - from surprise to happiness or (in some cases) anger. Stock images achieve that reaction through facial expressions, colour choices, and more.
7) Keep it Unique
Don't choose the top-selling stock image on your database of choice. You are going for a unique image that your audience hasn't seen before.
8) Don't Overdo It
In the pursuit of finding a unique and emotional image, it's easy to go for the drastic picture with crazy poses. Instead, pick one that's as natural as possible to avoid cognitive dissonance on the part of your audience.
9) Suggest Action
Like everything else on your website, your stock image ultimately functions to compel your audience to action. Choosing a photo that supports that goal - such as a luscious image related to your product - can help drive conversions and increase your business.
10) Never Forget the CVP
The core value proposition is the one benefit that makes your brand stand out from its competition. Ultimately, your stock image should support that benefit, helping further distinguish you in the minds of your audience.
Following these 10 tips helps ensure that you pick a stock image that resonates with your audience and increases the success of your website. To learn more about incorporating stock images into your website design, contact us.