6 TIPS • Pick the Right Stock Photos For Your Website
These 6 tips have you covered.
Choosing stock images for your website or content is a bit intimidating. Even for a pro. When you know what works, and what to watch out for, you can DIY. I promise.
Images or graphics can make or break a website design and certainly are responsible for captivating or repelling your audience. Your website text is #1 always.
However, your copy can be spot on and the best of the best - but if your images are:
You’ve lost ‘em.
Don’t let this be more intimidating or more stressful! I promise that it shouldn’t be. We don’t need any more pressure to do “right” on our websites, than we already have.
Understanding how visuals work…
And why your website images might be the cause for missing sales and conversions.
We are incredible at remembering pictures.
• Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65%.
• Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we must identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. That takes time. Source
• Presentations that are accompanied by visual aids have been proven 43 percent more effective.
• Over 65 percent of the population across the globe is composed of visual learners.
• Of all the information that is processed by the brain, 90 percent of it is visual! Source
Visuals create more connections, to you and your message and service. You will also have more content that can be re-purposed and shared more for a greater organic reach.
If you’re first starting out and not able to hire your own photographer (highly recommended but it won’t be the death of your business) here’s how to choose stock photos.
HOW TO PICK STOCK IMAGES FOR YOUR WEBSITE
TIP #1 • Don’t Use a Search Engine
Google and Pinterest are search engines and will show you images that are copyrighted and the intellectual property of others. Using them is not only bad practice but opens you up to being sued in the future.
Be careful to investigate or ask your designer or social media manager WHERE they are getting images and graphics from.
They can be taking a short cut that you will be responsible for even though they took the action.
The best way to stay legal and fair to other creatives is to purchase your images and graphics so you can keep the license (proof of purchase). Or if the designer purchases and holds the license that allows them to use the creative elements to make something for you.
ALWAYS READ the license & terms and conditions pages.
Using an image and giving credit without asking permission from the owner of that image is not a work around. It’s still illegal.
If someone else got permission to use an image from a photographer (for example), they are not allowed to give you permission. It must be their property.
The case of Free Stock images:
There are resources out there that allow you to use gorgeous professional images for free.
CLICK HERE TO READ MY RECOMMENDED LIST <Coming Soon>
TIP #2 • Use High Quality Images
What makes a high quality image?
• Size – At least 1,500 pixels wide. 2,000+ for full screen images.
• Not out of focus, blurry or grainy
• Not blown out or too dark
• No visual edges or creases in the backgrounds (for product photography especially)
EXAMPLE OF DIFFERENT RESOLUTION PHOTOS. LOW > MED > HIGH
TIP #3 • Avoid Generic & Posed Images
Posey and fake looking images invoke feelings of spammy, cliché and pushy marketing companies. If there are people in your stock photos they don’t need to be model material.
Real, genuine feeling people will help your site get it’s message across and fell trustworthy. Photos that are trying too hard to convey something really cheapen everything. Photos evoke emotion but seeing someone fake it in a shot makes your site fake. Candid shots evoke emotion better.
Examples of overly posed photos:
Examples of candid & natural shots:
TIP #4: Be Consistent
Even if you have a collection of high quality and candid images you can still run into a big problem: If they’re so different from one another your site will still look amateur, and untrustworthy.
It’s hard, even with the paid stock image sites, to find consistent looks for imagery. I recommend making a collection of all the images that could work to fill your visual needs then going back and grouping them together by what matches what the best.
When we first start out it’s a common mistake to look for find an image that LITERALLY shows what we are taking about. That’s not necessary. It can look spammy and make it harder to stay consistent on imagery.
Think more of the emotions and style you want to convey, and the outcome your customer or client will get when they buy from or work with you.
Consistency isn’t about the scene or object but about the lighting, style and mood of the images.
Examples of inconsistent site images:
Examples of consistent site images:
TIP #5 • Stay on Brand
Branding is a balance. This isn’t just about colors and style but the overall mood and voice of your brand comes into play for your visuals. If you’ve ever worked to understand your ideal client or customer, picking your visuals are vital. Images will determine if they feel like they belong and like you understand them.
If you’re interested in how to understand your Ideal Client and select images that draw them in - download and work through this free workbook. I guide you through it step by step with specific examples and ideas for you!
Examples: If your brand is young and high spirited (like teen shoes or backpacks maybe), brighter colors and more action like shots might be good. If your brand is cozy and comforting (like candles or woven blankets), soft relaxed colors and images might be ideal.
Your brand might not be so literal as those examples but that’s where that ideal client workbook helps you to hone in on what it should look and feel like from your visitors perspective.
Then you can be creative and put in your personality from there on out.
#6 • Create an Emotional Experience
Our human brains are wired to analyze our surroundings visually. We’re a little selfish (it’s a good thing here!). We want to know “What’s in it for me? What will I get out of it?” Use images to deliver your message in a way that it can be seen and felt… not just “heard”.
Images beyond a literal “thing” do well. Even if you sell products, staging them in a setting will do better than just having them on a white background for every image. This is because you’re showing how this will feel and look in your customers home or when wearing it.
Faces connect and convert much better than partial bodies or none at all. We are humans looking for a connection to other humans or are looking to expand our sense of self. We can identify with others and visualize how something might work for us. We can feel into who we will feel like or become when we use this product or service.
Advertisers study and know how our brains work. So no matter how you feel about ads be aware of how they get and hold your attention. You can learn a lot by just observing and taking notes of ideas down.
Knowing how to give an emotional experience to your website visitor is the biggest part to it. Will they feel like they are closer to their ideal self? Do they feel known? Could your visitor even feel more artistic, cool, classy or professional?
Examples of great experiences and some not so great experiences…
Your ideal client or customer is very likely someone who is in some kind of pain. Physical, mental or emotional. Maybe a little, or a lot. Showing images of the state they’re in NOW is a put off. They already feel this way and don’t want to feel it even more.
Use your words to tell them that you understand where they are now. Use the power of imagery to bring to life the transformation state that they will experience after using your product or, guide or service. If they can feel hope, relief and uplifted by your site then they will be returning customers and likely fans for life.
Examples of a bland or bad experience
Examples of a rich experience
Don’t forget to download your free Ideal Client Workbook and check out my list of free stock photo sources and the terms you need to know to keep you out of trouble.
UNDERSTAND WHAT WILL CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
I’M MONICA FAWN ORTO
I care deeply about your daily life satisfaction, health & happiness while you’re chasing your big dreams.
I give solo entrepreneurs that are stuck in start up mode simple step-by-step trainings that maximize their time & effort so they can make more money while living healthy, peaceful & passionate lives.