Do’s and don’ts of using stock images on your website

Stock images are everywhere. They’re cheap, easy to add, and don’t require hiring a professional photographer (which means plenty more pennies in your pocket). Stock images are a great way to help add character and uniqueness to your website, but only if you know how to use them effectively.

On the other hand, misusing stock images can hurt your website. If you’re not careful about it, your site could end up looking messy and unprofessional.

These simple dos and don’ts of using stock images on your website will help you avoid mistakes that would otherwise make your website look amateurish while ensuring that it looks clean and cohesive.

Do: Check to license

While the web is full of free image resources, it’s always best to check the licensing requirements before you use them. Some images are available for commercial use, and some are not. This can be a confusing thing to parse because of language like this:

If you’re in doubt about an image, or if you’re using an image for something that isn’t commercial, it’s best to check with the creator before using it to be sure that no one will come after you for using their work. The three main types of stock photo licenses are:

Royalty Free License

This license is generally for one-time use only. It does not require you to pay royalties after the initial payment. The royalty-free license allows you to use photos indefinitely without additional fees. Most stock photo websites offer this license model because they want as many people as possible to use their pictures while generating more traffic. This license also makes it easier for business owners because they do not have to worry about paying royalties whenever they want to use a photo on their website or blog post.

Rights-managed (RM) 

This means that you have purchased a license to use an image, and it’s usually limited to a specific project or site. The cost includes options like print runs, territory, duration, and exclusivity.

Extended License

The extended license is the most expensive of the three licenses but is also the most flexible. The extended license allows you to use a stock image in any media, including printed material, digital documents, video, ebooks, and even live performances! This is especially helpful for entrepreneurs who want to create an ebook or an online course. An extended license is also called an “all rights” or “unlimited use” license.

Don’t: Go for cliches.

Cliches are cliches for a reason, so try to find images that reflect your brand or personality. This can be as simple as looking for a photo of a woman in business attire rather than someone wearing something more casual or looking for an image that features some aspect of the product or service you’re talking about rather than something unrelated. The goal is to ensure that every image is relevant to what you’re trying to convey—a person should have no trouble understanding what information about the company you’re trying to tell based solely on the image alone.

Do: Make edits

When you use a stock photo, ensure it’s appropriately edited. Ensure the image is cropped to highlight key features and remove unnecessary elements like watermarks. Also, consider adding text and other visual elements to illustrate what’s being advertised or described. This can be as simple as putting text on top of an image or using a picture of a person with text overlayed on their face. This can be done with simple image editing software like Microsoft Paint or Photoshop.

Don’t: Forget SEO

Another common mistake with stock images is forgetting about SEO when choosing an image. Like any other piece of content on your website, ensure that any image you use in your web content is tagged with keywords, including the name of your company or product. This will help ensure that when someone searches for those terms, your content will appear near the top of their search results.

Do: Add captions.

A good rule of thumb is that if your image has text, it needs a caption with relevant information about the image. This makes it easier for people unfamiliar with the brand or product to understand what they see. Inserting a caption beneath your image is a great way to enhance the experience for your website’s visitors. It enables you to provide context and help users understand what they’re looking at. It is especially beneficial if the image is part of an article or blog post.

Don’t: Neglect Quality

Suppose you’re going through the effort of creating an image for your website. In that case, it’s probably worth putting a little time into ensuring that the image is high quality. No one wants to see a stock image with a minuscule resolution or a low-res photo of a nice building when you could have found a similar photo that’s much larger and has better detail. You don’t have to go crazy with the details; make sure your images are clear and easy to read. A good rule of thumb is to use an image that doesn’t just look good on your screen—it should also look good when you shrink it down and use it as content in another article or the product page.

Don’t forget to apply these tips

Finding the perfect image to use on your website can sometimes be a challenging task. Often, the most difficult part of this process is knowing what type of images to use and what to avoid.  Keep in mind that your website is an investment that will make or break your business. Don’t use stock photos and think they will grow your business. As with all things, use stock images with caution. To get more like this blog, visit Stoute Web Solution!

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