The Best Free and Paid Stock Image Websites Our Designers Swear By
Many factors affect your ability to catch the attention of potential clients on the internet. It is crucial that your website has the correct information, flows well, and is eye appealing. A lot of things can affect whether or not your website is eye-appealing: the colors, the fonts, and, most importantly, the images. It is essential to have images on your website that flow well with the scheme, represent your business well, and look professional. While it isn’t always an option to have a professional photo shoot done for your business, an easy way to acquire professional website photos is through the use of stock images.
What is a stock image?
A stock image is one that is already created and available to the masses. Sometimes stock images require users to pay licensing fees to be able to use them, sometimes it is required to credit the photographer, and sometimes they are available to be used with no strings attached. It is important to always be aware of what the stipulations of the stock image are before using it, just to be safe.
What are the benefits of stock images?
There are pros and cons to using stock images over your own specifically curated imagery. Everyone in the digital marketing world will have differing opinions on whether or not you should use them, but here are some of the benefits you get from choosing to use stock images.
Stock images save time and money
You may be trying to launch your website as quickly as possible, and don’t have time to plan and execute a full-sized photoshoot to capture all of the images your website requires, or you may not have the images already handy. Using them is also an effective way to cut the costs of building your website as they are often less expensive than paying a professional photographer to create the content for you.
They are high quality, professional images
Using stock images for your website guarantees that your website will be full of high-quality, professional images. Having high-quality images is essential to attracting potential customers and encouraging them to look further into your website. If a user can tell all of your photos were snapped on an iPhone, that could be a red flag.
Can cater stock images to your branding
You are also able to cherry-pick the individual images that you buy and use, which is helpful for fitting images to your website’s theme and color scheme. If all of the imagery on your website matches the theme, color scheme, and overall aesthetic, it will be much more appealing to prospective customers.
Where can you use stock images?
This post is heavily emphasizing the use of stock images for your website, but theycan be used in a variety of places throughout your digital marketing strategy. Those places include, but aren’t limited to:
- Social Media
Once again, however, it is important to be aware of the stipulations surrounding the licensing of the stock images you choose. Some can be used anywhere without fees, some are limited to use on web platforms, etc. Be sure to read the fine print on all stock image websites that guide your use of the images.
Stock image best practices & things to be aware of
If you do choose to use stock images for your digital marketing strategy, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Match what you’re talking about on the page/your brand
Let’s say your website sells organic pet food. It doesn’t make sense to put a photo of a dog on the page talking about cat food. It’s important to make sure you are selecting images that represent what is on the page they’re supporting. These images also need to match the message your brand is trying to send.
Look for photos with aligning color schemes
If you have a darker-colored website and focus heavily on blue and green tones, it doesn’t make sense to use images with lots of pink and yellow hues. Make sure the images you are selecting fit not only the message your brand is sending, but the colors you use to send that message.
Be aware of licensing and copyright regulations
It needs to be said one more time to drive it home: be completely aware of how and when you can use stock images. Read the fine print, then read it again. Make sure you understand the rules of using the image. You can get in trouble if you don’t use them properly.
Where can you find these images?
Some of our favorite stock image websites (both paid and unpaid) that we use frequently: