You likely know that your website needs images, but that leaves you with an important decision – should you use your photos or stock photos? There are definitely benefits to each, but you have to consider the cons too.
Since images are often what attracts visitors to your site, makes them notice certain sections of content or just keeps them browsing your site, consider your photo strategy carefully to make the best impression on your site’s visitors.
Pros And Cons Of Original Photography
One of the biggest pros, and obviously the major standout when choosing between your photos or stock photos, is original photos are exclusive to your website and brand. You don’t have to worry if the competition is using the same photo.
Plus, it’s been proven that when it comes to selling something online, original photos are a key element in increasing conversion rates. This is because they show your products and even services in action and context. They’re also higher quality images, which Google likes.
Another benefit is using images of real people, not the same stock photo people, increase conversions. In fact, Medila Art increased click-throughs by using artists’ real photos versus a picture of their artwork or a generic photo.
Finally, original photos always tend to fit your site and brand better. After all, they’re being taken specifically for your site. With stock photos, it often feels more like you’re settling, which visitors notice.
On the other hand, it’s difficult to create an endless supply of original photos for your website. Frequent blogs, site updates, all the various site pages and more mean a lot of time spent on taking photos. Plus, if you want the images to look their best, you have to spend time getting the scene and lighting just right. Then, you also have to edit them. For many sites, it’s simply too time consuming.
Pros And Cons Of Stock Photos
If taking original photos seems too challenging, the “photos or stock photos” dilemma seems simple – just use stock photos. But, it’s not quite so black and white. However, let’s take a look at the benefits of stock images first.
Obviously, someone else takes the photos for you. All you have to do is search and find an image that best suits your needs. Stock photos are easily available on both free and premium platforms. Naturally, the premium part is also a con since you’re having to pay, which might be difficult for startup sites and brands.
The endless supply of stock photography is great. You’ll always find something for every blog post and page on your site. But, that’s where the positives end. When it comes to SEO etiquette, unique content rules. While many stock photos look professional, they’re definitely not unique and unique images help with SEO. You have no idea how many other sites, including competitors, might be using the same photo. Jennifer Anderson, who posed for a stock shoot, had her image on countless sites, including competing brands.
Photos Or Stock Photos?
The simple answer is original photos are always best, but a hybrid approach can be highly effective. Whenever possible, try to customize stock photos to be more unique. A mixture of both makes it easier to maintain your website. Plus, visitors get to see original photos that showcase your brand’s personality.
Images are just one part of creating a engaging website. See how having a WordPress site makes it easier than ever to manage content and keep visitors coming back.