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How to successfully use stock photos in your business

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Stock photography has grown vastly in the last couple of years making it easy for everyone to find beautiful, on brand imagery for their website or social media platforms. Which is great!

Having good imagery on your website will help to create connection and establish trust with your customers and generally just make your website ‘pop’! 

Finding stock photos is a relatively simple task, however, finding the RIGHT imagery and using it correctly is another task all together. 

Using the wrong imagery incorrectly on your website can lead to a website that isn’t on brand, doesn’t convert, looks like everyone else’s and can get you into some hot legal mess. 

So here’s 5 of my tips to successfully use stock photos on your website and blog. 

1. Choose photos inline with your branding

Everything you do in your business should flow from your brand so be sure to choose photography that fits your brand colors and style, and your brand messaging.

As you browse through stock photography websites ask yourself, is this inline with my branding? Will this attract my ideal customer?

2. Resize and customise your chosen imagery

Resizing your images for the web is super important as it will help to speed up your website. The optimum sizing for images on the web is anything below 250kb. You can use tools like tinypng.com, smush and imagify to optimise your images. 

Another great tip is to customise the images you have chosen with overlays, added text, and cropping. Canva is a great tool for this as is uploading directly from Instagram. Remember to be consistent. Choose the same fonts and color/editing aesthetic throughout.

3. Go beyond the cliched images

Again, the process of finding stock photography is easy but finding the right photography can be quite tricky.

If you do find yourself using a free stock photography website search beyond the first and second pages, and use keywords and phrases that are outside the usual ones used. You’ll want to do this to avoid having the same images as everyone else. 

Think about choosing a stock photography site that is smaller and more niched with perhaps just one or a few contributing photographers, so that the images are more consistent in editing style and feel.

4. Check the legality of the images

Make sure to double (and triple) check the usage rights to the images you’re buying. Each and every stock photography website has their own legalities with how you are allowed to use their photos. Some also insist that you put credits at the bottom of their images (especially if they are free). In addition to this you’ll want to check if you are allowed to edit and crop the photos.

Be sure to also check the rights to the photography, you may want to purchase the photos yourself if you want to own the rights to them. 

5. Optimise your images for SEO

To help people find you online, you’ll want to make sure your images are optimised for Search Engines like Google.

The technicalities of implementing this can vary from platform to platform, but the general rules are to ensure that before you upload your images, you rename them to something that is more relevant to your business and that is more Search Engine Friendly. In addition to that you’ll want to add keywords or keyword phrases to the image captions and alternative tags. 

I hope find these tips helpful and let me know in the comments if you have any other questions regarding stock photography!


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