Everybody's on a budget and stock photos can be vastly less expensive than paying a photographer to shoot quality photos exclusively for your website. However, there's always a trade-off and, with stock photos, that can be a big trade-ff.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key to success in winning Internet-based business. The algorithms (the process by which search engines rank websites) are regularly revised so they highlight original, useful content to searchers and avoid spam or other low-value copy. Web design bloggers currently say using stock photos doesn't hurt your search rankings, but that may come in the future. If it does, when it does, the search engines likely won't announce the rule change, so develop good habits now and remember, just because it's SEO-friendly doesn't mean it's a good idea.
The ancient sage who devised this maxim didn't live in an Internet-based world where anybody could post anything everywhere. To be blunt, some photographers are better than others. Viewers are more likely to skim text and focus on images when checking out a new web page and stock images can have multiple problems:
Realism. A supposed group of coworkers who look like they just came off a Fashion Week runway causes most people to react negatively. Where's the variety you see in real places? Why do they look so stiff and posed? Authenticity is a positive.
Artistic Quality. Poor composition, bad color balance, improper framing, low resolution ("pixilated") — people do notice this stuff. We are surrounded by imagery; we've all seen enough good and bad pictures to know the good ones instinctively and instantly.
Relevance. Does that photo advance the message? If not, it wastes time and you generally have less than a minute to grab the reader's attention and hold it. Creating original photos with an on-point message costs more but, if viewers will remember the image, it is worth more than 1,000 space-fillers.
Last and definitely not least:
Copyright. All intellectual property is the property of the creator until the creator formally sells, licenses or gives it away. Just because a photo is on the Net doesn’t mean you can use it without permission and it is your responsibility to be sure you have it.
Doing it right means letting the experts do it. You succeed in your business because you do something very well and your customers trust your work. Facet Web Tech has been doing web design for 30 years, we are Central Illinois' tech experts. Contact us and let us help you build a web presence that gets it done in style!