Images are some of the most important parts of your content. Not only do they break up long blocks of text, but they help to keep users on your page for a longer period of time.
For this reason, 37% of marketers said that visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business.
Images help to brighten up your website while showing users what you’re talking about instead of just telling them. Not to mention, they help with user experience and can even help your pages rank higher in search engine results pages.
Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to find the images that you’re looking for to take your blog to the next level.
You have to make sure that the photos you use are open to public use and that you are allowed to reuse them online.
On this page, we’ll talk about how to find high-quality, legal images to use in your blogs.
Bonus Reading: Blog Structure for SEO
Why are images so important to my blog?
As we mentioned, images are extremely important to your content. Nobody likes to read blocks of text, and images and graphics are a great way to break up the content on your pages. In doing so, you’ll also engage users, which can potentially keep them on your pages longer.
This is great for two main reasons:
- When users spend more time on your pages, chances are higher that they’ll find another page that they’re interested in. When this happens, there is a higher chance for conversion, because the user is learning more about your company with every page they visit.
- Time-on-page is important to Google’s algorithm, or the way that Google ranks pages. In other words, when Google sees that users are staying on your website for a long period of time, they know that you are giving them an enjoyable experience and beneficial information. This can help you rank higher in SERPs, or search engine results pages.
That being said, images are a huge part of the success that your website, or specific web pages. Take a look at some specific statistics about image use in content:
- When someone hears or reads information, it’s likely that they’ll only remember 10% of the information given three days later. However, people will retain a whopping 65% of the same information three days later, when it’s paired with a relevant image.
- Visual content like infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than other types of content, like written content, or links.
- 46% of marketers say that photography is critical to their marketing strategy.
- 65% of a marketers’ visuals are made up of stock photos and original graphics.
- 5% of marketers said that original graphics performed the best.
How do I find high-quality images for my website?
It can definitely be a challenge to find high-quality images that exhibit the kind of content you’re looking for, that are legal for you to use. A lot of images have copyright restrictions, meaning you can’t use them unless you have permission. This can certainly get to be a hassle, so it’s more efficient to find images that don’t require a license.
Here are a few sites that you can use to find high-quality images that you have permission to use!
1. iStock Photo – FREE/PAID
So iStock Photo isn’t a completely free option, but the photos that it offers with a subscription are second to none. There is a free option, or a paid option with this website. iStock Photo boasts thousands of high-quality images in categories that you may have never even thought of.
Their expansive offering allows you to find just what you need every time.
It even forces you to think outside the box since there are so many options! For example, instead of searching for an image of a paint brush for your art company, you can now think outside the box, and find high-quality of people actually painting.
They also offer illustrations and videos, which can really help your website to soar with originality.
In addition, they also allow you to choose what size your image downloads as, and allows you to edit the image within the website itself!
Hassle-free, stress-free, high-quality images.
2. Pixabay – FREE
A free option for finding high-quality images, Pixabay is another website that offers thousands of options.
You can search for exactly what you’re looking for with the advanced search feature, and select CC0 as an option.
CC0 stands for “creative commons zero,” and it means no copyright is reserved on an image — in other words, that it is okay to use without citing the source.
When you set CC0 as an option, it ensures that all the images that you see are royalty free, and legal to use without permission or giving credit.
Pixabay also offers illustrations, vector graphics, videos, and more.
3. Unsplash – FREE
Another free option, Unsplash offers a wide variety of images for your website and blog pages.
You can use the search bar to find exactly what you’re looking for, and the results are all high-resolution.
This site offers a lot of “artsy” photos, that you won’t find anywhere else. They work really well for personal blogs, or to find images that don’t look so commercial or overused.
4. Shutterstock – FREE/PAID
Shutterstock is a photo archive that offers an extensive collection of images and has both free and paid options.
To download your first images, you’ll first need to create a free account. From there, you can decide whether you want to stick with a free version, or go with paid. Of course, you’ll gain more image options with the paid version, but you can definitely find a lot of great free options as well.
Shutterstock also offers video footage, and music as well.
Which site is best for me?
All the photo sites that we mention offer tons of great photo options, and they work with any budget.
With the free version of these photo sites, you’ll still be able to get a lot of great content.
But if you want to take your photo options to the next level, have access to video footage and sound clips, the paid options likely fit you better.
It’s also a great idea to use a combination of the photo sites provided. Though each site has its own great content, you’ll be able to see a wider variety of images if you use a combination of photo sites.
Most importantly, all the image sites provided are royalty-free, so you won’t have to worry about gaining permission or giving credit for the images that you use.
That being said, any option that we’ve provided would be a great choice!
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