As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and this couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to your website. Living in an extremely visually focused world, it’s undeniable that strong images make up the backbone for both your online and social media presence.
Thankfully, there are a few websites for you to amp up your website’s visual at no cost. From stock imagery to blank canvases for you to superimpose your product on to, these sites have it all! In this post, we’ve rounded up our favourite free image sourcing platforms that you can use in blog posts, online ads, social media, and your website’s layout.
Why Should You Use Free to Use Images on Your Website?
The answer to this question is quite simple. By including high-quality images on your website, you’re immediately upgrading the overall appearance of your site with minimum effort. Choosing the right images and working with the appropriate tone, you can instantly make your product or service more appealing to your audience.
JoomlaShine recently posted statistics elaborating on the success behind high-quality visuals on a website. In this article, JoomlaShine stated that sites with images see a 50% increase in page shares. Furthermore, articles that use relevant imagery have the potential to get 94% more page views than those without.
At the end of the day, people respond to images better than most design tactics out there. Boosting engagement is key to seeing website visitors convert to customers. The more you can encourage users to follow through on your site’s call-to-action, the more your business will flourish.
What Does “Free to Use” Mean?
Let’s clear up what the term “free to use” really means and what you can expect when using these sites. Most of the photographs that you will come into contact on these sites are free from copyright restrictions or they have been licensed under a creative commons public domain. In other words, you can copy, distribute and alter these images wherever you see fit – even for commercial purposes.
It’s important to note, however, that some images may require you to attribute the photographer or designer. Before setting your sites on an image, we’d recommend identifying if any licenses apply and what protocol is required. In most cases, you will be required to list the name of the image, the photographer, and the creative license that it falls under.
Where Can You Find Free to Use Images?
Unsplash is a fan favourite amongst many marketers due to its ease of use and fantastic library of high-quality images. Unsplash mainly works for businesses who are looking for ambient, landscapes, and flatlay visuals. For example, if you are looking for an image to post in your latest blog post about vacuum cleaners, an image like this may do the trick:
Next, we have Pixabay. Images on this site have been licensed under the Creative Commons Zero agreement which means that they are free to use without crediting the artist. What we love most about Pixabay is that they don’t just specialise in photography. In fact, you can explore their many illustrations, vectors, and videos that are all free to use too.
Pexels offers its users thousands of high-quality images that don’t require any payments. Yet, as their site is registered under their own license, it’s important to take note of the specified referencing requirements. For example, the website includes both commercial and personal use images that will require different crediting procedures.
Adding hundreds of new images on a daily basis, we can almost guarantee that you will find suitable visual on StockSnap.io. Being free from any copyright restrictions, users can easily make use of their handy search function to browse through their impressive gallery. A particularly nifty function is being able to search by categories which makes the process a lot smoother.
For example, if you were looking for images relating to your company’s work environment, you may search under the “office” tab to find images like this:
If you haven’t used Canva before, now is a better time than any! Canva is a free to use design tool where you can easily create attractive visuals and graphics for your website. Recently, this popular tool added free to use images to their repertoire too, making it a one-stop-shop for your design needs.
How to Choose the Right Image for Your Website:
Now that we know where to find these free to use images, let’s take a look at what goes into choosing the appropriate visuals for your website.
1. Choose High-Quality Images
This point may seem like a no-brainer but it’s overlooked more than you’d think. Low-quality images can make your website seem unprofessional and unrefined. High-quality images, on the other hand, help prove that your business is at the top of its game!
Our top tip is to do a quality check on all of your website’s visuals. This means that you should examine if image dimensions are suitable for the space and if there are any issues with pixelation.
2. Choose Relevant Images
While it may be easier to choose an image because it’s visually appealing, it won’t have the same impact as one that is relevant to your website. You should strive to choose your images based on how it can help convey your message more clearly and help your users engage with your content better.
If you were writing a blog post on vacuum cleaners, you wouldn’t put images of mops on your website, right? This would only confuse your audience member and deter them in completing an action on your page. Using images that help tell your story are best!
3. Choose Images that are Unique to Your Business
While classic stock images do have their place within marketing, it’s important to choose images that have meaning to your business. The images that you use should work to your advantage and help further explain your website’s message.
For this reason, we’d recommend looking at using images that show people interacting with your product or service. People are naturally drawn towards people in images and this will help you connect with your audience better.
With plenty of free to use images at your fingertips, transforming your online presence has never been easier. At a click of a button, you can have access to a whole new world of visual marketing and take your business to the next level of success at the same time.