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Could Stock Images Be Harming Your Business Website?

Image is everything, so the old saying goes—and nowhere is that idea more relevant than on your business website. 

If your website is the virtual shop window to your company, then the images you choose on your landing pages can be important determiners for how potential customers perceive your brand. And, while stock images can be a convenient, often cost-effective resource, they may not always be the best choice if you’re looking to engage with your audience.

laptop showing original content and images

Lack of authenticity

Perhaps not an exact metric, but one major drawback of using stock images is the lack of authenticity they bring to your webpages. No matter how sharp the quality, generic stock images are unlikely to represent your unique brand identity, and when visitors see the same images on multiple websites, it can make your business appear less personal. 

Sonder Tip: Consider investing in custom photography or using images of your actual team and products to showcase the personality of your business.

Missed branding opportunities

Your website should be the touchstone of all your online marketing endeavours; and, as such, each on-page design choice should align with your company's unique brand identity. By using custom imagery, you have more control over the tone of your visual elements and eliminate the need for generic images that fail to reflect your brand.

Sonder Tip: Work with a professional photographer or a graphic designer to create unique visuals that resonate with your target audience.

SEO experts working at a laptop

SEO challenges

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for driving organic traffic to your website. Popular stock images, used across multiple, potentially competing websites, can result in duplicate content issues. Google and other search engines prioritise unique, high-quality output. Using original images can give your website an SEO boost and improve its search engine rankings.

Sonder Tip: Optimise your images with descriptive alt text and captions to enhance their SEO value.

Missed connection with your audience

While successful online businesses look to build trust and connections with their target audience, stock images rarely capture the essence of your specific customers or the problems your products or services solve. Custom visuals can tell a more compelling story and resonate better with your audience.

Sonder Tip: Showcase real customers, employees, and user-generated content to build a more genuine connection.

digital marketing experts at their laptops

Lower engagement rates

Stock images are often overused and lack the emotional appeal of original visuals. As a result, they may not engage your website visitors effectively. Engaging visuals are more likely to capture attention, keep visitors on your site longer, and drive conversions.

Sonder Tip: Experiment with A/B testing to see how custom visuals impact your website's engagement metrics.

How can we help?

While stock images can be a quick and cost-effective solution for website visuals, they may not serve your online business well in the long run. Investing in custom photography or graphics that align with your brand's identity can help you stand out, improve authenticity, boost SEO, and ultimately connect more effectively with your target audience.

If you'd like any help with any aspect of improving your website's images or would like to enquire about hiring a professional photographer to create a bank of high-quality images to use on your site, get in touch!

Posted on January 9th 2024

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