The importance of including an image in your next piece of online content is hard to overstate. Even the most exciting content can be really boring without a dash of color to break the text into more readable sections, add some interesting visuals, show off product details and bring the words to life.
What can an image do for your content?
A Facebookpost that includes an image yields more than 1/3 more clicks than a post without an image. Press releases that includes an image or video gets almost 50% more views than a press release of just words, and an article that is posted with an image sees almost double the number of page views vs an article without an image.
If your website includes ecommerce, images are even more important. Online shoppers want to look at the product, see every detail, and maybe even see the product in use. Simply reading a list of product features in the product description doesn’t provide enough information for today’s online shoppers.
Here’s the thing—images can be expensive.
It doesn’t matter if you are creating images, designing illustrations, purchasing and editing stock images … it’s another cost that needs to be included in your overall content creation budget.
Created or curated images are most always more appealing and compelling than a free image or a stock image. Have you ever come across the same stock image, being used by two different brands at the same time? It’s hard to count the number of times I’ve noticed a site’s featured image of their team, only to see the same exact team picture featured on another websites.
Here’s a great example of an overused corporate team stock image–this same image has been used more than 1,300 times on a variety to types of sites!
The potential ROI from a well placed, compelling, relevant image is really high. If you must use stock images (we all have to at some point) it’s best to use a service like tineye.com to see where and how many times your chosen pictures has been used.
Take a look at five of the best free image resources, so you too can breathe life into your content – even if you’re on a shoestring budget!
1. Photopin is a simple, powerful little tool that searches the archives of Flickr for images that are listed under the Creative Commons Attributions License. This means that you never quite know what you will find, as the work will mostly be done by hobbyists rather than professionals.
2. Morguefile is one of the web’s most respected stock image repositories. It houses high-quality, high-resolution images and specializes in large, gorgeous photos. Morguefile requires you to contact the individual photographer if you wish to use their images. In 99% of cases, this just means that you will need to check with and provide credit to the original photographer, which is a tiny step for the amount and variety of images you’ll find!
3. Pixel Perfect Digital has the distinction of being run by a graphic designer for other designers and developers. It was opened more than ten years ago, when stock photo sites were less prevalent! There’s no need to register on Pixel Perfect Digital, and the images on it are original to the site. There are textures, images, and other graphics available, all under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
4. Freerange has a range of free stock photos. Registration is required, but it’s free. Freerange operates under the philosophy that stock photos can be high-quality photos, too, and offers theirs in a minimum of 2400×1600 – you’ll get a gorgeous image to scale to your design needs, for personal or commercial use.
5. Everystockphoto is an extremely powerful tool for the image-hungry blogger. Using an advanced search algorithm, it combs the web for stock images of every kind, and returns a variety of search results.
5 digital image facts to bring to your next marketing meeting:
1. Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them.
2. 67% of online consumers consider relevant, clear images to be more important than product description information.
3. A Facebook post that includes an image yields 5 t 20 times more clicks than a post without an image.
Social Media Examiner
4. An article posted with an image sees almost double the number of page views vs an article without an image.
5. 60% of consumers are more likely to contact a local business when an image is included in local search results.
Search Engine Land
What is your team doing to create awesome images?
How is your site creating or curating images to support your content? Do you have other resources that should be added to this list? How about a funny example of the same image used in very different contexts?