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Beyond Stock Photos: Image Ideas for Your Website

Stock photos are great, but not always the best choice.

Images are an important part of any great website, and when you’re designing your own website, it’s important that you choose the right ones.

When you’re in desperate need of quality images for your website, stock photos are a great option. However, a cheesy stock photo can be spotted a mile away, so when choosing stock photos, it’s important to choose unique, high-quality images that won’t be found on every other site across the web.

Even better than stock photos, though, are real photos of your business and other original photos. As long as the quality of these images is up to par, they make a much bigger impact than stock photos. But what types of photos should you choose?

5 types of images for your small business website

#1. Photos of your facility or signage

If you have a brick-and-mortar location, give potential clients a glimpse of your facility online. This is especially important for businesses that rely on a great environment in order to provide their customers with a great experience, like restaurants and hotels.

People go to restaurants for more than just the food, and hotels for more than just a comfortable place to sleep — they also want the right kind of atmosphere. For these types of businesses, your atmosphere is one of your best assets, so it’s important to show it off.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a physical location where you meet clients, photos of signage are also a great option to help people familiarize themselves with your brand.

#2. Photos of your team

When people visit your website, they’re probably primarily looking for information about your business, but many of them also want to know who they’ll be working with. Sharing photos of your team can go a long way with that. It’s also why it’s important to have an About Us page on your website.

For service-based businesses that work in people’s homes, like HVAC companies or plumbers, it can help to set minds at ease when you can put a face to the technician who will be working at your home.

Photos of the whole team, as well as photos of individual team members, show your clients who you are and help to establish trust in your business.

#3. Before and after photos

Whether you paint houses, clean carpets or transform your clients’ look at your hair salon, you should absolutely utilize before and after photos on your website. For businesses like these, your work is what makes your business stand out, and you should absolutely feature it on your website with before and after photos.

You can talk about the kind of results you get for your clients until you’re blue in the face, but when those results can be seen visually, you’re better off using images to get the message across. Before and after photos show the world just how good you are at what you do, and you should absolutely make it a point to use them.

#4. How-to photos

Once your website is up and running, you need it to be visible, and in order to do that, you’ll need to create content. Consistent blogging is one of the most tried and true SEO (search engine optimization) strategies you can do, and as an industry expert, you have a lot of knowledge you can share with the world.

Teaching your readers how to do things for themselves (as long as you’re not making your own services redundant) helps you establish yourself as an industry expert, and they give you an excellent opportunity to use how-to photos on your website.

When you create a step-by-step guide for your readers, include photos of each step. Photos will help you demonstrate your point more clearly.

#5. Infographics

Whether you’re sharing the pros and cons of different roofing types or statistics that demonstrate the importance of flossing, there’s no better way to do so than with an infographic. With an infographic, you can share information in a visually pleasing, easy-to-understand way.

Infographics work perfectly to demonstrate key points in blogs. They are also super shareable on social media and can be used in email marketing, brochures, case studies, press releases — you name it. From visualizing data and making comparisons to showing timelines, infographics are multi-functional visual tools.

Worried that you don’t have the design chops or the right program to create your own infographic? There are plenty of free infographic builders out there. We suggest trying one or two out to find an option that meets your needs. You might be surprised at what you can make!

The point is — you don’t have to settle for stock images.

Stock images have their time and place, but there are plenty of opportunities for you to use your own, original images on your website. But regardless of if you’re using a picture of your facility or an infographic, make it a point to use a high-quality image.

Originally published on 1/15/20