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How Stock Photos Can Play a Vital Role in Website’s SEO?

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All text and no picture, makes blog a dull piece! If you want to achieve a stellar online presence, it’s essential to understand how you can get the best out of your website’s images, especially in terms of SEO. And when it comes to playing around with imagery in your content, stock images are the first thing that comes to mind. If you have already been wondering about Stock photo SEO, this is the place to settle your curiosity.

In this blog, we shall try to understand whether stock images have an impact on your website’s SEO, and how they play a role therein.

What are Stock Images?

Stock images are readily available and licensed photos that can be used for free or by paying a fee to both the artists that produced them and the stock agencies managing them. The images are available on an extensive range of subjects including landscapes, animals, people, or events that effectively illustrate specific ideas or concepts.

However, practice due diligence when using stock photos because using them without proper licensing can plunge you into legal disputes.  You can go for photos that are marked free to use. Alternatively, purchase a plan with Shutterstock, iPhoto, Oexels, Unsplash, or another professional photo service.

Understanding Stock Photo and SEO

Does the use of stock images affect SEO, you may ask.

Well, a noteworthy comment over Twitter made by John Muller, the Google Search Advocate will clear the air for you:

It doesn’t matter for web-search directly. For image search, if it’s the same image as used in many places, it’ll be harder. (There’s also the potential impact on users, after search happens, eg: does it affect conversions if your team photo is obvious stock photography?)”

Although stock images don’t have a direct impact on SEO, they help you boost your journey towards better search engine rankings in multiple ways when used strategically. Here’s how!

1. Accentuates Your Content

Stock photos play a significant role in improving the comprehensibility and visual appeal of your content. Compelling photos that align well with your content offer a richer user experience, increase the audience’s time on your website, and encourage them to keep coming back for more. 

content factor

Overall, it accentuates the quality of your content, and that’s precisely what search engines are looking for. So, avoid settling for a vague photo and keep searching until you find one that perfectly goes with the intent of your content.

2. Improves Accessibility

When you use alt text in your images, the search engine crawlers can better understand the text in your images and how they contribute to your overall content. Alt text is the written copy that appears instead of an image on a website in case the image fails to load on a user’s screen. Additionally, it assists visually impaired users in comprehending on-page image content.

However, in order to effectively serve your SEO purpose, make sure to include relevant keywords (and in the right density) that describe the image when creating alt text.

3. Makes Your Content Stand Out From the Rest

Stock images, when used rightly, can prevent your site from camouflaging into the vast landscape of similar-looking content across the web.

Using common photos can kill the uniqueness of your content. This is because these images  are available on open platforms and there are high chances your competitors are using the same platform. It will also keep the readers from reading the text as they may assume that your content is redundant.

So, consider trying newer stock photo platforms that are less common. You can also explore the catalogs of popular platforms to source more exclusive options. 

Alternatively, you can edit the pictures and add your distinct, creative touch by adding overlays, filters, or making tonal edits. However, make sure to go over the licensing details before you proceed.

We would also recommend adding your originally shot and high-definition photographs, if that’s possible. It’ll set you a class apart and catch Google’s attention over your counterparts.

Wrapping Up 

Implementing Stock Photo SEO best practices and optimizing your images effectively can significantly enhance your content’s visibility and engagement, contributing immensely to your SEO efforts.

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