There are several ways to obtain images for your website – the best is to create your own. This makes your website “yours” and you can fully control your branding and it creates “new content” which the search engines love. Of course, this is not practical for everyone so we are offering a list of some of the available resources we could find to obtain images for your website.
WHY IMAGES ARE IMPORTANT
According to research done by Ipsos, 71% of the world’s web users share content online – 43% of those are sharing images!
Given those statistics and the reasons below, you can see why it is critical to choose images that are in line with the content your are promoting:
- Website credibility
- Invoke emotions
- Direct users to certain areas
- Illustrate benefits
- Attract new readers & customers
TYPES OF IMAGE LICENSING
Understanding what types of website images are available and the ways you can legally use them is critical in keeping your business safe from copyright infringements. No matter where you get your images from it is important to read and understand the licensing terms.
IT IS NEVER OK TO DOWNLOAD AN IMAGE FROM THE WEB AND USE IT ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE!
For example, if you are doing a Google Search and you see an image you want to use and then you right click and save it then use it in your website — you are opening yourself up to a copyright infringement. We have seen this happen even to some of our biggest clients.
[box type=”info”] LEGAL : This list is being provided to help provide you with all the resources available to you to find great images to tell your story. It is up to you to do your due diligence to ensure any images you use are following any copyright laws. Be sure to read all terms and conditions of use for any website you choose to use images from before utilizing them in your personal or commercial work![/box]
Here are some of the most common licensing types:
1) RIGHTS MANAGED
These are typically found on larger stock photography websites such as Corbis or Getty. You would decide before purchasing an image how you will use it and for how long then pay for the usage based on your needs. These images are typically only allowed to be used for a specific period of time and will be exclusive to you during that time, so for most this may not be a good option due to the cost.
2) ROYALTY FREE IMAGES
Sites like Shutterstock, iStockPhoto and others offer Royalty Free images which allows you to use the image forever and you pay based on how you will use it. Web sized versions are much cheaper than hi-resolution images for example. Personal use versus commercial use also changes the pricing as well. The one downside to these types of images is there is no exclusivity so if you use a certain image, there is no limit to how many other websites are using the same image.
3) PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGES
Public domain images are those in which the copyright has expired or may have never existed. Typically they can be used for personal and commercial use by just about anyone. These images are typically found in libraries, museums or even private individuals. To help you in your search, you can use Public Domain Sherpato determine whether an image is suitable for use under public domain. It may be helpful to also read about the US Copyright Law to get a better understanding of how you can use public domain images in your work.
4) CREATIVE COMMONS
Creative Commons is one of the most common types of licensing options. It means an image is being provided by the creator and they are allowing end users to use the image in certain ways. The difficulty with Creative Commons is that there are several license types that are available that the end user may have to abide by such is including attribution, commercial or non-commercial use and more. Each creator will usually specify their license type that is available for their images – so it is important to understand and adhere to their requests. You can learn more about the Creative Commons license types here.
CLAIM TO BE COMPLETELY FREE!
PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE RESOURCES
ROYALTY FREE STOCK IMAGE RESOURCES
RIGHTS MANAGED IMAGE RESOURCES
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER
1) Use images that are in relation to what your article or page content is about – take the time to research the right image
2) Utilize keywords in your image name, alt tags and descriptions for SEO benefits
3) Be sure to review all licensing agreements – this will save a lot of future headaches!
4) Have fun with your images – images can have such an impact on your website be sure to be creative and find images that accent your content perfectly!
Jill Caren brings over 12 years of WordPress and SEO experience to help you improve and grow your website. She has spoken at several events on SEO and has been published in several top SEO publications. You can contact Jill here.