All About Photos, Images and Videos on Websites
Web pages would be boring if it weren’t for photos and images, right? Besides, Google now prioritizes websites where images are central and higher up on the page. Therefore it is highly recommended that you have photos, graphs, charts and/or images on every page of your website.
Your eyes “read” images faster than words. Grabbing someone’s attention and keeping them on your website for just a little longer helps your time-on-page statistics (SEO) too. This also applies to videos. In fact, having videos on your site has been found to raise the visitor’s time-on-site statistics (good SEO). Whether its images, charts, drawings or videos, it’s smart to take the time to find the right images for your small business website.
Optimizing web images helps to improve page load speed (how fast the user can see your web content), improves your SEO ranking (yes, page load speed is a ranking factor), helps to boost your conversions (sales) and it enhances the users engagement with the website. ATC Web Solutions ALWAYS web-optimizes your images!
Finding the right photos for your website can be time consuming. They need to reflect and coincide with the content on each web page. In addition, when building your website photos have to be sized to fit your website template, placed appropriately on the web page, named using your identified keywords and then optimized. And you thought you just needed to find a couple of photos!
How to Get Photos or Images
In today’s world, most photos are downloaded from photo websites. When working with photos be aware of the term Royalty Free. Royalty free is a type of license used by stock photography agencies that sell or offer stock images. It means that they have paid the photographer money in order for them to “sell” or “give away” that photo with no consequence or further payment needed for the people that end up using that photo.
Be aware, though, that finding photos can take time.
Four Ways to Get Photos and/or Images
- Supply your own photos or make your own images – taking your own photos or making your own graphs, charts or drawn images is always the best if the quality is good. If you take the photos yourself or have someone give them to you royalty-free is wonderful. If they have people in the photo, be sure a photo release form* has been signed.
- Purchase and download the photos from online royalty-free websites – many companies purchase photos from photographers and then sell them as royalty-free photos. The most popular royalty-free companies are Shutterstock, iStock by Getty Images, Flickr, Adobe Stock and Getty Images. There are many others. Overall, photos that are purchased from these companies are higher quality photos – subject matter is better as opposed to the photo pixel quality. We have found that less time is spent on these sites finding the right photo(s).
- Free royalty-free photos from online royalty-free websites – many websites are available that give away royalty-free photos at no cost. The ones we prefer are Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels and others. Usually these sites offer photos from photographers starting out or else the photos were not accepted by the paid royalty-free websites. We have found many good photos from most of these websites.
- Pay to have a photographer take your photos – having professional photos on your website “lifts” the quality of your site. People can tell when the lighting has been done right, when the photo has been framed properly, etc. If you do hire a photographer to take photos of people that are your clients or customers, be sure to have the people sign a Photo Release form*.
Speaking of hiring a photographer, it is important to have a professional photo of yourself. You definitely need it for your LinkedIn page and people like to see that there is a person and/or people behind a company they are thinking of hiring. Therefore it is smart to have professional photos taken of you, the owner, and your staff. I recommend a local Silicon Valley portrait photographer from Bhadouriya Studios named Abhishikhaa “Abbi” Bhadouriya.
We highly recommend one of these 4 options above since using photos illegally can come back to bite you and result in fines or other legal actions.
* Photo Release Form – we have a photo release form that we can give to our clients to use.
In addition, Google has started to implement an image license framework when people do searches for images on Google. In February, 2020, they announced a new metadata framework through Schema.org and IPTC for licensable images. When an image is used on a website and it’s a licensed image (meaning you didn’t take the photo yourself, pay a photographer to take them for you or you didn’t create the image), they want the web page to indicate the licensing information.
Use of image license metadata is strictly optional. As of February, 2020, there was no date provided for when Google will start displaying licensing information in image search results.
Bottom line for Photos
However you get your photos, realize that selecting photos takes time. In fact, however long you think it will take to select and sort through photos, double the time – it’s amazing how easy it is to underestimate how long selecting photos can take. Whether you purchase photos or pay for a photographer to take them, finding and including photos should be a major consideration for building a website.
ATC Web Solutions are experts with photos and happy to help with selecting and advising on photos and how and where to use them.
Even though ATC Web Solutions does not create or produce videos, it is recommended that videos, when appropriate, can be an important part of a websites’ presentation.
Factors that have contributed to the rise of videos on websites
- Increased number of easy-to-use free video editing programs that make it easier for people to create videos
- Faster Internet connections
- Improved technology for web designers and with browsers
- Free royalty-free stock videos are more available
- Costs of creating videos overall has decreased
- People enjoy looking at videos
- SEO ranking criteria encourages the use of videos to help with “time on site” statistics for websites. View the latest video marketing statistics on using videos
If you are interested in having a video created, view the article: 7 Ways to Find Skilled Videographers in Your City.
When the video has been produced, ATC Web Solutions can create your YouTube Channel, upload the video and also embed the video on your website. . . No problem!!