And why stock photos are both good and bad...
When people say they don't want to use stock photos on their website what they might be saying is that they want to see only authentic and original content on their site. Which is fair. When was the last time you saw someone put a stock photo on Facebook? I know I haven't, but there seems to be a double standard when using pre-made content on a website versus social media.
Ok, but just show me how to get Free Roanoke Stock Photos...
But I digress...
- Choose the picture that you'd like in the picture gallery (opens up in dreamstime.com)
- Email either the pic ID or screenshot firstname.lastname@example.org
- I'll send you the full size version for commercial use at no charge.
Are there any catches?
I know how difficult it is to find great unique Roanoke Stock Photos. Feel free to choose whatever photo you like (limit 1 please) and you can even request a specific picture for my next shoot - no promises though. A link to Advertising á la carte as credit for the photo would be greatly appreciated.
How often should I update my website photos, anyway?
There's no rule of thumb how often you should change your website photos or header image. I'm a big proponent of at least updating a color scheme or design at least twice a year. I read a great quote from IT Pro Portal about how often you should change your Facebook profile picture which maybe it could apply to changing your website images:
"changing your profile picture more than once every three months is too often, and less than once every two years is too seldom"
Why are unique photos so good?
People can spot a generic photo from a mile away. There is either something too perfect about it or the placement of the coffee cup is just too good to be true. Just because it's a stock photo doesn't mean it's bad, just make sure it adds to the page and isn't just a placeholder.
Does Google penalize stock photos for SEO?
I read a great article from Blue Compass about the effects of stock photos on SEO and had to share the quote below:
"One of the best things you can do to improve your website’s SEO is provide valuable, original content and a good user experience"
Generic stock photos only make a poor user experience if the the user can spot the stock photo. Anyone can tell when a photo is used as a placeholder.
If you use a stock photo just make it great and unique and authentic that will add value to your message. Oh, and change it up regularly with photos from the finest Roanoke Stock Photos portfolio around.