Choosing photos for blogs – or anywhere on your website – can be a time-consuming task. But finding an image that’s just right is worth the time spent. Images for your blog or site can make the difference between someone reading more or moving on to another website. Even if your written content is good, it’s the images that truly give your website the look and feel that people associate with your brand. So, if your blog images are poor quality, too generic, or unrelated to your content, they can have a real impact on the success of your website.
The following 5 tips for choosing the best photos for blog posts and websites will guide you through finding the perfect image every time and using that image to make the greatest impact on your site.
Keep it Legal
Copyright is an important issue that we see addressed often these days. Image sites like iStock Photo, Shutterstock, and other paid services pay their employees and contributors by selling subscriptions or individual photos. So, if someone uses one of their images without paying for it, they consider it a serious issue. For that reason, stories of otherwise-innocent blog owners being sued or receiving cease and desist orders are common.
So, grabbing any image you find in a Google image search or from another blog is not only less than ethical, it’s risky. When choosing photos for blogs, it’s better to either find images that are under a creative commons license (free to use) or to purchase what you need.
Take Your Time
Take the time to find the right image for what you’re creating. It really does make a difference, so don’t be afraid to be picky about the images you use. If you grab the first image that comes up in a search, it’s not likely to be the best choice. Consider the following when choosing the best photos for blog posts:
- The topic of your page or blog post: The image you choose doesn’t have to communicate everything about your post, but it should at least be related to your topic. If you’re posting an article about cannabis cultivation, for example, a nice shot of a grow facility might be ideal. Or a close-up image of a marijuana bud could make sense.
- The overall “feel” of the photo: There are millions of generic images out there to choose from, but they aren’t likely to match with your brand identity. Even when you’re picking an image for a blog post, it should still fit into the feeling of your website. Remember, everything you do communicates something about your brand.
- The uniqueness of the photo: If you want your website to stand out, you don’t want to use the same images every other website is using. It’s far better to find or create images that are unique and interesting, while still relating to your topic.
All that said, don’t get sucked in. When choosing photos for blogs, it’s easy to get lost in what you’re doing. You begin looking at a few photos, and the next thing you know, it’s three hours later, and you still haven’t downloaded anything. While it’s good to be choosy about the images you use, don’t be so picky that you end up wasting a lot of time.
Search Multiple Sources
With so many repositories for good quality blog images online, there’s no reason to stick to just one source for your images. Each photo site tends to have a certain feel to it, so if you mix it up and download images from various websites, your images won’t end up being repetitive or boring. Just be sure the quality of the images is high. Some sites allow low-resolution images that might not look great on your website. Quality is key, so find hi-res images that are worthy of your site.
Customize When Possible
While there are a lot of sites for great images, sometimes something truly unique is what you want for your site. When choosing photos for blogs, consider whether you can make alterations to them. Alternatively, you can combine multiple images. Better yet, hire a photographer or graphic designer to create images just for you. Unless you’re a graphic designer or Photoshop pro, the latter solution makes the most sense. Consider checking out the growing team of photographers and graphic designers on Cannabis Content. You’ll get quality work at a great price, and it saves you tons of time either searching out or creating images on your own.
Make Images SEO-Friendly
Some graphics and their formats slow down the loading speed of your site which is bad for SEO. Beyond that, there are a few other factors that will help with SEO. When choosing photos for blogs, here are a few ways to optimize them for SEO.
- Whenever possible, use a jpg instead of a png or gif image. And if you can, convert your images to a WebP format.
- Condense the size of your images. Often, the images downloaded from the big image sites are huge. Size them down to close to the final size you need for your page. Also consider compressing them more, with a free tool like Squoosh.
- Make sure the file name, alt tag, and title tag of your image is something friendly and descriptive. Changing the name and tags of your image from “shutterstock3983784747.jpg” to “5 Best Cannabis Strains.jpg” isn’t going to surge you to the top of search results, but it does make a difference – especially in image searches.
Choosing Photos for Blogs; Final Thoughts
There you have it! 5 tips for choosing the best photos for blog posts. In closing, remember: Always make sure your website images reflect your brand message. And take the pressure off yourself by checking out Cannabis Content for high-quality photographers and graphic designers.