We’ve all been there. You perform a search, click on a result, and are welcomed with the dreaded stock photo on the homepage like the one below. 

stock-photo-ugh

They are pretty easy to catch, the lighting is perfect, hair and makeup are perfect, it looks to good to be true.

Why do people think it’s ok to use stock photos?

What kind of message does it send to a prospective customer?

Here’s 4 reasons to stop using stock photos on your website:

  1. Wait, I’ve seen that picture before:
    It’s easy to look at a photo and determine if it’s a stock photo. Chances are that the stock photo has been used on similar websites.
  2. Zero authenticity:
    Your website is the first impression people get of your business. What kind of message are you sending to them if that impression is of a stock photo?

    You have the opportunity to connect with your customer long before they pick up the phone or make a purchase.

    Why not use photos of you and your employees? By using real photos, you give an inside look into who your prospect might be doing business with.

    People want to connect with people, not stock photos.

  3. It could effect organic traffic:
    The issue of duplicate content: If you were to copy and paste content from another website and claim it as your own, search engines will only show the page they believe that has the original content.

    They determine the original content by the date it was first indexed.

    It’s never been talked about, but Google is pretty good at determining what is inside of a photo.

    Why would Google treat duplicate content any differently than duplicate photos?

    Head over to images.google.com, and click on the camera button. Click on Upload an Image. Upload an image from your computer and view results. Pretty nifty, huh?

    Screen_Shot_2015-07-22_at_7.19.25_PM

    Treat your images like you would treat the content on your pages. Make it unique.

  4. But wait, there’s more! Buy now for 3 easy payments of $29.95:
    It could just be me, but stock photos make me feel uneasy. I’m more hesitant to want to pick up the phone and call that business. I immediately don’t trust the business since they are hiding behind stock imagery.

    I’m even more cautious about purchasing through a website that uses stock photos.

    Why? If they put zero to little effort with the presentation of their website, what kind of security do they have when I enter my credit card information?

Please, stop using stock photos on your website. The only time you should use a stock photo, is when you intend on making fun of stock photos.