Attractive images are an essential part of any good content strategy – in fact, sometimes an image can be the ultimate clickbait. Paired with engaging content, a collection of striking images will draw visitors to your blog and keep them reading past the opening lines by breaking up dense paragraphs and pages of text.

If you’re a blogger or website owner, you’ll want to include engaging images in all of your content – but most of us don’t have the time or skill to take photos professionally, or the budget to employ a professional photographer. For most people, royalty-free stock photography is the solution. Let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts when using stock images.

Do – Choose the Right Image

There’s a whole world of royalty-free stock photography out there, with thousands of images available for you to use on your website. With all this variety, it’s essential that you choose an image that matches your content perfectly – not the first good-looking photograph on page one of your search results.

There are two aspects to every image: how it looks, and what mood it creates. A beautiful photo is a great way to attract attention, but it has to match the theme and message of your content. Otherwise, you’ll end up confusing or disappointing your audience – and that’s the opposite of what you want to achieve.

Don’t – Use Images Without Checking the Licensing

Ideally, you’ll want to use royalty-free stock photography that has no usage restrictions – be they for personal or commercial use.

Many stock image photographers make their images available for free as long as they aren’t being used for business websites, but using the same image for commercial purposes could land you in trouble – especially if you’re accused of license violations on social media.

Dealing with image licenses may sound difficult – and risky – but if you stick to royalty-free stock photography that’s free for commercial use, you should be just fine. With the thousands of images that are available online, you’re sure to find one that matches your brand and content.

Do – Opt for High-Res, Colorful Images

Images that are gloomy, dark, boring and low resolution aren’t going to attract many visitors – in fact, they may even drive people away. When you’re choosing images for your website, make sure they are colorful, engaging and as high-res as possible.

Most stock photography websites offer a variety of resolutions for each image, with file size increasing as resolution goes up. Ideally, you’ll want to choose the maximum resolution possible.

Bright colors create a positive, exciting atmosphere on your website, relaxing visitors and making them receptive to your message. Whether you’re selling a product or service, promoting a great cause, or sharing news and opinions from your own unique perspective, the right image will set the stage for meaningful engagement with your audience.

With beautiful, eye-grabbing images that bring your content to life, you’ll soon see your number of website visitors and click-through rate increasing. As you work hard to create compelling content for your website, the perfect image will ensure that you attract visitors’ attention and drive even more traffic to your site.