An eye-catching image can boost reader engagement, open rates and even conversion rates, so you should definitely be incorporating them into your blog posts, using them on social media, and making them a feature on your website. Just make sure that any image you use is:
- Relevant to your business and the text on the page.
- High quality—no fuzzy or pixelated images.
- The right resolution. If it’s too low, you sacrifice quality. Too high, and it will take too long to load.
- Legal for you to use. You want to make sure you aren’t breaking any copyright laws.
Luckily, you can take advantage of free image sources that meet all that criteria. Here are a few of our favorites:
This is one of our go-to resources at Evielutions Design. The website boasts over 1.6 million images, including stock images, more artsy and creative options, photographs and even graphical designs. The best part, in our opinion, is that all the images can be used in digital and print form without attribution, even for commercial use.
Unsplash offers a vast source of photographs, that are more on the artsy side, and all the images fall under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, so you can manipulate them as necessary and use them for commercial use.
We especially like the user-friendliness of Unsplash. You can do a keyword search, and then the website generates related tabs, making it easier to drill down and find exactly what you are looking for.
Another great source for royalty-free images, Photopin offers a wide array of photos, many of which you won’t find on other websites.
It’s a fairly easy website to use, too. You just search for an image, check out the preview, and click “Get photo” to download it and receive a proper attribution link. Most of the images on Photopin you will need to attribute to the creator.
The database, which claims to add hundreds of images per week, provides copyright-free images that do not require attribution.
The coolest thing about snapshot is that it offers plenty of filtering options, so you can sort by date or even see which images are trending or have the most views. That way you can choose the most popular or “Favorited” images to include on your website or blog—or avoid them if you want to go with more obscure options.
An industry favorite, Flickr offers billions of images, although not all of them are free to use. They also fall under several different categories within Creative Commons, so just be sure you are using any given image legally. For any images in the Free Use Photos section, you won’t have to attribute the image to the creator.
To use and share images, you will need to sign up to the Flickr Community, and you can also upgrade to a “Premium” version, if you want more options.
The old adage is true: A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you’re using images strategically to capture people’s attention—and reinforce your brand.