Eric van Hall • CopyRobin
22 November ‘22 • 8 min. reading time • Blogposts

Free images without rights: you can 'shop' them here

22-11-2022

Good images for your website are multifunctional. They support your findability in search engines, make a text readable, and ensure retention with your target audience. But those free images for your blog, website or other online content… Where do they come from?

And what about copyright? And if you'd rather not pay: where can you find free good-quality images?

Find out more here!

Why are images ideal for your content?

Did you know that today, the average person has to process an average of 4 million stimuli per second? That's quite a number. You can therefore imagine that many people today aren’t happy with long texts.

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Photo by Creative Christians on Unsplash

Images are the perfect way to make text scannable. You can do this, for example, by putting quotes from your text in an image. By doing so, your readers know exactly where to find relevant information.

But that's not the only advantage of using images. We will illustrate more advantages below.

Retention

Visitors remember your content better when there is an image to hold their attention. People remember spoken words less well than texts they read. But what do they remember best? Pictures!

Shareable images

Content with images is shared faster. Most social media channels are no longer text-based – TikTok, Instagram, YouTube: they all focus on photos or videos.

It is wise to furnish your content with images in order for it to be easier to share.

It follows that it is wise to furnish your content with images in order for it to be easier to share. In addition, with a shareable link, the image that belongs to the web page always appears.

Engagement

Quite simply, articles with images are viewed 94% more often than those without. It could hardly be clearer!

Faster processing

When reading texts, your brain is constantly busy making a translation. We call this 'reading comprehension'.

People process information from images faster than when the information is written down.

Seeing images makes the journey to understanding much shorter. People process information from images faster than when the information is written down. In a world where it is difficult to hold the attention of your target audience, this is a great advantage.

Recognisability

brand-association-mcdonalds.jpgPhoto by Thabang on Unsplash

The yellow ‘M of McDonalds, the Nike swoosh – you immediately know how they look. Visual language is extremely important when it comes to recognising a brand. You build recognition when you use more images in the same style. Are you doing this consistently? When you do, your target audience will recognise your content faster.

Associations

Images arouse emotions. These emotions are then linked to your brand. You can use images to instruct your target audience about how they should think about you. Therefore, never just choose an image randomly, but always choose an image that fits your brand.

What should you pay attention to when using free images?

Free images for your website, blog or other content can be found in many places. But how do you know whether you have found the right one? Do you always have to give credit? And what about copyright? Before we send you to the image banks, we first look at the rules around free images.

This video explains it well:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68fRTF_fd0A

Rights

There are many websites that offer free images. But every image bank applies different rules. For example, you can download everything for free from certain image banks, but you are not allowed to use the photos for commercial purposes. It is important to check this for each image bank you use.

If you ignore these stipulations, then you might risk a fine for using non-copyright images. These fines start with hundreds, but can go up to thousands of euros per image… and if you don’t pay the fine, you may even be involved in a lawsuit with legal costs of € 8,000 on top of the compensation.

Be very careful about the rights of the photos you use.

So, be very careful about the rights of the photos you use. Not sure if your images are royalty-free? Then don't use them. Look for an alternative image that you can use for sure.

No copy-paste

Although it is tempting to grab an image from the search engine and just use it yourself, it is not smart to do so. If you do not work through an image bank, it is often not indicated who manages the rights to an image. There is, therefore, a high chance that you will be addressed (or receive a huge fine) when using certain images.

Where can you find free images for your blog/website?

As humans, we are visual thinkers. Pictographs are one of the oldest writings for a reason. If you want to achieve something with your text, it is necessary to use images.

But where do you find good-quality, free images that don't look like those awful cliché stock photos?

Unsplash
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This image bank is our absolute favorite. Beautiful, original photos, and many choices. You may use the images for free and without attribution. Ideal!
https://unsplash.com

PikWizard
pikwizard(1).jpg
A little magic goes a long way. PikWizard knows that like no other. The free images on this website are also royalty-free and free for commercial use.
https://pikwizard.com

Pixabay
pixabay(1).jpg
With over 2.7 million images on Pixabay, you will probably find something you can use for your blog or website. You may use the free images without attribution.
https://pixabay.com

Flickr
flickr(1).jpg
The big advantage of Flickr is that a lot of images are added daily. The rights are mentioned per image.
https://www.flickr.com

Picography
picography(1).jpg
Picography focuses on a minimalist design. Is that your cup of tea? Then be sure to take a look. You can use all these free images without attribution.
https://picography.co

Free Images
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It's in the name: Free Images is a large image bank where you can find many beautiful images with free registration.
https://www.freeimages.com

Bonus Tip: Death To Stock
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The name is crystal clear already: Death To Stock is a database that isn't too fond of stock photos. That's why they've set up a place where you can download royalty-free images.

Unfortunately, this service is paid and you will not find free images. You will get valuable images in return though…
https://deathtothestockphoto.com

SEO: optimise your free images

Yes! You have found the perfect free images to use on your website or blog. But… with only one image you are not there yet.

How do you use images effectively on your website or blog? We give you a crash course in 'SEO for images':

Name

It all starts with the name of your file. It won't help search engines much if you upload an image called 'IMG6059'.

Instead, describe the image. An example is: ‘white-uggs-pastel-dots-1.’ Use lines between the words to be most effective.

Alt text

The alt text explains to search engines what exactly is visible on your image. In addition, this is an ideal place to use keywords.

You need to make a well-readable sentence of no more than 125 characters. Make sure that it is really a sentence, and not separate keywords one after the other. Google won't fall for that ;-)

  • A good example: Brown leather shoes from Uggs
  • A bad example: Ugg boots, brown boots, Ugg brown boots, winter boots, Ugg winter.

 

Make the texts as specific as possible!

  • A bad example: Ugg boots
  • A better example: Brown leather Ugg boots with buckle

 

File size


Images often slow the loading time of your website or blog. Search engines want the best user experience, and a long loading time is not helpful.

It follows that it is wise to compress images with tools like Optimizilla or TinyPNG.

File size

File size is also important when we talk about loading time. Mobile phones often take pictures of 4032 pixels by 3024 pixels. And photographers usually post large images.

Have you downloaded a free image? Then check whether it corresponds to the maximum height and width of your website or blog. Isn't that the case? Make your images smaller with a free tool (for example Canva).

Open Graph

Adding an Open Graph image to any web page is beneficial for shareability. This is the image that appears when people share your link on, for example, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

It is wise to add an Open Graph to every web page. In addition, you can also indicate the title and short description of the web page. This will show with your image in the social media post.

Sitemap

There are two types of sitemaps: a sitemap for your images and a sitemap for your web pages. A sitemap explains to search engines what the structure of images is and which image has to do with another.

A strong text with the images on your website

Now that you'll never go wrong with images again: have you written good text yet? CopyRobin has 449 experienced copywriters available for you. There is certainly someone who is familiar with your industry.

Have your text written?

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