Aug 1, 2017

Why Stock Photos Are Ruining Your Website UX

Remember the last time your coworker cracked a joke during a conference call and the entire room erupted in hysterics? How about the time your team successfully completed a project, and one member turned slightly to the left, giving a big smile and thumbs up to some unseen entity?

When was the last time your tablet screen suddenly regurgitated a holographic of marketing buzzwords?

These scenarios sound like something out of a fever dream, right? Yet we encounter them daily in the form of stock photography online.

And they’re ruining your visitors’ user experience (UX).

These staged, sterile, and stale images are meant to serve as easily-accessible visual aides for websites. But if none of the described situations are ringing a bell for you, they probably won’t for your customers. Which can be a BIG problem for industries that value personal connections – like legal and medical practices, travel agencies, and car dealerships.

There are myriad reasons why stock photos should be high on the “things not to do” website checklist, but here are three of the most compelling:

Using Stock Images Is Lazy

The reason stock images have become so commonplace is because they’re easy to acquire. You’re of course familiar with some of the paid services like Shutterstock and Twenty20 – and if you’re a bit more savvy you’re already using free sites like Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash.

All of these examples provide a great service by allowing those with limited resources or photography experience to make use of professionally-shot photos.

But they’re easily identifiable to regular internet users. Maybe the setting of the photo doesn’t match up. Maybe they’ve seen the subjects in the image elsewhere online. Or maybe your designer mistakenly included a line-up of Dodge vehicles on the local Kia dealership’s hero image. The bottom line is, you’re not being entirely upfront about your business.

Between smartphones, social media, and associated apps, it has become easier than ever before to snap and upload real photos that could rival those taken by a camera with a 4-figure price tag. Snapping some pics of who and what your customers will experience when they arrive at your doorstep makes for a great first impression, and goes a long way toward fostering trust.

Electing not to do that, is lazy at best; and deceitful at worst.

Stock Photos Aren’t “Real”

While the absurdity of some of these images has already been pointed out, there’s a deeper reason why we don’t recommend them – they’re whitewashed.

In more than one way.

The lighting in many of the more popular environments – specifically homes and offices – is almost unnaturally bright. True, the photo’s subjects stand out well, but it would be impossible to replicate the shot anywhere other than a Hollywood soundstage. You don’t want to appear too “perfect.”

Furthermore, the lack of diversity in many stock photos is painfully apparent. The world has continued to shrink, meaning not all of your customers are fit, stylish, middle-aged white men and women.

In fact, it may be more accurate to admit that demographic is only a small fraction of your actual consumer base. 

One of the most important aspects of UX is authenticity.

Your customers will find it easier to relate to your business when you reflect who you serve on a daily basis. An online user experience which closely mimics the offline one not only gives visitors an idea of whether or not your business is right for them; it also helps you stand out among your competitors who are still image searching “Susie Homemaker” for their client testimonial page.

Stock Photos Are A Bad Investment

As a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to maximize everyone’s favorite letters: “R,” “O,” and “I.” This means you may believe that, in the grand scheme of things, paying a couple hundred bucks a year for a subscription to a stock photography site is a worthwhile investment.

However, those fees add up over months and years. Even with free access sites, you still need to factor in the time it takes for a paid employee to search through the thousands of available images. Not to mention, if you own a particularly image-heavy site, or are using these for social media posts, the pool of options becomes surprisingly small surprisingly quickly.

And of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll find exactly the image you need.

On the other hand, a local professional photographer is a one or two-time expense, and allows you complete control over how you want to show off your company. Set up shots of your location(s), services, employees, and even take a page out of the stock image sites’ book, and stage some common (and real) scenarios.

This is your business – doesn’t it deserve the investment required to portray it as accurately and professionally as possible?

Don’t come off to customers as lazy or fake – and don’t waste your precious budget. Just say “NO” to stock photography!

Of course, your site’s images are only one part of overall UX. There are plenty of other design and usability elements that are just as important to consider. Click here to download our full UX primer now!

Get inbound marketing insights, tips and resources...

Latest Articles from Our Blog

The costs of inbound marketing can vary widely, and we're going to provide average price ranges based on the assumption that you want the highest-quality work to see real results.
Content Marketing

Inbound Marketing: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Brandi Jangula
Brandi Jangula
Inbound Marketing: What You Need to Know to Get Started
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash What is the Purpose of Inbound Marketing? Why is it Important? Inbound marketing is different from...
Brandi Jangula
Brandi Jangula
Content Marketing

Inbound Marketing: How to Attract More Customers

Brandi Jangula
Brandi Jangula
Inbound Marketing: How to Attract More Customers
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash Learn how inbound marketing strategies can grow your business. As a marketer, it's your goal to attract...
Brandi Jangula
Brandi Jangula
Content Marketing

7 Signs You Should Hire an Inbound Marketing Agency

Brandi Jangula
Brandi Jangula
7 Signs You Should Hire an Inbound Marketing Agency
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash Why You Should Hire an Inbound Marketing Agency Building a website, managing social media and designing...
Brandi Jangula
Brandi Jangula

The Top Reasons Why Tech Careers Are Booming

Elizabeth Mackenzie
Elizabeth Mackenzie
The Top Reasons Why Tech Careers Are Booming
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash Tech Careers will boom over the next 10 years... The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping the...
Elizabeth Mackenzie
Elizabeth Mackenzie
Email Marketing

Top 5 Tactics Working in Emails (Right Now)

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Top 5 Tactics Working in Emails (Right Now)
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez Improve your open rates today using the top data-backed tactics that are working right now. The last few months...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Websites Growth-driven Design

What is Shopify and Why Should I Choose it?

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
What is Shopify and Why Should I Choose it?
If you've ever purchased from Lindt, The Economist, FitBit, or Allbirds (just to name a few), then you've likely experienced the Shopify...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
News and Press

Is Your Agency Still Focused on Counting Hours Rather than Results?

DCA Team
DCA Team
Is Your Agency Still Focused on Counting Hours Rather than Results?
Diaz & Cooper Advertising Staff Have Been #ROWE Since 2012 Last year while a global pandemic ushered in an expansive and unexpected...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Business Growth

How to Achieve Digital Growth in a Post-Cookies World

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
How to Achieve Digital Growth in a Post-Cookies World
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash Google's announcement that it will block third-party cookies across its Chrome browser by 2022 has sent...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Inbound Marketing

5 ways to reignite your travel marketing in 2021

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
5 ways to reignite your travel marketing in 2021
The travel industry is starting to recover from the COVID crisis – and it looks like 2021 could bring a boom. The travel industry has been...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Inbound Marketing

Marketing for the travel recovery

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Marketing for the travel recovery
Now is the time to market for the post-COVID travel recovery. Here's why: It is no secret that the travel and tourism industry took a...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
News and Press

We've been named Top 40 Outstanding eCommerce Agencies

DCA Team
DCA Team
We've been named Top 40 Outstanding eCommerce Agencies
Diaz & Cooper Advertising is excited to announce that Retail Today has placed us in the exclusive category of 40 Outstanding eCommerce...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Inbound Marketing

How can you help support small businesses?

Todd Cooper – VP, Client-in-Residence
Todd Cooper – VP, Client-in-Residence
How can you help support small businesses?
Photo by Bruce Mars We, like 2.3 million others, are a small business in Florida. Over the last 19 years, Diaz & Cooper has become known as...
Todd Cooper – VP, Client-in-Residence
Todd Cooper – VP, Client-in-Residence
Inbound Marketing

How to Optimize your Google Ads Campaigns for Better ROI

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
How to Optimize your Google Ads Campaigns for Better ROI
During challenging economic times, the temptation to cut back on marketing can be overwhelming. This is particularly true of digital spend...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
News and Press

Telemark chooses Diaz & Cooper for regional marketing.

DCA Team
DCA Team
Telemark chooses Diaz & Cooper for regional marketing.
Named after the historic inland region of Southern Norway known for its vast forests and as the birthplace of Telemark skiing, Telemark, WI...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Websites Growth-driven Design

7 Ways to Optimize Your Homepage & Increase Conversions

DCA Team
DCA Team
7 Ways to Optimize Your Homepage & Increase Conversions
Conversion Rate Optimization (commonly known as CRO) is a method aimed to help you improve your website’s ability to convert passive...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Inbound Marketing

How to Market with Compassion During a Crisis

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
How to Market with Compassion During a Crisis
This guide will help you make the most of your marketing dollars during the crisis. Browse through LinkedIn or any other social channel...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Email Marketing

Using lead magnets to attract new sales.

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Using lead magnets to attract new sales.
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa Is your website producing new leads that you can turn into customers? We know that email marketing is one of the...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
News and Press

Wellbeing Wearables Shopify Launch

DCA Team
DCA Team
Wellbeing Wearables Shopify Launch
Philip Stein Launches New eCommerce Platform for Wellness Diaz & Cooper develops new website for global watch brand Miami, FL: Under the...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Websites Growth-driven Design

Case Study: eCommerce on Safari

DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Study: eCommerce on Safari
goal: Increase repeat purchases and reduce cart abandonment.
DCA Team
DCA Team
Business Growth

It's Time to Put the Results into Remote

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
It's Time to Put the Results into Remote
   
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Inbound Marketing

How Google Maps Is Changing Booking Options

Victoria Hajjar – Growth Strategist
How Google Maps Is Changing Booking Options
Image courtesy of The Word Point As the battle for direct bookings becomes ever more competitive for hotels, Google is increasing its...
Victoria Hajjar – Growth Strategist
Case Studies

Case Study: Fueling Online Bookings

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Case Study: Fueling Online Bookings
goal: Increase direct bookings online
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Websites Growth-driven Design

Should You Worry About Your Website Being ADA Compliant?

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Should You Worry About Your Website Being ADA Compliant?
The Essential Website Accessibility Guide What do Beyonce, Domino’s Pizza and the Avanti Hotel have in common? They have all recently been...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Case Studies

Case Study: Digital Approach Doubles Sales

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Case Study: Digital Approach Doubles Sales
goal: Generate leads and sales
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Case Studies

Case Study: New Leads Make a Leap

Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Case Study: New Leads Make a Leap
goal: Increase sales from email campaigns
Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
News and Press

DCA Named Top 25 for eCommerce Design and Development

DCA Team
DCA Team
DCA Named Top 25 for eCommerce Design and Development
Diaz & Cooper has been named as one of the Top 25 eCommerce Design and Development Companies of 2019 by DesignRush. Coming in at #7 out of...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Websites Growth-driven Design

How Not to Lose $32 Million on a Website

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
How Not to Lose $32 Million on a Website
The new Hertz© website was just in the news, but not for a good reason. According to “The Register” car-rental giant Hertz hired the global...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Websites Growth-driven Design

The Fundamentals of Wireframing

DCA Team
DCA Team
The Fundamentals of Wireframing
 
DCA Team
DCA Team
Content Marketing

How to Optimize Customer Value in 6 Steps

Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
How to Optimize Customer Value in 6 Steps
  The sheer breadth of customer data available to the average seller today can actually become a problem. When your head is up in the...
Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger

Mastering the basics of email automation

Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Mastering the basics of email automation
We’ve all had those days when we’re super busy, yet have to send out countless emails to prospects, as well as publish blog posts and...
Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Sandi Abbott – Inbound Marketing Supervisor
Inbound Marketing

What I learned at 10x Growth Con

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
What I learned at 10x Growth Con
I spent Super Bowl weekend at Grant Cardone’s 10x conference – here’s what I learned. This weekend, almost 35,000 people descended on Miami...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Inbound Marketing

Six Steps of Strategic Planning

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Six Steps of Strategic Planning
Any marketing plan works best when you start with a well-thought out strategic plan for business growth.  With a strategic growth plan,...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Websites Growth-driven Design

Case Study: Triple-crown winning site brings in 3x the booking revenue

DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Study: Triple-crown winning site brings in 3x the booking revenue
goal: Increase direct booking conversions on website
DCA Team
DCA Team
Websites Growth-driven Design

How To Create The Perfect Product Landing Page

Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
How To Create The Perfect Product Landing Page
Creating an excellent product landing page should be high up on your priority list when you’re designing your ecommerce site. The ecommerce...
Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
Patrick Foster – Guest Blogger
Case Studies

Case Study: Lose the Keys, Find Key West Campaign

DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Study: Lose the Keys, Find Key West Campaign
goal: Launch Brand; Generate Awareness, Leads and Increase Ridership the challenge: Launch a new brand and campaign to convince locals and...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Websites Growth-driven Design

Sadly, “Brochure” websites no longer work. So What WILL?

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Sadly, “Brochure” websites no longer work. So What WILL?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is your website to your travel business? If your site were to disappear overnight, how would it affect...
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Websites Growth-driven Design

So, you think your hotel website is optimized?

Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
So, you think your hotel website is optimized?
Here are 5 reasons you may be wrong. You and I know something pretty important about your website – you need it to convert more bookings....
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Omi Diaz-Cooper – CEO, Speaker
Websites Growth-driven Design

The Quick & Dirty Guide to Getting Found Online

DCA Team
DCA Team
The Quick & Dirty Guide to Getting Found Online
Part 1: Search Engine Optimization Introduction There is no debate: Your website is one of the most important pieces of your business...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Websites Growth-driven Design

Why Stock Photos Are Ruining Your Website UX

Tony Dicks – Digital Strategy Coach
Tony Dicks – Digital Strategy Coach
Why Stock Photos Are Ruining Your Website UX
Remember the last time your coworker cracked a joke during a conference call and the entire room erupted in hysterics? How about the time...
Tony Dicks – Digital Strategy Coach
Tony Dicks – Digital Strategy Coach
Websites Growth-driven Design

Why Do I Need an SEO Consultant?

DCA Team
DCA Team
Why Do I Need an SEO Consultant?
DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Studies

Case Study: The Only Key You'll Need

DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Study: The Only Key You'll Need
goal: Increase Sales (Brand Website Bookings) the challenge: Generate bookings among the adult and couples market to drive occupancy during...
DCA Team
DCA Team
News and Press

Diaz & Cooper Wins Platinum Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award

DCA Team
DCA Team
Diaz & Cooper Wins Platinum Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award
Miami, Florida – Sept. 19, 2012 – Diaz Cooper, a Miami-based digital marketing agency promises their Clients results. In September, the...
DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Studies

Case Study: Destination Immersion Social

DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Study: Destination Immersion Social
goal: Build Customer Loyalty, Engage Social Community
DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Studies

Case Study: Destination Immersion Integrated Campaign

DCA Team
DCA Team
Case Study: Destination Immersion Integrated Campaign
goal: Generate Leads, Increase Revenue
DCA Team
DCA Team
News and Press

DCA Wins HRM Award for Banyan Website

DCA Team
DCA Team
DCA Wins HRM Award for Banyan Website
Website design and usability earn HRM award.
DCA Team
DCA Team
News and Press

Diaz & Cooper Named in Top 25 Advertising Agencies in South Florida

DCA Team
DCA Team
Diaz & Cooper Named in Top 25 Advertising Agencies in South Florida
DCA honored by TCI and UM's JAE Leadership Institute.
DCA Team
DCA Team
News and Press

ROWE Provides Results-focus at Diaz & Cooper

DCA Team
DCA Team
ROWE Provides Results-focus at Diaz & Cooper
For the Diaz & Cooper Team, it’s all about results.
DCA Team
DCA Team
News and Press

Team DCA “Geeks Out” at An Event Apart in Atlanta

DCA Team
DCA Team
Team DCA “Geeks Out” at An Event Apart in Atlanta
DCA Design and Development team stays on the forefront of web technology.
DCA Team
DCA Team