Choosing Stock Images To Boost Your Google Ad Performance

When someone is looking to make a purchase or connect with a business, where do they turn? More often than not, it’s to social media or their trusted friend Google. Google has become the starting point for the vast majority of internet searches initiated by consumers, and any business that wants to make their presence known online understands the value of investing in their ad network.

“Investing” is an important word in the world of paid digital advertising. When you’re putting financial resources into a Google Ad campaign, you want to do everything possible to maximize your return. Considering how crowded the Internet has become, many businesses are finding it more challenging to stand out and get noticed – even when their Google Ad copy is perfectly on point.

Including high-resolution photos in your Google Ads is a great way to capture attention and get the clicks – and conversion rates – you need to build revenue for your business. The value of visual content is immense, but it isn’t always clear how to get maximum impact out of your ads with images. Which types of images are going to perform for your ads, and where are you going to find them? Do you need to invest in your own photography, or are stock images an option? One thing is for certain, you don’t want to use Google search images for your ads, and we invite you to read why. What you do need is quality stock images, so here’s what you need to get started.

Laughing girl playing with old school camera

Copyright 2019 Antonio Recena / Photocase, all rights reserved.

Images for Google Ads – Yay or Nay?

So, the importance of quality images for building a brand presence online isn’t exactly a new concept. But quality is everything when it comes to visual content, and if you’re going to spend the resources to include images anywhere in your marketing strategy, you want to make sure that the images you choose fully represent your brand and the message you want to deliver through your ad.

That pretty much takes stock photos and videos out of the equation, right? I mean who wants to use a low quality, phony image to represent their brand? This is a valid point, but it’s hardly representative of the high-quality stock photography that’s at your disposal today.

Huge brands are turning to stock photography for their marketing needs, including using them in their Google Ads instead of running just straight text ads. It’s time to push the misconceptions about stock photography to the side and start focusing on how to take this incredible resource you have at your disposal and use it to your advantage.

Where to Find the Best Stock Images for Your Google Ads

There are plenty of great sites you can browse and purchase professional quality high-resolution photos to use in your Google Ads. We already mentioned a few of the free stock image options that are at your disposal, but for the most selection of quality images that are going to spark a connection with your audience, spending some time on paid sites is also worth the time, effort – and more often than not – the little bit of extra money involved.

That said, like free stock image sites, not all paid sites are created equal. The best-paid stock image sites offer the perfect combination of high-quality images with a range of fees to suit the needs and budget of your business. A little poking around the Internet and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. You might come across some lesser-known stock photo sites which is worth their weight in gold. You can check out 10 of our favorites here.

You’ve probably already heard of a few of the most popular stock photo sites. The question is trying to figure out which is going to suit your needs without spending days pouring through each of them. Here is a quick rundown of 4 that earn our accolades.

Photocase – Beautiful Stock Photos with Berlin Flair

If you’re looking for images that really stand out from what your competitor is using (and why wouldn’t you), Photocase is a Berlin-based stock image site that offers a selection of high quality stock images that you’re not going to find anywhere else. To learn more about what sets Photocase apart, read more about why they’re a premium alternative to other services.

For more details: check our Photocase review. And make sure to grab our special Photocase Coupon Code with 5 free credits and a 10 % great discount!

iStock Signature – Gorgeous Budget Minded Stock Photography

iStock Signature is a popular choice among smaller businesses that want to maximize the impact of their Google Ads. This is in part due to their micro-stock platform that takes the highest quality images and makes them affordable for businesses with a limited budget. When you want images that look like you paid megabucks for but are working with a pauper budget, iStock Signature delivers every time.

See what this agency has to offer in our iStock review. And don't hesitate to grab our exclusive iStock offer.

Shutterstock – Masters of Stock Imagery

Shutterstock is hands-down one of the most popular stock image sites out there. There are more than a few reasons for this, not the least of which being their incredibly vast selection of images to choose from. With a library that contains hundreds of millions of images, the only downside to Shutterstock is the time you’ll spend pouring through them.

Get our special Shutterstock Coupon Code to save in your Shutterstock images!

Stock Photo Secrets Shop – The Right Image, Every Time

We understand the challenges you’re facing with your Google Ad campaign – and realize that there’s so much more involved that deciding which images to use. There’s developing a strategy, working out a budget, creating content, analytics and then some more analytics. At the end of it all, the last thing you want to do is agonize over images. Stock Photo Secrets Shop makes it super easy to find the right image. A combination of intuitive search functions and a library of exceptional images means that you’re always going to find the high quality, modern, and professional images you’re looking for.

Read our Stockphotosecrets review for full details on the agency.

Tips for Using Stock Photos In Your Google Ads

Familar picknick setting in the high grass

Copyright 2019 przemekklos / Photocase, all rights reserved.

When you’re choosing a stock photo for your Google Ads, one of the most important elements to look for – aside from quality photography – is authenticity. The last thing you want is a fake, staged looking image being what search engine users see when your ad is placed in front of them. What you want is an image that’s compelling. Ads with attractive, attention-grabbing, compelling images gets more clicks than those without. It’s that simple.

Aside from authenticity, what should you look for in stock imagery that performs for your Google Ad campaign?

Here are a few pointers to get you headed in the right direction.

  • Avoid cheesy images, especially if they feature people. Instead, go with something that feels real and authentic.
  • Relevancy. Choose your images carefully and make sure they’re relevant to your advertisements.
  • Choose images that are clear and focused without a lot of background clutter. Stock images in ads need to get the point across quickly, and clutter distracts from this.
  • Choose images that can be tailored to your brand. Is there room to add text or maybe your brand logo on the image you use? This can help the audience connect the image to your brand.
  • Do a little research. How often has the stock image been used online, and are any of your competitors currently using it in their ads or in other forms of content?
  • Go big. Don’t choose images where it’s too hard to focus in on the main element. You need capture instant attention with your visuals, so keep the main element front and center.
  • Lighting is important. Choose well-lit images, and if your ad connects the customer to additional images, make sure they’re all shot in similar light to give a sense of cohesiveness to your campaign.
  • When using stock images that include people, search for candid images rather than ones that look posed.

Keep your audience in mind. Study the demographics of who you want to reach with your Google ad, and choose stock imagery that speaks to them rather than to just you. This will help to improve your click-through rate, as well as traffic coming to your site, exponentially.

How Powerful Images Can Make or Break Your Google Ad

Copyright 2019 knallgrün / Photocase, all rights reserved.

Think about the last time a paid ad really captured attention. If you’re like most people, you’re going to need to put some thought into this. The fact is, we’re bombarded with so much digital “noise” that standing out with something like a Google Ad is a serious challenge.

So, what was it that captured your attention? We’re guessing it wasn’t a compelling headline or product, but rather something that caught your attention the instant you saw it and caused you to scroll back to learn more. Text can rarely accomplish this on its own, meaning it’s a good chance that what made you stop and take notice was something visually enticing that spoke to you as a consumer on an emotional level.

Consumers really aren’t that interested in being point blank sold to. In a sense, the want to be romanced a little. They want the chance to get to know you a little better and form an emotional connection to your brand. Considering you’ve got their attention for a mere few seconds; this is a really tall order.

So, how do you accomplish this? You look for creative images that strike an emotional chord with your audience. The intent of your ad will determine the type of emotional connection you want to create but generally speaking, you’re going to want to appeal to your audience through one or more of these emotions:

  • Happiness/Joy
  • Humor/Laughter
  • Excitement/Anticipation
  • Trust
  • Sadness
  • Fear of the Unknown/Preparedness

Most of us, potential customers included, form an instantaneous emotional reaction to images. The process is pure human nature, and effortless – as long as the image is high quality and contains the right elements to get the job done. This is where the importance of quality stock image comes into play. At StockPhoto Secrets, we offer some pretty solid advice on choosing stunning mages for your marketing content, and turning to reputable stock image sites that focus on quality and relevancy to the modern consumer is step one to discovering the images that make an immediate visual impact and stop traffic in its tracks.

The Age-Old Conundrum: Price vs Quality in Stock Photography

Mention stock photography to someone in the field of digital marketing, and you’re likely to receive a look that’s a mixture of dread, intrigue, and frustration. The reasons for this are simple – too often, businesses dive into stock photography without taking the time to really understand how quality and price factor in to finding the perfect image for your PPC ad.

A quick Google search will put you in touch with multiple free sites to source stock images for your ads. These can be a great resource, especially for small businesses that might be working with a limited marketing budget. Feel free to check out this article to learn more about free stock photo sites. A few sites worth taking a look at include:

There is one thing to keep in mind. Just because these sites offer you access to free images doesn’t mean that they can be used without a second thought. The problem here is that the creators can upload images and consent to the terms of free commercial use, but there may be other elements in the photo that pose a legality issue. Use caution when choosing images that contain people, trademarked logos or products, and certain landmarks from free photo sites.

The Easy Way to Optimize Your Google Ads with Incredible Stock Photography

younger woman balances with both hands documents on her head

Copyright 2019 simonthon / Photocase, all rights reserved.

Humans are visual creatures, and your ability to reach your audience through powerful imagery is key to optimizing the performance of your Google Ads. There’s a ton of elements that go into a successful ad campaign, and high-quality images are just one component that matters. Relieve some of the pressure by turning to top stock image sites, like the ones featured on StockPhoto Secrets, that are known for the exceptional quality images they provide. Beautiful stock images are a marketing tool that performs on every level for your growing business. Oh right, and the added bonus? You’ll probably be able to use these same images on social media too.

Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

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