Starting a blog is pretty simple. Actually getting people to visit it is hard. It’s not enough to just create great content and hope they will come…
Because they won’t.
Today’s successful blogs dig into a deep bag of tricks that include SEO, design and analytics…and then combine these elements into ever more advanced tactics that help them drive traffic to their sites, grow their audience and rank high in the search engines.
Here’s a list of ten of those tactics that I’ve had great success with in the last couple of years to help you increase the traffic to your blog.
Make it easy for people to find your content over the web
One of the latest developments at Google is author markup. This feature allows you to connect all of your content across the web beneath one author/bio profile.
For instance, here’s what Danny Sullivan looks like on the search engine results page on a search for “SEO advice”:
The image of Danny sets him apart from other SEOs, and if you click on the “by Danny Sullivan” link you land on his Google+ page:
Click on the “More by Danny Sullivan” and you get a Google results page dedicated to his content:
As you can see adding author markup feature to you social identity will improve your chances in search results, increasing click throughs to your content.
Implementing author markup isn’t easy, however, unless you check out AJ Kohn’s guide on how to implement REL=AUTHOR. This is a great guide that AJ put together with the help of three Google engineers.
Strategically join relevant audience communities
One thing about link building and SEO strategy that gets missed so often is the relationship…actually getting to know people is the bedrock to getting links.
You do this by participating with your audience where they are hanging out. A really great way to make this very strategic is to use Google’ doubleclick planner.
Here’s how it works. Drop in a relevant web address…
Then copy down the list of sites that it creates:
You can start at the top of that list and start visiting, reading and sharing comments on those sites. In time you will start to create relationships with some of the other readers that will lead to links and traffic.
Doubleclick will also give you an idea of the typical interests of your audience (based upon the web address you enter):
I’ve found this list great for strategically pursuing other industries that might need my help. It’s also a great way to come up with content for guests posts.
As you add value to these different communities, people will start rewarding you with links and traffic. Avoid spamming and dropping self-promotion links…the community will ignore you if you do that.
Use Super-Sized Images, Photos and Illustrations
Last year the 2011 Technorati State of the Blog report stated that 90 percent of bloggers share some type of media on their blogs.
Photos are the most popular:
But when it comes to great blog/site design and attracting links, just sharing any old photo won’t do the trick. Besides, why not leverage the excellent resolutions of new monitors by sharing beautiful photos?
This was the very point behind Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. Every day they share some of the best photos on a certain topic. The images are big and bold…filling up at over 990 pixels wide. They are hard to ignore and got the blog picked up by Time as one of 2011’s best blogs.
Now that’s a great link to have!
Even though it’s been less than a year since their last redesign, Fast Company redesigned their blog so they emphasize photos and images on their site.
It’s reviving it’s readership with these outsized photos, drawing readers and links alike. Some sites like Cabin Porn are even taking it farther by filling the entire screen. This kind of out-sized use of photos leads to new viewers and links.
Think Outside of the Social Media Sharing Box
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ aren’t the only social sites that have the power to push traffic to your site. Other niche communities can do the same thing:
The idea is to go through a list of social networking sites, identify the ones that would be relevant to your industry and then systematically add value. As you build up relationships with users of those sites you’ll eventually start to gain links and followers.
Working these other social sites will also help you develop content for you blog posts. Watch to see what is gaining popularity in content and discussions and then create posts that address those issues.
By the way, back in December Reddit served over 2 billion page views:
…so you should not ignore that source for an opportunity. See if there is a subreddit you should join.
Join Question-and-Answer Sites
The best way to leverage these question-and-answer sites is to try to provide value on discussions that are important, interesting but have not had a lot of answers.
Here’s one…the “best SEO strategy.”
You can also look for questions that are getting a lot of attention because they are on the site’s home page, making the rounds on the social web or ranking well in search engines.
When you answer in a way that provides a substantial solution to a person’s problem, providing relevant links and data, you will get the attention of anyone who is in the discussion or joins.
I’ve also found that you can put links back to your site and not get called a spammer as long as they are significant to the conversation.
Jump into Trending Discussions with Thought Leaders
There are a few sites out there that present a great opportunity for engaging readers on important issues and getting the attention of those thought leaders.
As you strategically choose these sites and dive into the conversation, you could get some links and traffic as part of the process.
A great example of this was when Rand Fishkin jumped on Fred Wilson’s AVC blog to disagree about a post Fred had written about marketing. Fred wrote a follow up the next day with a link back to Rand’s post.
You can find the latest buzz and trending conversations by using sites like TechMeme, Topsy, Alltop, MediaGazer and PopURLs. These are quick sites you can scan to find headlines that might be of interest to you.
Design Around These 3 Crucial Elements
A lot of the things I’ve been discussing up to this point are off-page optimization and link building tactics…so now it s a good time to discuss what your site looks like and how it performs.
You could spend a substantial amount of time involved in all of the above tactics, but if your site is not clean and beautiful, then you may not get the links. So you’ve got to build great, usable design.
But it also needs to be fast. So, when designing your site and to make the most out of your SEO link building efforts, follow these three tips ruthlessly!
- Build a beautiful web design – We are in a time where sentiment search is growing, so what a user actual thinks and feels about your site will impact rank, links and conversion. Invest in a great design!
- Site speed – This is essential. A slow site will drive traffic away. In fact, Google proved that users are much happier when search is faster. To test this they slowed down their results by as little as 400 milliseconds and reduced the number of searches by half a percent! So, evaluate your site speed.
- Important content above the fold – Research has shown that people do scroll, but more than 80% stay above the fold. Keep the critical stuff in that top 768 pixels.
One of the neatest ways to measure the success of marketing blogs has been Ad Age’s Power 150 List.
This is a list that ranks the top marketing blogs based on a few key KPIs. The genius behind the list is how it drives traffic back to its site, making it a very powerful link bait tool.
In this particular case, the Power 150 is called “ego bait” because it appeals to the ego of those on the list. And if you are on the list, then you have the option of embedding the Power 150 badge on you site, which then…you guessed it…links back to Ad Age.
That’s a very powerful SEO traffic driver.
This can work for you by creating a top ten list and then offering a badge for those who make it on to the list. Write to Done’s Top Ten Blogs for Writers is a great example.
Crawl and Validate Your Site
By the way, one of your first steps to enhancing your site and using advanced SEO tactics to drive traffic to your site is to determine where your site is by crawling and validating it.
What exactly should you validate? Here’s a checklist:
- Accessibility (Section 508 and WAI Standards)
- Dead links
- Multiple browsers
- Multiple devices
Now, more importantly, how do you validate your site? Use these two tools: Crawl Tools by SEOmoz or visit the W3C validation tools. Both of these tools will help you find all the problems that need to be fixed on your site…and the priority…before you start link building.
Repeat the process until you’ve got a clean site.
Test, Track, Measure and Tweak to Improve Success
No campaign is complete without analytics. So all this SEO and link building work you are pouring into your site can not be improved if you don’t measure results.
Here’s what you have to do at the minimum:
- Google Analytics – Create an account, embed the tracking code on your site and start collecting data. Do this immediately to create a benchmark before you start any kind of campaign. Understand where you are before you try to grow. That’s your simplest measure of success.
- Webmaster Tools – Sign up for both Google and Bing webmaster tools to stay on top of the data that your site is generating. Bing may not deliver the same amount of traffic as Google, but it is sending roughly 30% of search traffic, and is likely to grow. Don’t ignore it!
- RSS Feed Analytics – More than likely you will be pushing out content through an RSS feed so make sure you are paying attention to these metrics, too. You can do this with Google Analytics.
- Browser Tests – You’ll also want to make sure that your design and the photos that you are sharing on your site are looking good across browsers. This doesn’t mean all browsers, but a general rule of thumb is to test on a browser with at least 2% market share. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari are all safe bets.
- Online Usability – While code analytics are great for tracking online behavior you are still left to interpret the results. With a usability test you can listen to what the user was thinking while they navigated through your site. For $40 a test, usertesting.com will give you a video of the person going through your site and typed comments about issues encountered.
You will never know if you are winning or losing if you don’t track your results. Analytics will help you learn from your mistakes, jump on new opportunities and reach your site’s fullest potential.
Increasing traffic to your blog is an art that combines more and more advanced techniques…and as you pile up these techniques (and the links!) you will slowly grow your blog and ultimately dominate in your industry.
And by the way, SEO link building is progressive and never-ending, so don’t give up if you aren’t getting the kind of results you want right away.
What new and advanced SEO tactics have you been using to drive traffic to your blog?
Advanced SEO tactics to drive traffic to your site.
Pinterest – the web’s latest social media craze, is a great way to build awareness for your blog or website. But as with most social media promotion techniques, your ability to influence others through your Pinterest presence is limited if you don’t have that many people following you in the first place.
So today, we’ll share a few techniques that can be effective for building up your Pinterest following. Try applying a few of these ideas to your own Pinterest profile and watch your number of followers soar!
Tip #1 – Tie In to Your Existing Social Networks
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get more Pinterest followers is by tying your account to your existing Facebook and Twitter profiles. Doing so (and setting up your permissions correctly) means that every new item you pin will be displayed to your followers on these networks. Since you already have established connections with subscribers on these sites, you’ll find that many of them elect to follow your Pinterest profile naturally.
Tip #2 – Make it Easy to Pin Your Content
Integrating Pinterest buttons into your blog posts, product pages and other areas of your site can help boost the number of times your content is pinned and lead to new followers for your profile. Because Pinterest is still relatively new, simply having these buttons in place provides a visual reminder for people to subscribe to your profile and engage with your content on this new site.
Tip #3 – Create Boards to Supplement Your Posts
Alternatively, why not create a Pinterest board that’s built around one of your blog posts. For example, if you run a dog training tips website and recommend several different products in a new blog post, create a Pinterest board tied to this post that shares these recommendations in a visual way. Doing so makes your content more engaging and gives readers a reason to follow your profile.
Tip #4 – Pin Regularly
As with any social media site, determining how often to pin new content involves finding the ideal balance between posting so little that there’s no value in following your profile and posting so often that people get annoyed with your constant updates. For best results, aim to pin between 5-30 new items a day, depending on the number of active Pinterest boards you maintain.
Tip #5 – Improve Your Board Naming Structure
Giving each board on your Pinterest profile a fun and unique, but understandable, name is a crucial part of attracting new followers. Since many subscribers elect to only follow the boards that are most relevant to them, it’s important that your board names make it immediately apparent what each of your boards are about.
Consider the following example given by Angie, a Pinterest user blogging on the site Many Little Blessings:
“A board about morning routines could be named “Morning Routines” or “Morning To Dos,” but if you name it “Rise and Shine,” people will know it has something to do with mornings, but no idea that it’s morning routine ideas.”
Tip #6 – Curate Your Own Pins
If you only ever repin content from others, you aren’t bringing anything new to the table, which gives Pinterest users even less of an incentive to follow you. Instead, create your own new pins based on content you find on other social networking sites or from resources you’re familiar with that haven’t yet been featured extensively on Pinterest.
Tip #7 – Follow Other Pinners
On Pinterest – as on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook – following other users (especially power users with thousands and thousands of unique subscribers) is a great way to get your content noticed and spread across a much larger network of people. To find other pinners to follow, search for a few of your industry’s general keyword phrases on Pinterest and take note of the users that appear to publish the most content and have the most followers. Follow these users yourself and repin some of their content – many will return the favor by following you back and sharing your pins with their networks!
Tip #8 – Arrange a Pin Exchange
While it’s considered inappropriate to pin your own content too frequently, you can always team up with other site owners or retailers in your industry to organize a “pin exchange” that allows more of your content to be seeded on to Pinterest without your direct involvement. A group of friends who all sell items on Etsy, for example, could arrange to share each other’s content on Pinterest in order to build recognition without appearing too “scammy”.
Tip #9 – Expand Your Boards
It should go without saying, but when you offer plenty of different boards across a wide variety of interests and topics, you’re creating more opportunities for people to follow you. While it’s a good idea to create boards that are relevant to your website or business, consider creating boards on your personal hobbies and activities as well to reach a larger group of people.
Tip #10 – Pin Newsworthy Content
As mentioned in Tip #6, if you want to build your number of Pinterest followers, it’s important that you be seen as a “thought leader” in your industry – not just someone who repins content from other people. To increase this perception, try to be the first to create pins for news items within your industry. You could even create boards to feature new products that are released in your niche, making you the “go to” pinner serving your field.
Tip #11 – Use Pinterest to Create Tutorials
People love tutorials, and the unique visual display of Pinterest makes it ideally suited to create tutorials that other users can follow. As an example, say you run a site that teaches affiliate marketing to website owners. Using Pinterest, you could create a “step-by-step” tutorial board, in which you feature links to different articles from around the web on topics like choosing affiliate products to promote, building traffic to your site and improving conversions. Create tutorials on topics that you know will interest a number of people and you’re sure to pick up more followers for your account.
Tip #12 – Write Searchable Pin Captions
One of the ways that people find new Pinterest users to follow is by searching the site for interesting key phrases in order to uncover new pinned content. If your pins don’t appear in these searches, you’re losing potential followers that could have subscribed to your boards. For this reason, it’s important to integrate relevant keywords into your pin captions. Don’t simply stuff your pins full of meaningless keywords, but at the same time, don’t use basic captions like, “So funny!” that don’t give Pinterest users or the site’s search engine any information about what’s going on in your pins.
Tip #13 – Use Good Quality Pictures
Because Pinterest is such a visually-focused site, the quality of the images you use in your pins will go a long way towards attracting new followers. If the Pinterest bookmarklet doesn’t automatically capture an attractive image (or, if there are no good images used on the source content page in the first place), manually create the pin on your own using a high quality, visually appealing picture from a Creative Commons image directory.
Are you on Pinterest yet? If so, do you have any other techniques for attracting followers to your profile? Share them in the comments section below!
Related Post – Leveraging Pinterest: How “Pinnable” Is Your Content?
Want a bigger following on Pinterest? Here are tips and tricks.
The SEO’s Guide to GA 5, Part II: Top 3 Features for Setting & Achieving SEO Goals | Search Engine Journal
If you’re an SEO who’s still fumbling with the latest version of Google Analytics (version 5), fumble no more. Here is a quick overview of 3 features you should know to help make your job easier. These tips will also help you keep demonstrating the importance of your laborious SEO efforts and make you look smarter too.
This is part II of a three part series. In part I of this Google analytics 5 series, I discussed keyword reports and reviewed some differences in where things are now located. Here, I’ll go over my top 3 features for goal setting. In part three we’ll get extremely geeky and go over a few custom reports you’ll want to save for your SEO reporting needs. Bookmark this and come back to it to! Ready to roll up your sleeves? Grab a cup of Joe, and let’s go.
1) Customize Your Dashboard with SEO Widgets
One of the sexiest features about Google Analytics 5 is the ability for you to modify the dashboard you are used to seeing once you access your specific profile. You can drag and drop certain widgets to organize your metrics in a way that is meaningful to you and have the data display as a metric, pie chart, timeline, or table format. This allows you to see important metrics at a glance. I’ve used this awesome feature to create separate dashboards for e-commerce, events, and SEO.
How to Add an SEO Widget for Your SEO Dashboard
Let’s start by creating a widget for top branded vs. non-branded keywords.
- Go to the “home” tab on the orange top navigation bar. Go to the left navigation and click on “New Dashboard.”
- You will be presented with the option to create a blank canvas or a starter dashboard and provide a title for your dashboard. Title your dashboard “SEO Dashboard,” and click on “Blank Canvas.”
- You will then see the “Add a Widget” box. You can again, add a metric, a pie chart, timeline, or table. Now, we’ll add a “table.”
- The next step is to add a dimension. Dimensions are visitor characteristics and are the kinds of things you would see in the rows of a Google Analytics report. Dimensions are highlighted in green. Choose “keywords” as your dimension.
- Click on the arrow and begin typing “keyword.” Google Analytics will auto-populate with the dimension, and you can either finish typing or click on the dimension “keyword” to fill the box.
- Your metrics are numbers and are represented by the color light blue. Here we will add “Visits” and “% New Visits.”
- We will then keep the “show a table with” 10 rows (the max number of rows for any widget).
- To filter your keywords by “branded,” enter you main branded keywords by clicking on the “add a filter” hyperlink. You will see “only show” and “don’t show.” Since we want branded keywords, we will select “only show” our branded keyword of choice by selecting “containing” your branded term. You can repeat this for any other branded keywords.
- Name Your Widget “Top Branded Keywords.”
- When you are done adding your filters, name your widget.
- Now you can hit save and see your pretty new widget on your snazzy SEO Dashboard.
Analytics FYI: You can also link this report to one of your standard reports. However, linking to the report will not keep any of your filters you set in your widget; it will just send you to the unfiltered standard report for easy reference.
Once your widget has been created, you can easily go to that specific report by clicking the box at the top right of your widget to access that report. To link this widget to a report, simply start typing your report name. In this case, we will link to the “Traffic Sources / Sources / Search / Organic” report.
An Example Customized Google Analytics Widget for Your New SEO Dashboard
You don’t have to link all of your widgets to its report, by the way, but it is a nice option.
You can repeat this process for non-branded keywords by simply selecting “don’t show” your branded search terms.
SEO Tip: You may want to include a filter to exclude keywords under “not set” and “not provided.”
Analytics Quick Tip: An alternate way to create a widget for your SEO dashboard is to go to a your standard keywords report and filter the data accordingly (as I demonstrated in part one of this Google analytics 5 series) then clicking on “Add to Dashboard.” If you do it this way, your report will automatically be linked to the keyword report.
Yeah, yeah. Now I hear you saying, “Dali, if that was the easy way why didn’t you say so in the first place? “ Well you must know the manual way to get things done if Google Analytics if you want to be a true SEO/analytics geek.
SEO Dashboard FYI: You can only add keyword report widgets from the Traffic Sources -> Sources -> Search -> Organic keyword report and not the reports with Google Webmaster tools data located at Traffic Sources -> Search Engine Optimization -> Queries (or Landing Pages). Dear Google Analytics, that would be a nice additional feature for the next update!
Other Ideas to Add Spice to Your New Sexy SEO Dashboard
- Add line charts to show your organic search visit trends
- Add a metric widget telling you your average page speed
- Add a pie chart featuring your top sources / mediums
- Add any specific goals you have added into your Google Analytics profile related to SEO to tie your dashboard with outcomes and conversions
Imagine the look on your boss or clients face when you are able to show them your SEO Dashboard!
In all, you can create up to 20 dashboards, and each dashboard can contain up to 12 widgets. What’s sweeter is that you can add any of your specific custom reports to your dashboard as a widget too. Don’t you love me… um, I mean the new analytics now?
2) Set up Custom Alerts to Inform you When a Specific SEO Goal Has Been Met
Wouldn’t you like to know right when a goal has been hit?
Under your “Home” tab you will find a left navigation menu item named “Intelligence Events.” This is where Google Analytics monitors any significant variations in your website’s traffic and will automatically generate alerts when they occur.
Custom alerts were a beta feature prior to Google Analytics Version 5. However, it is now out of beta. You can set all kinds of cool analytic geek alerts.
For instance, you, upper management, or your client may be obsessed about the performance of one keyword, and may want to know exactly when you hit a goal you’ve set out to achieve.
Below are two examples of custom alerts you can create for your SEO goals.
– How to Create Custom Alerts for SEO Goals
- You can create custom alerts by clicking on the “home” navigation menu and then selecting “intelligence events.” You can view any interesting statistical variations in your Google Analytics profile by day, week, or month. Select whichever you want.
- In the middle of the screen you will see the specific date or date range and then blue links on the far right to “create a custom alert” or manage an existing custom alert. Click “create a custom alert”
– One Custom Alert Monitoring an Increase in Visits for a variation of keywords
Once created, you will find that your custom alert will also be found (and could be edited) by clicking on your settings gear icon on the far right and clicking on “assets.”
Google Analytics Geek Tip: If you have added any custom/advanced segments in your profile, those will be available for you to choose from when creating your alert.
Google Analytics Ice Cream with a Cherry on Top: You can request the alert be sent to you by email and even mobile phone when it is triggered. Yes!
And of course, you can create custom alerts to for AdWords and ecommerce conversions. Woo!
A list of your custom alerts will be found under your settings (again, click the gear icon on the far top right) and under “assets.”
3) Get Deeper Insights into your SEO Conversion Process with Multi-Channel Funnels
The Multi-Channel Funnels reports show you how your traffic sources work together harmoniously to create sales and conversions.
You will see:
- How many steps assisted in those conversions (conversion paths)
- The number of conversions from each path
- The value of the conversions
Before this feature, you only could only tell that a visitor converted from one specific source (the one right before the conversion took place).
This is pretty exciting because you can see if you have any conversion patterns that may help you focus on a type of marketing you may not have been focused on i.e. (social media).
Additionally, you can create a channel grouping to see if a specific pattern is contributing to your conversions. If so, you know your marketing strategy is right on the money! Oh my word!
Here is an example of a customized Channel Grouping that involves non-branded keywords via organic search and twitter traffic!
Like all reports, you can filter. Below I’ve filtered out all of the channel groupings that include social. (click image to expand)
Ooh la la la! This may finally help prove the value of your social media marketing efforts (especially if you report to upper management or clients who are afraid of engaging in social marketing)!
SEO Dashboards, Custom Alerts, and Channel Groupings will keep you on task; make your job easier, and help you look like an SEO web analytics genius. Stay tuned for more on custom reports in The SEO’s Guide to Google Analytics 5 part III.
What do you think about these features, and how do you plan to use these tips to expand your SEO/analytics skills?
Any other super geeky nuances you’d like to share about Google Analytics version 5? I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Google Analytics tutorial, part 2.
“Hey, I’ve seen that image before. Actually, I’ve seen it many times before.”
Images allow you to express what words can’t.
They draw the viewer in and elicit an emotional impact, providing your users with information while confirming that what your selling or promoting is real.
There are many affordable options available to purchase stock photography. This may be a blessing or a curse. Affordability often comes at the cost of originality.
It’s important to consider your ideals and the image’s ability to illustrate a concept perfectly. But consider originality as well. You wouldn’t want to fall into the trap of using cliche imagery because it’s easy and convenient.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at 8 places to find royalty-free imagery that haven’t been overused.
What is Royalty-Free Imagery?
It’s not what its name suggests! Royalty-free means that once a license fee is paid, the images may be used many times without paying additional fees, but the initial license is necessary to protect yourself and your clients. After you license these images, you can use them in nearly any application for as long as you want.
Photoxpress is an “off-the-beaten path” royalty free images site with a very easy to use subscription model. It is very affordable and boasts over 12 million images to search. Photoxpress is what we use here at The Daily Egg about 90% of the time to source images for our blog posts. Highly recommended because of the ease-of-use and high quantity of unique imagery.
- Super easy to use
- Large, unique collection
As a leading creator and distributor of still imagery, footage, music and other premium content, Getty’s goal is to inspire communicators – and give them the tools to create inspiring work of their own. Some of their most popular stock photography collections are trend-researched, art-directed and shot by professional photographers, all in-house. Prices range from $49 to several thousand dollars
Getty’s website allows for easy access of thousands of stock photos. Their advanced search feature allows for easy filtering and their catalyst feature allows you to brainstorm in the search process.
- Industry’s broadest collection of imagery
- Trend-search and art-directed
PhotoCase prides itself in selling really unique photos – no stock photo cliches here. Photocase has become one of the most frequented photo portals in Germany, having gained a reputation as a “go-to” for high-quality, unique, royalty-free photos. Download Credit Packages are 16 download credits for $25, 40 download credits for $50 or 80 download credits for $90. Subscription plans available include 6 credits daily for $99 per month or 16 credits daily for $199 per month.
Photocase allows you to easily buy, sell, and explore the unique collection of photographs offered on this royalty-free image site.
- Narrow results by keyword or concept
- Single images start at $12
- Credit packages available
- Available for commercial/non-commercial use
Bigstock is an online royalty free, international microstock photography website that sells images via a credit-based system. Bigstock allows you to download over 10 million stock photos and vector art instantly with affordable pay as you go pricing or save up to 67% with credit packs. Prices per credit vary from $1-$2.50 depending on amount purchased. Images are available in four different sizes for use in print and web.
Finding the perfect image is right at your fingertips with this website that allows you to search for a specific image, or browse their inspiration galleries according to your tastes.
- Pay as you go or credit packs
- Inspirational galleries
Veer is a site based around unique merchandise, so you can be sure their image collection is just as novel. Images can be found in up to six sizes from $1 to $20, depending on the size of the images. Veer features images in hundreds of categories and also gives users the ability to easily create a lightbox.
Veer provides affordable stock images and fonts to creative professionals in design, advertising, and publishing.
- Pay as you go or subscription plans
- Images available in six standard sizes
- Full Search customization
- Royalty free
Alamy offers an astounding 27.41 million unedited images for creative use. Their pictures come from anyone who wants to sell. This includes a diverse mix of professional photographers, enthusiastic amateurs, stock agencies, news archives, museums and national collections.
Alamy says it still receives subjects like business meetings, tropical beaches, families in autumnal leaves and water droplets because these are clichés for good reason and customers love them, and go on to mention you’ll find them beside vintage postcards and award-winning photojournalism.
- Huge selection
- Royalty free
- Pay as you go
- Try before you buy
Corbis features unique and helpful options to search images. Users can filter by date photographed, photographer, orientation, number of people in photograph and more. Also featured are premium collections from famous photographers, such as the Andy Warhol Foundation and Ansel Adams. Most images range from $10 to $600.
With a wide selection of subject categories such as lifestyle, business, travel, sport, medical and wildlife from regions around world, Corbis is sure to have a unique image that is perfect for your project. Corbis images are shot, directed, and managed by experienced professionals.
- Highly customized search options
- Premium Collections
- Royalty free
- Flexible subscription plans
Matton Images is a complete royalty-free resource. Images and illustrations are listed by category and theme. Subscriptions are available for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months from $360-$1,189.
Image are available in all sizes and resolutions to suit your unique project needs. Unique features to the site include a visual search which allows you to identify visual qualities of images you’d like to see more of through a simple keyword search.
- Flexible subscription plans
- Royalty free
- Listed by category/theme
It’s definitely possible to find royalty free imagery that hasn’t been overused.
The trick is to find the right image that speaks to the core values and message of a brand. Identifying these unique characteristics before searching allows you to have a goal in mind in your pursuit if the right image.
Have you found other stock photos sites that aren’t riddled with cliche imagery? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author: Stephanie Hamilton is freelance Graphic Designer helping small businesses grow. Holding a BFA in Graphic Design, she has several years experience designing the latest in print and building better user interfaces and websites. You can visit her website and follow her on twitter.
Here are a few sites to find that perfect visual for your next project.