Sometimes it’s obvious when your landing page really needs a good image.
If you’re selling a cool tech gadget, you’ll want to put the focus on an image of that gadget in all its pristine, hi-res glory. If you’re a painter, you’d better have photos of your art. And so on.
But what if your field doesn’t lend itself to fancy visuals? What if you’re, say, a business coach, or a plumber? Can’t you just choose an attractive background color that works with your logo and call it a day?
Studies suggest that if you do, you’re leaving leads on the table. That’s because there’s real data behind the current web-design trend toward large, luminous images. Many LeadPages members have seen conversion-rate increases in the triple digits when they move from a plain background to a photo background. It’s been working for major players, too—Justin Rondeau of WhichTestWon recently collected several split tests from brands like Google and Dell where a shift to a photo-centric layout produced significant conversion-rate gains.
Companies like that generally have big budgets to spend on custom photography, but if that’s not you, you’re not resigned to using cheesy photos of unnaturally ecstatic businesspeople or stacks of dollar bills. There are good—even excellent—royalty-free stock images out there.
It just takes some digging to find them. And that’s what we’ve done in order to create this new image pack. We’ve curated a selection of 25 royalty-free photos in two flexible, in-demand categories: people and places. Each photo comes in four sizes, starting at 400 pixels wide and stretching up to at least 1400 pixels wide (and often larger, depending on the original image). Click below to download the entire pack:
Note: This is a large file and may take some time to transfer.
Need a little inspiration on how to use these? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
How to Use Images of People
Check out major companies in software or services, and you’re likely to see lots of beautifully photographed people looking cheerful or contemplative—the look of good work going smoothly.
In addition to setting an optimistic, helpful tone for your brand with images like this, you can accomplish several other things with photos of people.
Direct visitors’ attention: Imagine you’re walking down the street and, at the corner, you encounter someone staring intently at the sky. Think you’ll be able to resist turning your own gaze in the same direction to see what bird, plane, or Superman is up there?
Eye-tracking studies have repeatedly confirmed this effect: to get real eyes on your message, point the way with eyes in a photograph. This can even get your message seen in contexts where people might otherwise tune you out. A recent study of responses to frequently-ignored banner ads found that “faces with averted gaze increased attention to the banner overall, as well as to the advertising text and product. Memorability of the brand and advertising message was also enhanced.”
The effect isn’t the same for straight-on shots: “Conversely, in the condition involving faces with mutual gaze, the focus of attention was localized more on the face region rather than on the text or product, weakening any memory benefits for the brand and advertising message.”
Target different demographics: This is pretty intuitive, though there are also plenty of studies backing it up, such as this recent study of Millennial moms. People like to see people like themselves, so if your product targets parents, add a picture of a family or children to your page. Demographic-specific imagery is especially useful if you’re marketing the same product to different niches with different ads—just swap in a new image for each page you create.
Stir emotion: Sometimes it’s effective to meet people exactly where they’re at emotionally—which may be a state of uncertainty or questioning. A message that encourages people to look within themselves and make a change might resonate with images of people gazing thoughtfully into the distance, for instance.
How to Use Images of Places
The first thing you see when you visit the site of a Fortune 500 company is often a gorgeous natural vista:
Or a vibrant cityscape:
Now, J.P. Morgan Chase is not a kindly old canoe-shop owner, and Cisco does not specialize in scenic city tours. These decidedly indoor companies use outdoor scenes to communicate the vastness of what they have to offer or the aspirational character of their brand.
Direct visitors’ attention: Where photos of people can guide the eye with the tilt of a head, landscape photos can do the same thing with the curve of a road or the slash of a jet trail through the clouds. Place your content fields in relation to these elements.
Induce good vibes and clear thinking with nature scenes: The natural world has a demonstrable restorative effect—and, intriguingly, some studies indicate that simply looking at images of nature can calm the mind and increase happiness. If your products or services are necessarily complex, reduce frustration and help visitors make the right decision by adding a dose of natural beauty to your page.
Inspire action and excitement with city scenes: Conversely, looking at images of city streets has been shown to make people quicker to act impulsively and less likely to stop and smell the virtual roses. If you’re trying to prompt a quick decision, evoking the hustle and bustle of urban life may do the trick.
Though your visitors probably won’t come away from a city-themed page feeling relaxed, they may still feel happy. One study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that people rated natural scenes and nighttime cityscapes as equally appealing, and the latter as most exciting.
Fill space attractively: Often, you don’t want people to pay much attention to your landing page image—it’s a buffer between other content areas or a way to add an upscale feel to your site. Nature scenes can work beautifully for this purpose, especially middle-distance or close-up shots with lots of fine texture but few strong angles.
You can find photos to fit each of these goals in our “people and places” image pack. Download all 25 royalty-free photos below: