Using your own unique photos is a great way to make your content stand out.
Granted, there may be niches where you cannot use your own photography for all your photos, all the time.
Still, with a bit of creativity you can create your own portfolio of photos to use with just a bit of extra effort.
And when you are first starting out, unique photography can play an important role in the success of your website.
Here are 4 reasons why you should make the extra effort and use your own unique photos starting today.
1. Less people optimize photos
You can rest assured that your competitors spend a lot of time optimizing their posts and articles for the search engines.
And you probably already know that it is very difficult to break in when you are first starting out.
So what can you do?
Do not only work on optimizing your posts and articles. You need to also work on optimizing your own photos.
Why your own unique photos and not stock photos? Because there will be other people using stock photos and that means automatic competition.
But no one else is optimizing your photos.
Where everyone optimizes articles there is a lot less competition for images.
There is of course also less traffic but every little bit counts. Especially when you are first starting out.
Go for the less competitive low hanging fruit. Start to also optimize your own photos to rank in the search engines.
Conclusion: Use your own photos and optimize to attract visitors and exposure.
2. Prove E-A-T right out of the gate
Do you walk the walk? E-A-T strands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. And all search engines – and Google in particular – have been very clear about the importance of being an expert in your chosen niche.
Now, the word expert is very easy to define in some niches. But even though it is still important it is more difficult to define in other areas or niches.
If you for example are writing about medical or health issues you should be certified and have a relevant degree. After all, you are dealing with people’s health.
If you are writing about investments or personal finance you should have a degree in finance, money management or something similar. You are writing about areas that impact people’s finances and potentially their livelihood.
But what if you for example write about travel, gardening or crafts? In such areas you may have a degree but you can also be an expert through experience. An example? My mother is definitely an expert in knitting and she needs no degree or certificate to make that obvious to anyone.
And in niches like travel, gardening and crafts (and many more) using your own photography will showcase your actual experience in your niche.
So get that camera or mobile phone out and start documenting what you do.
Your own unique photos will help establish E-A-T as well as give you visitors a unique user experience.
Conclusion: Use your own photos to show and establish Expertise, Authority and Trust in your niche.
3. User experience and readability
Your visitors like short sentences and paragraphs.
Nobody wants to face a wall of text when they arrive at your website. We want short chipmunks of texts and many places to rest our eyes when we scan the text.
You see most visitors will scan your text looking for specific information. Or just scan to decide which parts they will read if any.
And here unique photos will create interest. Where stock photography often feels cold and generic, your own photography can introduce something new and unseen.
And when we are competing for visitors to stay on our website we need to use all available advantages.
Conclusion: Use unique photos to create unique content for improved readability and user experience.
4. Help with links to build authority and traffic
Some niches are more photo centric than others.
But generally speaking most niches use photos to illustrate, explain or establish facts.
And when you make the decision to use your own photos you will also start seeing photo opportunities everywhere.
And this is a good thing. This will help build a or why not several different portfolios of photos. The days when we had to be careful, plan and manage our 24 or 36 shots per roll are long gone.
Today we are all trigger happy and take several photos of the same motive, just in case.
And if you have original photos you do not use you should consider putting them to use.
There are several ways for you to offer your photos for public use provided credit is given.
You can for example create a Flickr account and upload photos for others to use with credit given back to your website.
As long as you stay on topic with the images you upload to your Flickr account you should receive links with credit from other websites in related niches.
This will expose your website to new visitors and also help establish you as an authority in your niche.
Conclusion: Offer unique photos for public use to attract visitors and links from other related websites.
Bonus tip: Use a photo gallery to showcase your photos
So there you are with many copies of the same motive.
You use some photos on your website. You upload a couple more to your Flickr account.
What to do with the rest of the photos?
Easy. Install a photo gallery plugin and use your photos to create relevant gallery pages with photos for your website.
Now, I am not saying that this is all you need to do. I am however saying that you should do this as well.
Do you have 20 photos of your cruise ship leaving from the port of New York? Create a photo gallery page using the photos. Include a short introductory paragraph and a brief caption for each photo and then let the photos speak for themselves.
Regardless of your niche, consider using a photo gallery to showcase your photos.
If nothing else, unique photography should help establish your E-A-T.
In my next article I will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how I used the FooGallery plugin to create gallery pages for one of my websites.
If you have the photos you could have fast loading, great looking, responsive and lazy loading gallery pages up and running in less than an hour.