Attorneys and law firms, in general, have a unique set of advertising rules established by their state’s bar association that they must follow. Since our team here at On the Map Marketing focuses a large portion of our work on law firm web design, we are intimately familiar with the long list of rules that legal professionals in every state must follow, but attorneys also experience the same advertising-related issues that other businesses owners encounter. Finding high-quality photos for your law firm’s website is certainly a common problem that falls into this category.

On the one hand, photos serve a critical purpose from a content perspective. They, among other things, add to the effectiveness and overall message of your website’s content, help your website rank higher on search engines by diversifying the type of content your website offers, and facilitate user engagement. On the other hand, publishing a copyrighted image is one of the easiest ways a lawyer can get sued. Consequently, our team wants to show you exactly how and where to find high-quality photos for your law firm’s website.

A Laptop with a picture of a lawyer on the screen, and a separate pile of money

Purchased Photos vs. Free Photos

The question that you may be struggling with is “should I pay for photos for my website?” The answer is, it depends. You certainly don’t want to just start downloading photos off of Google, because many of them are copyrighted, but there are websites that offer free photos for commercial use as well as websites that offer photos you can purchase for commercial use. The main thing you want to analyze on every website you obtain a photo from is the licensing for every photo. Since you probably want to explore your free options first, we will start with the websites that offer free photos.

Attorney pointing at a shopping basket

Websites that Offer Free Photos

Free websites are a great source of high-quality photos, but they do have their limitations. For example, websites that offer free photos have a limited selection of photos you can choose from, and since the photos offered on these websites are free, they are often used by hundreds, if not thousands, of websites. The photos may not be considered unique or compelling content, which can limit their effectiveness from an SEO perspective. However, even with these limitations, free photos can be used to make a positive addition to the content offered on your website without your law firm having to incur the cost associated with purchasing photos. Some of the best free websites are as follows:

  • Pixabay
  • Unsplash
  • Pexels

How to Identify Free Photos are for Commercial Use  

All of these websites make it very clear that the photos they offer are free and can be used commercially by displaying licensing disclaimers that indicate this information. The disclaimer should look something like this.

Disclaimer illustration

If you are unsure about the licensing for photos offered on a particular website, search for the licensing section of the website. This section will normally indicate how and where a website’s photos can be used.

Two laptops with hands reaching out of the screen to exchange money for products

Websites that Offer Photos You can Purchase

In contrast, websites that offer photos you can purchase to use commercially have a wider selection of customized photos, but purchasing all of the photos for each web page on your website can be expensive. Some of the most common and affordable websites you can purchase photos on include:

Things to Consider with Purchased Images

When you purchase photos from a website online, you need to read the website’s licensing agreement carefully. Since many of the photos on these websites are under copyright, the licensing agreements for purchased photos may have certain limitations on how the photo is used and how many times you can publish or recreate the photo.

Do You Need Help Building Your Law Firm’s Website?

Call the law firm web design experts at On the Map Marketing today! Our team of web design experts have extensive experience building websites for attorneys and law firms nationwide, so if you are planning on building a new website or want to improve your existing website, call our office today to find out how our web design specialists can help you.

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