Content Marketing

The Power of High-Quality Images in Affiliate Marketing

By Jamie I.F. Updated June 6, 2023

In the world of affiliate marketing, increasing your conversion rate can make all the difference for your profits. Often ignored are the possibilities that come with utilizing high quality images. 

Unique, high-quality images are not just about making your website prettier —they’re your ticket to better engaging your audience and boosting conversion rates. Lets dive into why this is, and how to create better images for higher conversions. 

The Importance of High-Quality and Unique Images

You’ve got seconds to grab your audience’s attention. Otherwise they will bounce off your page and move on to someone else’s. For blogs and affiliate style content, bounce rate can be as high as 90%

Do you think words alone will keep people on a page and engrossed with your content? Doubtful. That’s where high-quality images come in, acting as your brand’s ice-breaker, conversation-starter, and storyteller, all in one.

What’s the big deal about images? Think of them as super-charged magnets: 

  • they pull in people, stir up emotions, and spark curiosity like nothing else can
  • they speak every language on Earth and get your message across in a heartbeat
  • they make your audience want to stick around, explore, and engage more.

But today, high quality images aren’t enough. Google (and your readers) put a priority on unique images. And if you’re an affiliate marketer, unique images are even more important. 

Google and their bevy of Review Updates want to see proof that you have Experience (capitalization on purpose) with the product. 

Readers love seeing that you have engaged with the product, and put a lot more trust in your content when they see that (translation = $$$).

So, while you might be able to find some good looking stock images that fit your website, chances are hundreds (or thousands) or other websites are already using it. 

  • Boosts SEO: Unique images that are also high quality rank in search engines. They show your site offers fresh, original content and also get clicked on from search.
  • Builds Branding: Custom photos reflect your brand’s personality. They make your website memorable.
  • Increases Trust: Using your own images showcases authenticity. It tells users you’re not just copying others, building trust.

High quality, unique images are a bit like a secret SEO superhero, making your website more visible, engaging, and credible. Ok, perhaps using the term “superhero” is a bit extreme, but you get the point. 

In a world where people have short attention spans, images are a very powerful way to engage them with your content.

Images in Affiliate Marketing

Ok, if we’ve established that high quality, unique images help entice people and keep them on the page, why do we specifically need them for affiliate marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Imagery is even more important for affiliate marketers

  • Stand Out: Unique images make your affiliate site pop. They separate you from competitors using the same stock photos.
  • Build Trust: Original photos show authenticity. They assure visitors you’ve personally tried the products you’re endorsing.
  • Boost Conversions: Unique, high-quality images engage users. They lead to more clicks on your affiliate links.
  • Improve SEO: Search engines love original content. Unique images can help your site rank higher.

In essence, for affiliate marketers, unique images are a powerhouse. They help you stand out, build trust, boost conversions, and improve SEO.

Speaking of SEO, it’s probably time to address the elephant in the room… do unique images actually help your SEO?

Directly – no, probably not. It’s nowhere near the ranking factor that quality content and links play. 

Indirectly – most definitely.

Unique images that help and add value to the article help elevate your brand and engage your audience. Both of these factors increase time on page and reduce bounce rate, which send positive signals to Google. 

Plus, you can rank the images and send traffic to your site long term. Here’s a website of mine that receives almost 300 clicks from Google Search per day to images!

High-quality images leading to high GSC clicks organically

The most important impact of unique images for affiliate marketing, though, is found in the conversion rate. Let’s dive into that detail: 

Impact of High-Quality Images on Conversion Rates

Okay, let’s talk about the magic of high-quality images in boosting conversion rates. And nope, it’s not just fluff, it’s backed by real-life examples.

  • The Nielsen Norman Group found that “… websites can elicit positive visceral responses from people by displaying aesthetically pleasing images.” Source
  • According to an MDG study, “67% of online shoppers rated high-quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision, which was slightly more than “product specific information,” “long descriptions,” and “reviews and ratings”.” Source
  • According to Market Tailor, “by using original images, businesses can achieve a more authentic, unique, and memorable online presence, and improve their chances of attracting and retaining visitors, building trust, and ultimately increasing conversions.” Source

You get the point. Studies aside, the results are clear: impactful, original images convert better. And isn’t that the whole point of our affiliate content?

But why does this happen? Well, it’s all in our heads. Humans are visual creatures. We’re hardwired to appreciate beautiful, clear images. They grab our attention, evoke emotions, and help us make snap judgments. 

In a world where online shopping denies us the chance to touch or try products, good images help fill the void. They give us a ‘virtual feel’, building trust and pushing us closer to that ‘Buy Now’ button.

And hey, let’s not forget our friends browsing on their phones (more than 50% of visitors for most websites). For mobile users, images aren’t just important, they’re essential. Here’s why:

  • Screen Size: With smaller screens, images often speak louder than words. A high-quality image can deliver the message quickly and effectively.
  • Load Time: High-res images that are also optimized can load faster. No more losing impatient visitors to slow-loading visuals.
  • User Experience: Well-optimized images scale perfectly on all devices, making shopping a breeze for your mobile users.

So, if you want to see your conversion rates improve, invest in high-quality images. Your audience, and your sales, will thank you.

Utilizing High-Quality Images Effectively

If unique imagery has an impact, then what makes a good image? How do you select a good stock image? Or, how do you take a good image on your own?

Choosing the Right Images

When choosing images for your campaign, remember these golden rules:

  • Relevance is key: Your images should align with your product, your brand, and your audience. Selling hiking gear? A photo of a serene mountain trail could do wonders!
  • Quality over everything: Blurry, poorly lit images are a big no-no. They can hurt your credibility. Go for high-resolution images that look professional.
  • Show, don’t tell: Use images to highlight product features or showcase it in action. It’s a powerful way to show your audience what they’re missing out on.

Now, onto the fun part—taking your own photos. Here are some tips to get you started:

How to Take Better Images

Surely busting out your phone or camera and arbitrarily snapping a picture isn’t enough?

If you said that wasn’t enough, you’re right. Let’s talk about how to take better images for your affiliate website:

  • Lighting: Avoid light from the front, and instead backlight your subject. Backlight provides a gorgeous “rim” of light around your main subject, when you properly expose the image.  Or, use dramatic side lighting to create visual intrigue.
  • Bokeh: Defined as “aesthetic quality of the blur produced in out-of-focus parts of an image” Source. In essence, you need that background to be blurry! It focuses the viewer on your main subject and causes it to stand out. 

There are a lot more tips to create better imagery, but honestly – those two are the most important by a long shot. 

If you feel you have those two mastered, here are a few additional tips to upgrade your affiliate website photography:

  • Know your angles: Experiment with different angles to find the most flattering view of your product. Variety is the spice of life!
  • Invest in a tripod: For crisp, clear photos, stability is key. A tripod can be a game-changer.
  • Post-processing magic: Use editing software to enhance your images. Adjust brightness, contrast, and sharpness. But remember—less is more.

In a nutshell, high-quality images can give your affiliate marketing campaign a serious boost. So go ahead, let your creative juices flow, and start snapping some stunning shots!

Different Types of Images for Affiliate Websites

Product Images

The bread and butter of an affiliate website, single product images are pictures that prominently feature the image you are writing about. 

Now, you can often use the manufacturer’s images. For example, with Amazon Associates, it’s fine to use the product images (provided you are loading them properly). 

But everyone else is doing that. Taking your own images of the product is far better. 

For these types of images, make sure the product stands out from its background. You want the image to elegantly showcase the product in a visually appealing manner. 

Simplicity is usually the key here. Don’t overcomplicate it. 

Lifestyle Images

A lifestyle image is showcasing the product being used as a part of everyday life. Obviously, this will vary a lot depending on the specific product. 

A pair of boots will need a variety of pictures of them being worn in different outfits. A coffee maker will need to be shown in various stages of coffee creation. 

Don’t just stop at showing the product in use. Create a “mood” to your images by showing how people “feel” when they are using the product. This helps you to sell the product better by giving your viewers more of a vision.

Comparison Images

Showing comparison images increases the trust that your readers have in you. If you can showcase the product being used and compared up against other products, then you will build more trust with your audience. 

These pictures don’t even have to be as staged or high in quality. Authenticity wins with these types of images.

These three types of images are the essentials to boosting conversion rates for your affiliate website.

Let’s chat a minute about something super important but often overlooked – the legal and ethical side of using images. It’s not as scary as it sounds, promise!

First off, copyright laws. Here’s the simple version: if someone snaps a pic, it’s theirs. They own the copyright. Using that image without permission? That’s a big no-no. You could face legal action, and nobody wants that. So, always make sure to get permission before you use someone else’s images.

This brings us to our next point, obtaining proper permissions or licenses. It’s not as hard as it sounds. If you’re eyeing an image for your campaign, reach out to the copyright owner. Ask if you can use it and how they’d like to be credited. Sometimes, you might need to pay a licensing fee, but hey, it’s better than a lawsuit!

If you’re on a tight budget AND can’t take your own pictures, try stock imagery. Welcome to the world of royalty-free image resources! Websites like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels offer a treasure trove of high-quality images you can use for free. And the best part? You don’t need to ask for permission or give credit (though it’s a nice thing to do).

Want to avoid all of this? Take your own photos!


High-quality and unique images are a crucial component of any successful affiliate marketing campaign. They have the power to improve the credibility of your website, build trust with your audience, and increase traffic and conversions.

Moreover, in the ever changing landscape of affiliate marketing in an AI world, unique imagery is one more way to engage with your audience in an authentic and personalized way. 

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