Using photos is on of the most underrated method of search engine optimization I have seen. Lots of good quality images not only help sell products to customers, they also will get you more search engine traffic.
Image search engines, particularly Google’s, send some of my sites 50% of all traffic. So imagine if you had no images on your website, you would be loosing 50% of potential visitors.
For SEO it really isn’t important how you organize images, set alt tags or place them in pages. It is important to link each image – either to a larger version or a specific page. Images get much higher weight if they are linked.
For e-commerce stores, images will set you apart from the competition.
Show the back & sides of the product so I can see the connections for electronics, and so I can see if the furniture is hollow or solid, or the pattern is continued on the back. Newegg.com is a leader in this field.
Show how large (or small) the product really is. Display a product in its actual environment or placed next to another object of known size for scale. (We used to do this in geology field classes all the time, without an object in a photograph rocks can seem impossibly large)
Display the side view to relate the product’s “heft.” Show me the top of the monitor and I can see if it’s made of thin plastic and will fit in my TV cabinet. Show me how thick the sole of the shoe is and how it will affect my height.
Does the electronic product have rubber feet? Is it a gloss or matte finish? How many buttons does it have? Is the on screen menu easy to see and use? Will the remote fit easily in my hand?
Show the item in action, either with video or through action shots, and how it will interact in my home. Create an image of the single coat paint covering an old wall in one smooth paintbrush stroke.
Pictures and product videos are important because they quickly answer customers questions and concerns through visual images. These action shots will reduce uncertainty and remove barriers to purchases.
The more pictures you show, the more your customers will show you the money.