A picture is worth a thousand words, so visitors can get the information they want easier. Unfortunately, not every picture is worth (or says) the right words.
Pictures on websites can be classified into two types: decoration and content support. As the name suggests, decorative images are just for making web pages look better and do nothing for your products or content. If you pick a stock photo, it is most likely a decorative image. Numbers of studies show those decorative images are completely ignored by viewers. They only slow pages' loading speeds and hurt your server's bandwidth.
On the other hand, images that support content, like images of products, are essential for online stores. Professionally prepared pictures of your products help increase sales. On top of that, you can make images aggressively support the content of your web pages. For example, rather than just showing a front view of a big screen TV, you may add close-up pictures of all the connections the TV has. This way, people don't have to read the specifications to find out what they can hook up to the TV. As a result, people can make quicker buying decisions.
The same rule of thumb applies to images: post information people are looking for. Any image that doesn't contain information visitors are looking for shouldn't be on your website.
© April, 2011