Why Great Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates

Think back to the last purchase you made. Odds are, you didn’t make your decision based on a written description alone. Perhaps you checked out a few product photos, or visualized in your head what your purchase might look like. Essentially, people use images to help paint the picture of what a brand has to offer. 

Think back to the last purchase you made. Odds are, you didn’t make your decision based on a written description alone. Perhaps you checked out a few product photos, or visualized in your head what your purchase might look like. Essentially, people use images to help paint the picture of what a brand has to offer. 

With that, consumers who view your website content are most likely drawn in by product photos—making them your ultimate SEO secret weapon.

Why photos are important in SEO

Including quality images, like product photos, on your website will help to catch your audience’s eye. However, there are a few more technical reasons why using product photos are an SEO must:

1. They show up in Google Image results

When you’re thinking about your brand’s SEO strategy you won’t want to forget the rankings you can have beyond the text-based SERP. Image results can be just as important for driving conversion-generating traffic. 

In fact, photos take up a major chunk of the SEO space, as a third of all Google searches are for an image and 13% of SERPs feature an "Image Pack.”

The more product photos you use, the higher your chances are of showing in image results.

An example of an Image Pack as well as organic results that now feature images.
An example of an Image Pack as well as organic results that now feature images.

2. They entice viewers to stay on the page

Your website visitors may be drawn in by visuals, but strong images like product photos entice the viewer to stay on the page. This can increase the “average session duration” SEO metric that can help you reach your goals. 

Since longer sessions result in higher engagement rates, you’re more likely to see conversions coming from an organic audience that’s enthralled in your content. Product photos are easily the best way to achieve this since they leave your viewers wanting more. 

3. They can help you rank for your target keyword

If the text-based SERP for your target keyword is highly competitive, product photos can be your fast-pass to jumping ahead in the ranks. Product photos will require alt-text and image file titles—which are two additional places where you can squeeze in your keyword to help your content rank

Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates 05 Why Great Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates
Image source

How product photos improve SEO conversion rates

Product photos not only help your SEO efforts, but also encourage your viewers to make a purchase—boosting your SEO conversion rates. In fact, a POW Photography case study found that using high-quality, professional product photos on your website can more than double your conversion rate. This data is even more valuable to those targeting niche SEO keywords as the study also stated:

“Even if your target keyword had only 1000 searches a month, a 3% CTR would get you about 10 sales a day for that keyword alone, which is enough to put you at the top of search results for most niche keywords, and improves your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) drastically.”

Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates 01 Why Great Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates
These upgraded product photos saw higher SEO conversion rates.

Likewise, another product photo study also backed the idea that visual content is preferred by consumers over text-only pages. However, this experiment additionally found that high-quality, standardized product photos led to a 10% higher purchase intent! That’s a jump you won’t want your SEO conversion rates to miss. 

4 ways to optimize product photos for SEO conversion rates

It’s no secret product photos are a must if you want to see your SEO conversion rates skyrocket. However, including great quality product photos in your SEO strategy can be easier said than done. Use these four quick product photo tips to turn conversion rate optimization into easy work:

1. Audit your website for product photo gaps

If you’re looking to fit more product photos into your SEO conversion rate strategy, you’ll first have to assess what images your site is currently using. Take note of your current product photos (if any) and other additional images you are using. Use handy gap analysis and goal setting tools like SWOT and SMART exercises to ensure any product photo updates you implement align with your brand’s overall marketing plan.

Plus, since images can impact your site’s overall health, it also wouldn’t hurt to use free online website grader tools to get a general idea of your website vitals. For example, if you find your site speed is slow or you have content gaps, you may want to adjust your product photos accordingly. 

2. Invest in product photo optimization tools

If you want to spearhead your product photography on your own, be sure you have everything you need first. You may need to upgrade to a camera specializing in product photos, or sharpen your skills through a product photography course.

Maybe you don’t have all that you need to produce stellar product photos at your fingertips. And that’s okay! There are plenty of product photo optimization tools and services worth investing in.

Use your website analysis to understand where you need the most help, and check out reviews of tools or product photographer services that best fit your brand’s specific needs. The investment will be well worth it, as higher quality product photos will bring you higher quality conversion rate results.  

3. Organize your product photos by conversion rate

As you tally up what product photos you currently use, and implement new ones, be sure you have a reliable way to measure their success. Check in on the conversion rates of specific products regularly and use that data for comparison as you adjust or replace product photos. 

If you’re unsure of what conversion rates you should be shooting for with your product photos, check out industry benchmarks online to give yourself a baseline. 

4. Refresh your product photos regularly

Like with any type of content, it’s always best to give your viewers something fresh to look at every once in a while. In order to identify your product photo “secret sauce” for the best SEO conversion rates possible, you’ll want to be trying out new product photo content frequently. You could even A/B test one type of product photo against another, and so on, to maximize your SEO conversion rate potential. 

Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates 02 Why Great Product Photos Boost SEO Conversion Rates
An example of two different approaches to product photography that could be A/B tested.

Use product photos for SEO success

Leveraging visual marketing for conversion rate optimization sounds daunting at first, but simply including more high-quality product photos on your website makes this SEO strategy a breeze. Regardless of where you are in your product photo SEO journey, there are solutions to fit your needs. So, don’t let your product photography slip through the cracks, as this can be your key to unlocking untapped ROI.


Written by Susie Marino

Susie is a content marketing specialist at Gannett, where she uses her experience as a PPC consultant to share tips, tactics, and best practices for LOCALiQ and WordStream. When she’s not working, Susie loves to get outside for some snowboarding or (once the cold weather melts away) hiking!