A product photo speaks a thousand words to your customers. People can’t touch, feel, smell, or taste your product online. Photos are pretty much the only thing they depend on for taking the buying decision. For local businesses, high quality photos are even more crucial for driving traffic from local searches. That’s why you need to make sure that the photos on your product pages say the right things about your business and products.

1. Professional Vs Amateur Photography

With DSLR cameras becoming cheap, many small business owners may be tempted to try their hand at product photography. Unless you’re really good with the camera, don’t do it. Either hire a professional photographer or learn how to take great product photos. Get the basic equipment such as light boxes, light tents, reflectors, a tripod, and a light sensor. Decide on the concept, background, props and angles. Great product photos usually have a white background. And did I mention you have to be great with the camera? Otherwise, outsource.

2. Consistent Colors and Textures

The photos must depict the true color and texture of the product. If you’re photographing from many different angles, the photos have to be consistent. For example, a burgundy shirt should not become purple when you snap a close up of the cuff. This example may be extreme, but you’ll see that some inconsistency is still there even when you’re using the best lighting equipment and camera. This is where you’ll need Photoshop or another editing software. With some Photoshop tutorials and a little practice, you’ll be able to adjust the color tones and textures to perfection.

3. Scaling for Size

Don’t expect your visitors to scroll down to product specifications and make sense of the product size that you’ve listed in inches or centimeters. While standard sizes can work for clothing items, your customers still want to see how the clothes will look and fit when worn. You should hire a model or buy a dummy to feature the clothing items. For other products, like a smartphone or other gadgets, home décor items, etc, you should provide a reference for size by photographing them with a human or object of known dimensions. This saves your customers the time and stress of having to guess the size and makes them take quicker decisions.

4. Attention to Details

Your product photos should highlight all the important features of the product that your customers might be interested in viewing. After you’ve snapped some great photos of the entire product, it’s time to zoom in on the finer details and features. Focus on things such as the zipper, pockets and bottoms of a pair of jeans; the steam rising from a simmering, juicy steak; or a close up of the dial of a DSLR camera, etc. Conversion optimization involves minimizing the confusion in your customers’ minds and answering their questions as clearly and promptly as possible. Detailed product photography does just that.

5. Humanizing the Photos

Your visitors are most likely to buy your product when they can relate to it. An isolated product against a white background, though necessary, can look impersonal and boring. Therefore, you should use additional photos that show the product in its natural environment. Photographing a juicer blender in the kitchen, a TV in the living room, and a smartphone in a person’s hand makes these product look more personal and relatable for your visitors.

6. Optimizing Photos for SEO

Finally, you must realize that search engine spiders are blind as far as photos are concerned. They still need words to find out what your photos are about and rank them during searches. Photos are often easier to rank on first page than text. Including your keywords in the file name and the ALT text of the images is the least you can do for SEO. Reducing the file size of the photos will make them load faster, which is good user experience. The same is true for image captions, which make it easy for your visitors to scan the page.

Remember that product photos are one of the most important elements for converting your visitors into buyers. They should be the first thing on your mind when you’re designing your product pages. Using copied or sloppy photos will only drive away visitors and send most of your SEO and PPC budget down the drain.