Most of us, whether our business sells products or information and services, upload photos to enhance our message, or in the case of an e-commerce business, to sell the products. And while you might think the pictures are there for visual messaging, they are an element that can be of advantage to your website's SEO (search engine optimization).
You have the opportunity to add what are called Title Tags and Alt Tags to your images and pictures. Every time you upload an image, you have that opportunity. And you should grab it, religiously in fact.
In the case of information and services, adding alt tags and title tags to each picture you upload in an article or page helps the search engines understand what the picture is. Theoretically an image is labeled, as an example, <img src="bobsthumbnail.jpg">.
The search engine bots and spiders don't know what bobsthumbnail is all about. So, by using alt and title tags, you give the image an understandable description which helps with indexing. An example of this would be:
<img src="bobsthumbnail.jpg" alt="tractor trailer hauling produce" title="tractor trailer hauling produce">
This tells the search engines what the picture is, enabling it to be indexed when someone types in "images of tractor trailers" or "images of tractor trailers hauling produce"
This also helps out people who are visually impaired and can't see images real well. It's easier for them to magnify and see the words as opposed to trying to figure out what that fuzzy picture is all about.
In the case of someone with an e-commerce store, adding products, you add alt and title tags to every product picture for the same reasons.
But since you are running your store with the hopes of selling product and making money, this extra effort has the added bonus of getting your products indexed easier and also your product images coming up in searches. Which may or may not result in more sales, but hey, in this competitive world you pull out all the stops to get as much exposure as possible.
As we all know, Google guarantees nothing and Google runs to the beat of it's own drum. So we have to put forth extra effort, and adding alt and title tags to your images can certainly pay off in the long run. Besides which, you then know you've got one more SEO base covered.
And SEO has so many facets to it, it's nice to know you've nailed down one.