Though search engines can only see and index text at the moment, they’re not your real visitors.
Any website should be built for humans. And there’s nothing that gives people more information than a picture. Your website can have the best possible description of your service or product but words are always down to interpretation. A picture on the other hand can take the place of a million words.
But be careful. Not just any old image will do. Be very careful to add the best pictures you can get hold of and make sure they are in character with your brand. For example I’d advise charities to steer clear of highly polished obviously professional pictures, because it portrays the wrong emotion.
From my time as a designer and a paper based marketer I know that the one thing people love to see is other people. A human face especially on a website is a really good idea. And an even better is real people, yes that means you and your staff.
When that’s not possible get hold of the best images you can, but remember the last point.
Here are a few great places for images which are either free or only $1.
The best one - iStock
Good and free - Morguefile
Good and free as well, good for backgrounds and textures- Image After