When our GraphicStock Marketplace launches, there will be over 7 million stock photos, vectors and illustrations for members to choose from. Yes, that’s right—7 million. And while that’s awesome, stock photographers might be wondering, “How can I make sure customers find my work?” Luckily, that’s where tagging comes in.
One of the key ways stock photographers can ensure that their images are discovered is making sure each file is properly tagged. To help, we’ve dug deep to identify the best practices our largest contributors are using to tag their content. Take a look to learn how to keyword like a champ!
1. Use objective and descriptive keywords
Images with the most relevant keywords that match a search will generally appear highest in the customer’s search results. This means it’s best to use a mix of both objective and descriptive keywords. Objective keywords can call out the location, landmark name, and obvious visuals of the image, while a complimentary set of descriptive keywords will help convey the emotion or feeling of the image. For example, in the stock photo below, the objective keywords used are Landscape, Savanna, Africa, Sunrise. The descriptive keywords used are Beautiful, Wild, Colorful, Dramatic.
2. Add more tags
You generally want to adhere to the guideline of using no less than 15 keywords on an image to help boost chances of discovery. However, a look at our top-selling files shows that they are actually utilizing between 30 and 50 tags. A good rule-of-thumb would be to not be afraid of adding more tags to your image. It’s often better to over-tag relevant characteristics than miss out on a great keyword that could get your photo more exposure.
This image featured may look simple but it utilizes 31 keyword tags.
3. Point out people
Since lifestyle stock photos are an incredibly popular genre, we recommend using objective keywords that relate to the people in your images. Whether they’re concrete or abstract—they work. For example, the keywords Woman, Female, Young, Millennials used in the photo below all help it to be more discoverable when a customer uses a narrow set of search terms.
Bonus tip: Is your image model-released? Consider tagging model released as well.
4. Use shot types
When designers look for stock media, they often need to find a particular shot angle or composition to fit their project. You can help your images get discovered in these specific searches by using keywords that classify the shot types. Establishing, Wide, Aerial, Flat all call out a shot type.
To maximize the lift your content can get from smart metadata, try to incorporate as many of the best practices above as possible. Most importantly use your best judgement: Make sure your titles and keywords are accurate, descriptive and readable, but don’t unnecessarily repeat words in your titles, use keywords that don’t accurately match your content, or use “keyword stuffing.” Comprehensive and accurate metadata is the best way to build a professional portfolio of content.
Need some ideas? Explore the trending content on GraphicStock for inspiration.
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