I highlighted the images in red above to emphasis a point… Where is the sun? Where is the sunset? Why are the keywords sun & sunset used in some of these images?
Idea: Only use relevant keywords in your images. It is to your best advantage to use the appropriate keywords in your images. You may be wondering: “How did this get past the reviewer?” Well, the keywords were added after the review process. Submitters have the ability to add keywords after a review. This functionality is one way we enable you, our submitters, to enhance your images‘ sales potential. If non-relevant keywords are added, whether it be a mistake or true ‘keyword spamming‘ or ‘keyword density‘ – this is actually hurting your sales, not helping.
Bottom line: Put yourself into our subscribers‘ shoes. Let‘s take a walk together… A subscriber is in a rush and needs a good image quickly and searches for the keyword: flower - this is some of the imagery that comes up in the search:
Honestly, where are the flowers in the red highlighted images? There are nice landscapes and green grass in these images, but no flowers. In this example, the keyword ‘flower‘ was added after the review process. The keyword ‘forest‘ was also added at the same time as ‘flower.‘ Forest?
In the scenario described above, the subscriber would probably get so frustrated that he/she would probably stop the search and possibly go to a competitor‘s site – simply because of the irrelevant keywords found in your images! Wouldn‘t that frustrate you as a subscriber?
We perform daily audits to ensure quality searches, but surely you, our subscribers, also want to further your sales potential (we certainly want you to have the most downloads!). So, why not start with the most basic of all elements and use proper keywords in your images?
Being able to look at your images critically is absolutely paramount to becoming a successful microstock submitter. Use descriptive words and phrases (see our Part 2 article for ideas). Think through the themes in your images; don‘t just copy & paste randomly. Customizing your keywords for each and every image is how you will maximize your image download potential. Remember, you could submit the next best selling image to us here at Shutterstock, but it‘s only really a ‘winner‘ if it can be found and downloaded in a search.
Please keep this in mind: Keywording is very important for your sales, but it is also important that our subscribers get the best relevant hits during their searches. It all boils down to this one simple truth: We need to work together - for everyone‘s benefit.
Questions? If you have questions about proper keywording practices, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or seek advice from your colleagues in the Submit Forums.