If your stock photos are not making sales, one of the biggest reasons can be that you are not optimizing each photograph for search.
What is Stock Photo SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization
In short, it is adding descriptive keywords to your photos to help them get found by people who are searching for photographs described by those words.
For example, let’s say that someone searches for doughnut.
If you upload a photo of a doughnut, but do not include “doughnut” as a keyword, your photo is not likely to come up amongst the myriad other photos of doughnuts.
On the other hand, if you include that and other related keywords, your photo stands a much better chance of getting found.
And it goes without saying that, if no one finds your photo, no one will buy your photo.
What are Keywords?
These are words that describe your photos, both in general and in detail.
In addition to ‘keywords’, there are other terms, such as ‘keyphrases’ and ‘longtail keywords’ to understand.
Here are a few examples.
Keyword Examples: Blue, Green, Trees, Forest
Keyphrase Examples: Lost River State Park, Hardy County West Virginia
Longtail Keyword Examples: State Park Near Moorefield WV, Things to Do in West Virginia
When keywording and describing your photos for search, think not only about what you can see in the photo, but what your potential buyers might actually be looking for.
By thinking that way, you can include words that other people will use to find your photos and, therefore, increase the likelihood that your stock images will sell.
A Daunting Task
The more photos that you have available for uploading, the bigger the task of optimizing them is going to be.
And that, of course, means more time spent optimizing and less time spent shooting more photographs.
That is why I offer my Stock Photo SEO gig on Fiverr.
You can be out scouting for more photo opportunities and shooting your high-quality stock photos, while I am optimizing photos from a previous shoot in the background.
And, as you can see by my examples above, I do not restrict my optimization to hopefully getting found by random people.
I turn the tables and use each photo as a tool to search for potential buyers.
Summary Stock Photo Questions ‘n’ Answers
Question 1: What is Stock Photo SEO and why is it important for photographers?
Stock Photo SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of adding descriptive keywords to photographs to help them get found by people who are searching for photographs described by those words. This is important for photographers because, if their photos are not optimized for search, they are less likely to be found by potential buyers and, therefore, less likely to make sales. By including relevant keywords, photographers increase the likelihood that their photos will be found and purchased.
Question 2: What are some examples of keywords, keyphrases, and longtail keywords that photographers can use to optimize their photos for search?
Some examples of keywords that photographers can use to optimize their photos for search include descriptive words such as “blue,” “green,” “trees,” and “forest.” Keyphrases might include specific details about the location or subject matter of the photograph, such as “Lost River State Park,” “Hardy County,” “West Virginia.” Longtail keywords might be more specific and detailed, such as “state park near Moorefield, WV” or “things to do in West Virginia.” By including a combination of these types of keywords, photographers can increase the likelihood that their photos will be found by potential buyers.
Question 3: How can photographers balance the time spent optimizing their photos for search with the time spent shooting new photographs?
Optimizing photos for search can be a time-consuming task, especially if a photographer has a large number of photos to upload. One way to balance the time spent optimizing with the time spent shooting is to outsource the optimization process to a professional, such as through the Stock Photo SEO gig that I offer on Fiverr. Another approach might be to set aside dedicated time for optimization each week, while still prioritizing time for shooting new photographs. Ultimately, the key is to find a balance that allows for both optimization and creativity.