As a commercial photographer, it’s essential to understand the impact keywording and metadata have when Licensing your photos. The right keywords and metadata enable potential buyers to find your images quickly and effectively, which can lead to more sales.

Here are the 500px Content team’s 10 tips for optimizing your keywords and metadata for Licensing.

Use specific and accurate keywords

It is essential to use accurate keywords that describe the subject matter of your photo. This helps buyers find your photo when they search for specific themes or subjects. Avoid using generic or vague keywords that do not accurately describe the content of your photo.

Use as many relevant keywords as possible

Using multiple relevant keywords, including synonyms and related terms, will increase the likelihood of your photo being discovered by search. This allows your photo to be found by a wider range of buyers who may use different keywords to search for the same subject matter.

Include conceptual terms

This helps potential buyers find your photos based on the idea or concept behind them, rather than just the literal subject matter. Conceptual keywords describe the underlying themes or emotions in a photo, such as love, togetherness, connection, or adventure.

Include location information

It is essential to ensure your photos include location information in both the attached metadata and keywords. Buyers, when planning region-specific campaigns, are often looking for photos within these specific locations, and including your location information will help your photos appear in searches.

Get technical

Use descriptive language that accurately describes the features of your photo, such as the lighting, composition, crop, perspective, angle, and focal point.

Prioritize important keywords

The first five keywords included have the greatest weight in searches. Be sure to prioritize the most important keywords in your metadata by placing them first in the list.

Avoid irrelevant keywords

Including keywords that do not accurately describe your photo can severely hurt their searchability. Including poor or inaccurate keywords causes them to surface in the wrong contexts or searches.

Keep up to date

Terminology and language evolve with time, and it is important to avoid antiquated terms in your keywords. Staying on top of current trending keywords and buzzwords can ensure you’re attaching keywords content buyers are using in their search for content.

“Real People”

Buyers are often looking for images featuring real, genuine, and relatable models and situations, these are the kinds of images that resonate with viewers. “Real People” or “Real Person” can be great keywords to include, but it’s important to only use them accurately. Avoid attaching these terms to images that are overly posed, and use them only with photos presenting authentic slice-of-life moments.

Test your keywords

Test your keywords by searching for them in online marketplaces and adjusting them as necessary. This not only helps you optimize your keywording and metadata for maximum discoverability and sales, but can also be a great help in inspiring additional keywords you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

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