How to improve image sales? One of the ways is to make sure that keywords and descriptions are well written. When your image is uploaded for sale on a stock photo site, it is important to add good and relevant keywords, since it’s the only reliable method to help potential buyers find it. Add as many keywords and phrases as you can think of but avoid keyword spamming – it won’t help your image sell better but will frustrate the potential buyers. Try to add between 20 and 50 keywords to your images (some sites won’t allow adding more than this). Always include conceptual keywords and keywords describing feelings and emotions if they are relevant. Describe all the main details of your photo but avoid mentioning smaller insignificant details like “eyes” or “eyelashes” for a group shot of several people, or “wings” and “beak” for an image of a flock of birds flying across the sky.
All the modern sites support IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council). IPTC system embeds itself directly into the image and stores all sorts of information such as the photographer’s name, copyright, description and keywords. So you don’t need to type your keywords every time you upload your image to a site – just do it once. To enter IPTC data into the image, you can for example open it in Photoshop, go to Image Details, fill in Title, Description, and Keywords fields, and save the image. Now all this information is attached to the image, and will be automatically read by the site’s uploading system.
Here is a very convenient keywording tool that will help you find the most relevant keywords for your images.
Important tip! Always add IPTC data to TIFF photos, before saving them as JPEGs! The quality of a JPEG image deteriorates every time you re-save it. So if you want to correct your keywords, title or description, or add some new information, always do it with TIFF images, and after that save it as JPEG again, replacing the previous version.
Make your descriptions precise and specific. If your photo features a plant, a flower, an animal, some particular type of food, or anything else that has a specific name, find out what this name is and add it to description and to the list of keywords. Many sites will only accept photos of flowers if they have a correct scientific name. It can be useful for buyers as well, so if you are not sure about the name, make a research to find it. Google search and Wikipedia are great tools for that.
Most stock photo sites allow you to choose categories for uploaded images. Choosing relevant categories is important, as buyers often look through image categories instead of searching by keyword.