How to Dramatically Increase Your Image Sales

Posted Thursday, 1 March 2007 by Sverre Sjøthun in Photography, Technology
One of the very easiest ways to increase your stock photo sales is to tag your photos with the right keywords and give them the right title – here are a few remarkably effective ways to drive sales!
At Crestock we pride ourselves to deliver the highest quality images to our customers, but it’s you, the photographers that represent the very core.

You may have the most amazing pictures ever, but they will not get the attention they deserve unless you fully understand the importance of smart keyword-tagging and captivating titles.

Many think “the more keywords, the better” - you get your image displayed in many more image searches, so you reason that the more people see your image, the more will buy it.

This is as wrong as you can possibly get;
It is all about relevance.

How Relevance Drives Sales

Imagine you’re a designer looking for an image for your Easter illustration - you’d be looking for an  Easter bunny, some Easter eggs or perhaps a  really cute and cuddly chicken.

Even if you saw a photo of an Italian church  in the search results, would you buy it? Of course you wouldn’t – it just simply doesn’t match with the intention of your search.

As a photographer, I’d prefer 10 views and 10 sales rather than 2000 views and Zero sales - traffic is completely useless if it doesn’t convert into a paying customer.

So how do you determine what’s relevant and what isn’t? Well, simply put, imagine you’re a designer and keyword your images from the buyers’ perspective. Yes, I know, that’s pretty ambiguous, so I’ll be more specific.

As a designer, I basically look for either of these:
  • A physical item that illustrates my product or service.
  • Something to reflect the theme, style or feel of my product or service.
Number one should in most cases be pretty easy - an egg is an egg and a bunny is a bunny. Focus on what makes your image unique though; it is rather pointless to keyword all your people-photos with “eyes, nose, hands” et cetera - unless these are the main focus of your image, they are hardly unique and significant features.

Number two is harder, but with some creative thinking, you will master this as well:
Try to describe the feel, the theme, mood or ambience of your photo with five to ten keywords – remember – the more relevant keywords, the more relevant views.  The higher relevance of your views, the higher conversion rate you get.

In other words; you sell more because you give your customers what they want instead of spamming them will all sorts of irrelevant garbage (yes, those are harsh words, but it is spamming and garbage in the eyes of the image buyer).

Killer Titles that Sell Like Crazy

It is all about the title – I simply cannot stress the importance of this single item.  This is not just for internal searches; one of the key components in our marketing efforts is to give your images exposure via search engines.

When you make a search in, say Google, it’s the titles of the pages that are being listed in the search engine results.
  • To be able to rank well, your title needs to contain a couple of extremely descriptive and relevant keywords.

  • To be able to catch the attention of the searcher, your titles need to be captivating and magnetic.
Again, imagine you’re a designer - which title sounds more interesting and relevant to you?

A pretty one” vs. “Cute and Cuddly Chicken on Isolated Background”

Or if you’re a photographer:
“How to keyword images” vs. “How to Dramatically Increase Your Image Sales”?

By telling you that you’ll make money if you read this, I got your immediate attention.

Use the same approach with your titles as with the keywording:
  • Describe the physical item.
  • Describe the theme or mood.
Do not fall for the temptation to pack your titles full of keywords; instead, focus on being as descriptive and as interesting as possible: five to ten words for your whole title is what you should be aiming for.

Describe your images

In addition, it is extremely important to write a good image description – ideally 2-4 paragraphs. Sometimes this can be hard, so try to write at least one good paragraph of text. As with the keywords and title, try to describe the item and theme of the image.

If the image is taken at a particular geographical location, it would be a great idea to include details on this in the description as well as in the title and keywords. Do a bit of research if necessary; don't assume that potential buyers know everything about the location or object in your photo, even if you do.

Start practicing this today and I guarantee you your sales will increase.
Good luck to all of you!

Related posts:

» Top 10 Pro Stock-Photography Tips
» Top Ten Bestselling Crestock Contributors
» How to Successfully Launch a Freelance Career

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By nicholaspr on Saturday, 3 March 2007 11:13 AM
Sales won't dramatically increase if you improve your keywords a little if the site still doesn't perform as it should for its photographers. It's a drop in the ocean, but it does make it look like effort is being made.
By poojitha on Saturday, 3 March 2007 6:33 PM
This was really helpful
By Sverre Sjøthun on Sunday, 4 March 2007 10:25 AM
Nicholas - in this case we need to see things from the buyers perspective - the buyers doesn't care how a site works for the photographers, all they care about is to find the perfect image.

Search relevance is the one thing that really makes a difference, so yes, tagging your images with the very most relevant keywords will definitely increase your sales.

As for the photographers, we are constantly working on improving features, and I think you should see some pretty interesting changes and improvements in the next few months.

How to... HELP
By Walkiria on Sunday, 4 March 2007 5:59 PM
Then you should allow the photographers to modify the keywords, titles, etc. afte rthey have defined them the for the first time. When one has many photos to upload it would take a longer time to define teh keywords and even define the title. Uploading becoems a race to finish the upload, that is all that what one wants to do.

Please add this feature.
By Sverre Sjøthu on Sunday, 4 March 2007 7:31 PM
Walkiria: that is indeed a very good point - I'll see if we can get this implemented,

Thanks a lot for your suggestion,


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