You’ve spent time and effort to make great content for Shutterstock. Now how do you make sure that your work gets discovered (and downloaded)?
We’d like to share one simple tip for applying search engine optimization (SEO) to your Shutterstock image descriptions: Above all, write a good description.
Creating accurate, precise and easily understood descriptions for your images and footage is absolutely essential to getting them seen and bought. Why? Because good descriptions help customers find your images and footage on search engines like Google, which can be the first place potential customers look when they’re ready to buy an image or clip.
Here’s a step-by-step example of how accurate and relevant descriptions can increase the chances that a customer will find your content through a search engine.
1. Upload and write a description and keywords.
When you upload your image or video clip to Shutterstock, we ask you to provide a description and keywords in the Content Editor.
Let’s look at this image as an example. It’s a 3D illustration of a human backbone by Shutterstock contributor CLIPAREA Custom media.
The contributor entered an accurate and relevant description of the image – “Male Body Backbone Scan.”
So far, so good!
2. A Shutterstock reviewer approves your image.
If all goes well, after you submit your image it will be approved and published to the Shutterstock website.
3. Customers find the image.
Plenty of customers start their image searches right on Shutterstock.com and can find your image there. But many others use Google or other search engines to find images. We do our part to make our site as optimized as possible for search engines to index it properly.
Notice that on our site, we generate a URL and page title for each image based on the description the contributor provides. Search engines consider these elements really important.
You can do your part by making sure your descriptions help customers accurately find your image in a search engine like Google.
Let’s go back to our backbone image as an example. A customer looking for an image like this might do a Google search for “male backbone stock image.”
When the customer does that search, this image comes up on the first page of results. Here’s how the description looks on the Google search results page.
5. The happy customer downloads your image.
The customer then follows the link to the information page on Shutterstock, where he or she can download it.
That positive outcome — a customer finds your image and it’s a perfect match that results in a sale — is a result of a clear, accurate image description.
The lesson: Remember to be detailed with your descriptions. All of the words in the description should be accurate and relevant to the image.
Also keep in mind that being specific sometimes helps. An image described as a “Dog” stands little chance of ranking near the top of anyone’s Google search, since there are so many pictures of dogs. But one titled “German Shepherd Police Dog in a K9 Unit” will be more likely to show up when a customer is looking for something that specific.
It’s easy to think that Descriptions are simply there to help explain what’s in an image. As we now know, these descriptions are also a valuable tool for getting your images and footage discovered on the wider Internet, and are crucial to success as a Shutterstock contributor.
Now that you know the importance of Descriptions, please take the time to create the best ones you can so that customers will be able to find your beautiful images.