The 12 Commandments of Keywording success according to Cutcaster
1. You only need between five to fifteen (5-15) keywords. Twenty (20) is the highest. Better tagging means better search results, bringing in more users, which means more sales for your images at higher prices then other sites. We would rather have fewer files that have better keywords than more files with plenty of irrelevant keywords
2. Keywords need to be separated by a comma. Compound phrases need to be separated by a space and then surround by commas. You can remove any quotation marks.
3. You can add ONE SET of location tags. Avoid using locations as tags unless there is something in the photo that makes its location recognizable. Not a seagull in the blue sky.
4. Remove all the keywords that are obviously not in the images
5. Remove tags that could be tangentially related, but aren’t really illustrated well by the photo. i.e. picture of cat, adding in “mouse”
6. Remove tags that are related to the photo, but so vague that no one would ever use them to search.
7. Take a few of the choice words and make them far better by turning them into a phrase
8. Don’t “stretch” your tags into irrelevancy, in order to generate more hits for an image. This can be very frustrating for our users, who tend to search literally.
9. Figures of speech, nicknames, slang, metaphors and metonyms can create a ton of problems in a search engine. Please don’t use them. The reviewers will add them in if necessary.
10. Proper Names and Catch Phrases — Don’t Break Them Up. If you have a keyword that is either a very common set of two words, or is a proper name, enter it as is. The search engine has the ability to recognize many phrases that operate as a common term but contain more than one word, such as “hard drive,” “hot dog,” or “White House.” It also recognizes the names of many public and historical figures.
11. You do not need to type in ‘car, cars’ to cover the singular and plural versions of a noun. Type in only the one that is more accurate for your photo. If there is only one car, type in “car.” Your image will come up in a search for both car and cars, but it will be ranked higher if the plurality matches what the buyer searched for.
12. Be as literal as possible. Describe just what is in the images.
Read Dan Heller’s blog article on the reasons why keywording your images correctly is so important.