How to Keyword and Embed Your Photographs To Improve Seller Exposure

This article isn’t just for beginner photographers, this article is for anyone adding images online; especially if you are trying to sell your work or your items. I’ve chatted with about 30 different Etsy shop owners and Fine Art America artists over the past few weeks for a variety of blog topic ideas. One of the questions that I have asked of them in a survey was “Before you upload your images do you embed them with keyword, descriptions, and contact information?”. Most of the shop owners and artists said no, they didn’t realize that keywords and descriptions could be embedded into photographs….yikes! This is unfortunate, because a lot of their work is stunning and its not getting the exposure that it should. So this is for all of you shop owners and artists out there….stop what you’re doing, you are sharing blank space that could be valuable tool in your marketing effort.

What Embedded Information Does

Embedding keywords, descriptions and contact info into your photographs helps with your Globe Search; don’t solely rely on the 13 keywords that Etsy and 50 that FAA allows you to have. Don’t rely on just the description in your social media posts; its not enough in our global market. Embedding keywords and other descriptive information gives you a double whammy so to speak. Here is why, embedded information goes everywhere the photo goes.

“Keywording” is one of top 25 essential tools needed to be found online.  Google, Yahoo, Bing, and any other search engine out there have a staff of Brainiacs working round-the-clock developing ways to improve online user experience but they haven’t nailed down how to judge or read the “subject” of a photograph without the use of words just yet. So you have to direct the search engine with descriptive words that help classify your photograph or the product that is represented in the photograph for them. For example I am a landscape and nature photographer, I sell my work in a variety of sizes and on a variety of material through my website: PI Photography and Fine Art. A lot of people have a hard time visualizing what my photographs / products would look like if they were framed or even hung on a wall, so I use mock-ups; product visuals like these.

Each product visual photograph has links to my sites, contact information, keywords, descriptions, and a multitude of other information for that particular item; such as canvas wall art, canvas wrap, nature photo on canvas….and so on. That way when someone searches for that type of item, my online art gallery will come up. Granted this does not happen over night, you have to continuously build up the references over time. Landscape and Nature photography is a heavily saturated market so it has taken me almost 7 years to break into the top 100 organic search results for Fine Art Nature Photography  and other bulky keywords like Landscape photography. However, your industry may be different.

The point is, there will be a time that you feel like your efforts are pointless and you’re not getting anywhere, do not cave into these thoughts. You will get there, I promise. Check the example below….this is a screen shot that I took today of the Google Search results for Fine Art Nature Photography. That is me sitting at #33 out of 5,660,000 organic search results; almost  7 years of plucking away at my keyboard every single day. Hopefully, within the year I will be in the top 10 and sitting on page 1. Persistence is key!

Google Search Screen Shot Fine Art Nature Photography

How to Embed Your Product Information Into The Photograph

You’ll only have to embed the contact info, keyword, and descriptions into the photograph. Every time you share the photo on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, your shops, blog posts…wherever… those embedded keywords and descriptions go with it.  Ever time someone shares your posts or images… guess what?… those embedded keywords go with it.  Do you see what I’m getting at. Eventually, your “Blue Gem Earrings” will start ranking higher in globe search results because of all the references the search engine find with those “words” and your contact info. Much better than sharing blank space isn’t it?😉

If your not sure exactly what to use as keywords, check out this article on selecting keywords, When I originally wrote the article it was intended for beginner photographers but regardless of what you sell, the process is the same. If you use your cell phone for your product photographs you will need to download them to a computer to embed the information, I haven’t found an app for  the phones that enable you to edit photo info yet. There are free and paid software that allows you to edit File info, if you do not have software I recommend getting it; Photoshop Elements is a easy and inexpensive software program for beginners. Depending on which software you work with the name for the select to edit file information may be different. But look for “File Info”, “Image Properties”, “Embed”… or something of that nature. If you still can’t find it Google your Software name + Edit image information; something should come up for you. I use two different software programs, Photoshop CS6, and Lightroom 5 but all photo editing software should have the option.

In Photoshop following steps:

  1. Open your image
  2. Go To: File > File Info  – A pop-up window will appear (see example below)
  3. Fill out as much information as you can then hit okay to close window
  4. Save your File

Now you have an embedded photograph for the search engines to find and use. Every time you share the photograph you will be building up references for your item and your contact information.

Please note…spell check is not available in Photoshop, I’m not sure about other editing software.

Photo Shop Example

Photo Shop Example 2

Seller Platforms

Another cool feature about the embedded information and seller platforms is auto populate. A lot of the seller platforms now have it set up to extract the embedded information and populates selections of information for you.  So you will ultimately spend less time setting up a product for the first time.

Lastly, if you already have your items listed on the selling platforms or on your website do not delete the products and start over. Most of the platforms have a “image swap out” option for you. If you delete an item and re-upload it, the platforms will make a new link because they think it’s a new item….DO NOT delete; especially if you’ve been sharing links to that existing product already.

We hope you found this article helpful if you would like more seller help we hope you will check out our newly created resources at: Online Seller Help and more articles will be available soon at: Artist Resources

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About the Author and Photographer:

Me

Melissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. Her goal is to one day be ranked among the most famous nature photographers in the world. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.

Join our VIP List for exclusive offers, notification for upcoming events and more. To read Melissa’s full story on how she became a nature and landscape photographer please visit: In the Beginning.

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14 thoughts on “How to Keyword and Embed Your Photographs To Improve Seller Exposure

  1. PIPA Fine Art Post author

    In Lightroom you can edit in the Library Mode, some of the Metadata but for full access to the embedding do the following:

    Click on the image you want to edit info on
    At the top on the main tool bar Go to Metadata> Edit Metadata Preset
    A window pops up with the full list of editing options.

  2. PIPA Fine Art Post author

    The image format does not matter you can embed information in all of them. As for Etsy I’m not sure what you are inquiring about image swap out or the auto populate?

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  4. Kathie Watts

    Hi again i’ve had a few days to check and see that I can make PNG’s and my JPEG’s what I’m wondering is if it Etsy and eBay if the embedded image information stays with the images I’m not sure what auto populate is this does this feature exist on Etsy? I am using Photoshop so no issues there and I didn’t delete my listings I just changed the images in the listings

  5. PIPA Fine Art Post author

    Hello again Kathie, Etsy does not have the auto populated feature when you create a listing and I’ve never used Ebay to sell my photographs before, sorry.

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