February 26, 2018

SEO Tips for Contributors

Hey everyone! We’re really excited about the work we’ve been putting into improving Stocksy’s visibility in search engines over the past few months. But SEO advantages don’t stop at that level — there are plenty of simple steps you all can take to improve your profile and image rankings, which means long-lasting benefits with minimal effort. Let’s get optimized…

Polish Your Profile

stocksy contributor profile seo tips

  • Add your business or personal name. It’s best to choose whichever has the largest following online so when someone Googles you, Stocksy will be on the first page of results.
  •  Add your website and social media profiles. These links tell Google that this Stocksy profile is linked to you which will help build its authority.
  • Write 2-3 sentences about your work. The key to making this paragraph work for you is including several terms that tie into your niche without repeating them — use synonyms as often as possible. And don’t forget to include the region(s) in which you shoot.

Example: “Multi-disciplinary artist & storyteller creating inspirational stock photography and video in Portland, Oregon. Travel, outdoor adventure and lifestyle photos + videos featuring real moments with real people. 

Here is how it will look on Google:

google search engine snippet

Up Your Gallery Game

Galleries are one of the most powerful tools we have to target specific image and video keywords. They are also great for creating internal links within your portfolio. Aim to have every image/video clip in at least 3 separate galleries. We recommend different variations of galleries based on specificity.

Example: People (broad overview, images from a large portion of your portfolio), Couples (more specific, images from many shoots), and By The Sea (most specific, images from only a few shoots).

stocksy image galleries

Give Your Individual Images/Videos Some Love

For maximum benefit, treat each image as its own entity, separate from others. Challenging, yes, but investing the extra time can be really beneficial. It builds topical relevance and keeps you away from cannibalizing your other images in search results — i.e. If all of your titles and descriptions are the same, they will all compete against one another for organic search traffic. If you try slightly different wordings across the images in your set, you can cast a wider net across a variety of potential keywords.

Image Title

Use 2-6 words that describe the image as clearly and succinctly as possible. Try to stay under 55 characters.

Example: “Woman holding coffee cup”
Avoid: “Tall woman wearing beige coat and a hat while drinking coffee.”


Image Description

You’ll need to write at least one sentence to describe your image/video clip but if you can elaborate into two or three sentences, you’ll have a much better chance of ranking. Try to describe the scene and the narrative of the image. Using synonyms is key here as well, which is why is about to become your new best friend.

Example: “A stylish young woman is standing in the forest, holding a surfboard, and smiling. She is laughing genuinely and expressing positivity. She is backlit by the sunlight coming through the forest at sunset, on her way to the beach to surf in the ocean.”

This is your chance to get a wide range of keywords, themes, and topics onto the page. In addition to ranking, writing long descriptions makes you consider the overall narrative of the image much more closely. Speaking of keywords….


Time spent on keywording may feel taxing but it’s well worth it. Keywords are really important for internal linking and internal search — the high priority kind of important. You can batch keywords over groups of similar images to save time. Lucky for you, the new keyword suggestion tool is great for saving precious minutes. If you have older images in the collection that only have a few keywords, it could be worthwhile go back and add some new relevant ones. This will help them in our internal search, with the internal linking of your portfolio, and in search engine results.


It’s important to group your images by shoot. Your images are interlinked by shoot, so having this setup will help keep site visitors in your portfolio longer. ?

The shoot name isn’t currently seen by visitors or search engines, but that could change in the future.

add images to shoots

Try Some Social Media Tricks

Sharing your portfolio link, gallery links, and individual image/video links on social media will help greatly with quicker indexation and higher rankings. Many of the terms our images target have minimal competition so a single tweet or Facebook share can sometimes boost rankings 10-40 spots. ?

twitter image seo

When sharing, be persistent. Try apps like Planoly that allow you to schedule regular posts and get a feel for what your feed will look like in advance.

For social media sites that use hashtags — tumblr, instagram, twitter, flickr, etc. — take a few moments to get your hashtag game on point. Choosing a range of broad hashtags (#food, #portrait, #tech) and more precise hashtags that are super localized or targeted at your niche (#foodgasm, #portrait_perfection, #oregonexplored) is generally the best practice.You can use the site Display Purposes to speed up the process. Input a few hashtags (they need to be somewhat popular) and it recommends more that you can copy and paste directly into your instagram or post on the other socials. Hashtags made easy.

Note: There was a recent Instagram algorithm update that changed many popular tactics. It’s best to post hashtags with your image, not in the first comment. Only use a few, no more than 10. Also, try to not edit your caption in the first 10 minutes after posting. 

Link From Your Website

Linking to your portfolio from the body of your website (instead of a footer or sidebar) can result in significant traffic boosts. Try creating a page or blog post about your stock photography on Stocksy. You can simply write about what you shoot with some images/clips (using the Stocksy hosted images with watermark will help their image rankings!) and link to your galleries.

You can take this to the next level by blogging your major shoots on a regular basis. These backlinks will help your portfolio’s performance, individual image’s rankings, and Stocksy as a whole.

Bonus Tip: Anchor text (the text of a link) helps pages improve their rankings for individual search terms, as long as it isn’t overdone. Stocksy’s anchor text isn’t over-optimized, so feel free to use “stock photos”, “stock photography”, “stock videos”, or “stock footage” when you link to Stocksy.

Bonus Bonus Tip: If you’re ever featured on a photography website for your work, see if they can link to your Stocksy profile in addition to your website/social media profiles. It only takes a few new backlinks to your Stocksy profile page to improve it’s rankings.

Aside from being Stocksy’s SEO pro and member of the Artist Relations team, Dylan M. Howell spends his time shooting authentic stock photography in Portland, Oregon. Featuring an adventurous portfolio of stock images that includes weddings, travel, and outdoor lifestyle, the hopeless romantic specializes in capturing photos of couples in love.

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