Stimulus Plan Pins
Recycled tin cans, ss rivets
Available at Sienna Gallery
Your photographic images can be working for you across the Internet at the speed of light, 24 hours a day. So as you "sign up" and upload your images with various social networking and portfolio sites, take the time to label your images for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to maximize potential traffic. Proper titles, labels and descriptions help search engines find your work.
- Artist's name
- Title of the work
- Copyright symbol
- Date of work
- Media or materials
- Dimensions (height, width, depth)
- Helpful other tags (if possible)
Some sites make it easier than others to incorporate this information. Each site might need to be labeled in a slightly different way, but a little effort can attract a lot more traffic.
Recycled tin cans, ss rivets
Available through Sienna Gallery
Help people find your work. Although most people are familiar with searching, there may be enormous variations in how they initiate a search; whether by artist name, the title, a rough description, the materials, date, etc. Let this influence your approach to labeling when uploading images.
Create a variety of ways for search engines to "hit" your work. For example, in the "Title" box for labeling photos, I first type in the title of the work, and then add my name and date of work within the "title" box. That way if people are searching the "titles" category for my name, they will find my work.
Same goes for the "Description" box. Type in all the relevant information about your work in the "description" including your name (again) and other relevant search terms for your work.
One more suggestion is to spell your name in the tags in a variety of ways if your name is often misspelled. For example, my first name is "Harriete." There are several common variations such as "Harriet" (no E at the end) and "Harriette" (with 2 t's.) My middle name is "Estel," but it is often written as "Estelle." Don't think I'm crazy. Even if someone misspells my name, I want them to find my work. Isn't that your goal? Think about how people regularly misspell your name and use it in your tags.
Time for visibility. I know that labeling is a bit tedious, especially if you are uploading multiple images. One time-saver is to compose much of the information in a Word document and then "copy" and "paste" to alleviate some repetition. I use my image descriptions document for just this purpose and a special Word document of "tags" to speed up the process.
Keep in mind that search engines can't "see" an image and can only search on the words that you type in to these tags and boxes. The payoff, thereafter, is that the labels will be working for you tirelessly across the Internet for a very long time.
Harriete Estel Berman
P.S. All of these recommendations depend on having great photographic images and understanding digital images. The Professional Guidelines has a new document titled Working with Digital Images Effectively. Use this document as a checklist or guide. If you don't know how to work with digital images, take a class at your local high school or college offering adult education classes. Also Lynda.com offers a really amazing web site with tutorials as either a yearly subscription or purchasing a CD. Knowing how to work with digital images effectively is a skill that every artist and crafts person needs to learn and master. It is as important a tool as your paint brush, potter's wheel, glaze or drill press.