Why are keywords and metadata important to photographers? If you want people to see your work online, you have to understand keywords and metadata. If you don’t understand them, and use them, no one will ever be able to find your work online. To put it into terms . . . related to photographers and their online presence, metadata is information about your image, your website, your blog, etc, and keywords are words that someone types into a search engine to find your website, blog, or images.
Now this blog entry isn’t going to suddenly propel you the front of page of Google because you suddenly understand keywords and metadata when you’re done reading it. What I hope is that you’ll start to think about it, and start trying to use this information a little at at time, to see improvement in your hits on your blog, webpage, or images. What I understand about keywords I learned over the last 4 or 5 years, and I know them well enough that I can sometimes get page 1 of Google in under 24 hours with a well written blog entry.
There’s so much to teach on this subject, that I can’t possibly teach it all in a blog, but here’s a short example of how I think and what I do when I’m thinking about keywording something. So right now, look at the title of my blog. Next, read the first paragraph of my blog. Next, look at the catagories my blog is listed in (at the bottom of this blog entry). Finally, look at the “tags” I have assigned to this blog entry. How may times do you see the words “keywords, metadata, photographers”? My goal is to reach page 1 of Google whenever someone types in those 3 keywords when doing a search. Notice that I used all 3 of those keywords in the first sentence, and then again in the second sentence, and later on in that paragraph I used 3 more words repetitively “images, website, blog”. So those are secondary keywords that I hope will lead people to this blog. How many times have I used all those words now? How many times do I use them throughout this blog entry? The more times a search engine sees that keyword on your site, the higher up you’ll appear in search results. There are tons of other reasons that help you appear higher in search results, but this one is key. Starting to get the picture?
If you go to Google and type in “photographing bald eagles” or “photographing eagles”, you’ll find one of my previous blog entries listed on page 1. Every time I write a blog, I do this, I think in keywords. How did I know that I appeared on page 1? Because I check my blog, website, and image stats every day. It’s a part of managing your online world. Stats can tell you really important things. They can tell you what keywords people are using to find you, so you can use them more often, or they can tell you which keywords don’t work.
So I’ve got people finding my blogs, but how does that help me? Well, once you’ve got them here, you have to provide them with things to click to send them to where your revenue streams are! Your galleries!