Title and Keyword Guidelines, Policies and Best Practices

Excellent metadata (titles and keywords) helps customers discover your content. We have developed guidelines to help you create the best titles and keywords, and to help you understand how to use metadata that is compliant with our policies.

Titles and keywords have different purposes and require different approaches. Your titles and keywords should adhere to the guidelines outlined below. Remember that the overuse of repeated words or phrases is considered spam in both the keywords and the titles. Intentional disregard of any of Shutterstock’s metadata policies can result in account termination.

Great titles are unique and detailed. They read like a sentence or phrase and not like a list of words. Think of your title as a news headline and try to answer the main questions of: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Be descriptive and use words that capture the emotion or mood of the image.

Great keywords are detailed and precise. They relate directly to what is in the image or clip, either by describing what it shows, or what it might represent. The keywords for each of your images or clips should be precisely tailored to that individual work.