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Title and keyword tips

Learn how to create metadata that helps surface your content on Adobe Stock.  

Stock buyers use keywords to search for the stock content they need, and the Adobe Stock search engine uses titles and keywords to surface your content, so you need to choose this metadata carefully. Below you’ll find tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your titles and keywords while streamlining the process of submitting them.

Accurate and descriptive titles and keywords are essential to your success as a Contributor. When metadata lacks relevance and accuracy, customers won’t be able to trust you as a seller. And if you add metadata that’s too generic, customers will never know that your content is perfect for their projects as they won’t be able to find it.

Preplanning

When planning your productions and creating your content, gather key details about your models, props, and sets to eliminate the hassle of trying to recall them later. You can incorporate these details into your titles and keywords to help Adobe Stock buyers zero in on your content. These key details will make your content more marketable to customers than generic keywords.

Be sure to engage with your models to find out how they identify in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and more. This information can potentially help you generate new concepts that will expand the reach of your submissions.

Here are some examples of content details that can inspire specific, relevant keywords:

  • Names of animal species

  • Names of cuisines

  • Types of clothing and hairstyles

  • Model and community-approved demographic characteristics describing race, ethnicity, cultural background, and more.

  • Names of equipment or processes 

  • Specific actions or event names

Note: Remember to avoid brand names, logos, and trademarks because any third-party intellectual property (IP) captured in your content must be removed or obscured. You can review our property release and trademark/copyright information in our legal guidelines. 

Language

Keywords and titles need to be in a single language — the one you selected in the “I’m writing title & keywords in” dropdown menu in the Contributor portal.  

For effective and accurate keywords, we strongly recommend using the language you’re most comfortable using. The Adobe Stock search engine automatically translates your keywords when buyers search in English or their local languages.  

We encourage using your local language for adding metadata to assets that have local relevancy, such as people, uniforms, traditional dresses, architecture, flora and fauna. It’s important to always verify the selected language in the “I’m writing title & keywords in” dropdown menu when you want to add the metadata in your local language only for a subset of your assets but not others. In case of a language mismatch between the menu selection and your metadata, your content won’t be surfaced in searches.

Note: The default language in the drop down always matches the language of your computer’s operating system. If you select a different language from the drop down it won’t be remembered in your next session and you must re-elect it. 

Crafting descriptive titles

Titles are short, factual descriptions of your content. Your titles can impact buyers’ decisions to license your content, so it’s important to craft them with care. 

  • Young woman playing catch with Jack Russel Terrier at a beach in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Here are some dos and don’ts:

Do: Use titles to introduce your content to customers. Titles are searchable and become part of the Adobe Stock URL.

Do: Keep titles accurate, relevant, descriptive, and precise. 

Do: Limit titles to 70 characters or fewer to help customers find your content via web search results. 

Don’t: Use formal sentence structures when creating titles. Customers just need phrases that are easy to read and understand. 

Don’t: Treat titles like lists of keywords.

Don’t: Include trademarked names, brand names, product names, or people's names.

Always: Use caring, engaged language when describing people.

Never: Include demeaning, derogatory, endangering, or injurious language to describe people, cultures, heritages, beliefs, practices, or other information connected with a person or community’s identity.

 

Here are a few examples of effective descriptive titles:

Title: Gay couple hugging in the park

Keywords: Gay, couple, hugging, park, love, adult, Black, boyfriend, casual clothing, White, cheerful, cuddling, dating, embracing, happiness, lifestyle, Los Angeles, California, USA, male, man, 20s, young adult, carrying on back, looking at camera, smiling, summer, day, outdoors, palm tree, passion, people, relationship, relaxing, summer, tenderness, togetherness, two people 

Title: Aerial view of Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Keywords: Mount Bromo, active volcano, volcano, national park, crater, cloud, mountain, sky, landscape, nature, scenic, tranquil scene, calmness, geology, travel, aerial view, outdoors, twilight, nobody, Indonesia, Asia, Java, East Java, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Tennger Mountains

Title: Woman in laboratory with face mask and gloves

Keywords: Microscope, face mask, working, woman, laboratory, scientist, science, person, one person, chemistry, experiment, adult, researcher, technician, equipment, healthcare, work, professional, technology, biology, side view, long hair, brown hair, clinic, lab coat

Using the auto-title feature in the contributor portal

Unless the file you uploaded already has title information in its metadata, the Adobe Stock Contributor portal will suggest up to three English-language titles per file. Click in the title field to see the suggestions and select the one you’d like to use. Or ignore the suggestions and type in your own title. 

Note: This tool only works with the English language, and recommended titles often lack the specific details customers search for. 

If you decide to use a recommended title, look for ways to add additional information like:

  • Location (for travel and nature content)

  • Specific animal species

  • Names of cuisines

  • Other attributes such as the required labeling of AI or generative AI (for content created using these technologies)

Demographic information on model releases 

To come up with keywords and titles that describe your models, look to your model release forms. If you want to include demographic information in your metadata, be sure the information is factual and aligns with how your models described themselves — never guess at demographic information. Please see our article on model releases.  

Creating effective keywords  

Here’s what you need to know to create keywords that will help potential buyers find your content: 

Keyword order is critical: Arrange keywords in order of importance. This is the most critical thing you can do to help ensure that buyers can find your content on Adobe Stock.  

Be descriptive but not verbose: You may enter up to 49 keywords. Different content types require different levels of keyword complexity. Find a strategy that allows you to tell the story consistently, but be sure to consider adding the following information to your metadata:

  • Who or what is the subject?  

  • What actions are being depicted?

  • What’s the setting for the subject? 

  • Are there key compositional or technical aspects to your content? For example, let’s say you create generative art. If a buyer is writing a story on AI and wants to use generative art to illustrate it, keywords such as “AI” and “generative art” would help them find your content.

  • Are there words that you can use to highlight specific and unique details in your assets?

Bring words from the title into your keywords: Use the title you’ve created as a starting point for your keywords. Include the individual words and concepts from your title in your top 10 keywords for an extra bump in search relevance. For more information, go to the Adobe Stock Artist Hub and download the Contributor Handbook.

Follow these additional guidelines:

  • Separate keywords: Separate descriptive elements from subjects. For example, “white,” “fluffy,” “young animal,” and “pup” are accurate, but you should add them as separate keywords. If you combine them into one keyword, it won’t be translated or surfaced correctly to buyers. However, “Arctic Fox” is a great keyword on its own, as is “Vulpes lagopus,” the scientific name.

  • General and specific keywords: Your content will be more visible if you consider a few levels of specificity. For example, add keywords like “animal," "mammal,” and “carnivora” along with a keyword like "Arctic Fox."
  • Locations also benefit content: Add the country depicted in your content to help customers find regionally relevant content. For example, if you include a city, state, or province in your keywords, also add the country. (London, England has a different feel from London, Ontario.) Also, a kitchen in Mexico looks different from a kitchen in Japan, Norway, or the US. Customers expect accuracy, so don’t use multiple locations that an asset could depict. Conflicting information reduces trust and often results in customer complaints. Customers and their audiences know the difference between Hawaii and Costa Rica.  
  • Conceptual elements: Add conceptual keywords that describe feelings, mood, or trends (e.g., solitude, childhood, milestones, and conservation). “Cold” is an appropriate keyword for an image of an ice cube — “heat” isn’t. 

  • Number of people: Customers always want to know the number of people in a stock asset. For single people or small groups, add the number of people as a keyword. For example, use “one person” or “three people.” If there are no people, include the keyword “nobody.” Don’t ever include people’s names in keywords.

  • Describe the setting: Use keywords like “indoors,” “outdoors,” “day,” “night,” “sunny,” or “cloudy.” 

  • Viewpoint: Include the viewpoint depicted in the picture. For example, “high-angle view,” “directly above,” “aerial view,” or “drone point of view.” 

  • Demographic information: If you're aware of information such as ethnicity, race, heritage, age, gender, or disability, include these specifics in the keywords. Communicate with your models to ensure that you’re using language that represents the individuals and communities accurately.  

  • Triple-check your language choice in the Contributor portal dropdown menu called “I’m writing title & keywords in” to confirm that it matches the language of your title and keywords. Unless they match, your content won’t be surfaced in searches.

  • Do not use third-party IP (companies and brand names) as keywords or any keywords that are tied closely to third-party IPs. To learn more about copyright, click here.

Finally, to get keyword tips for specific subjects like people, animals, places, and food, check out our field guide to titles and keywords.

Here are some examples of effective keyword sets:

Title: Senior woman flexing her muscles on beach

Keywords: woman, back, muscular, flexing, muscles, beach, Caucasian, senior adult, adult, one person, swimsuit, swimming cap, arm, wave, sky, power, athlete, outdoors, day, people, lifestyle

Title: Living with sign language

Keywords: sign language, family, meeting, deaf, three people, communication, smiling, sitting, table, indoors, Japanese, Japan, two parents, family with one offspring, Asian, adult, child, black hair, glasses, mother, father, daughter, content, happiness, together

Title: Illustration of Boxer dog with glasses

Keywords: boxer dog, dog, one animal, Boxer, eyeglasses, dog, head, serious, black, red, yellow, screen print, rustic, humor, vintage, retro, pet, nobody, animal

Title: Young people playing pick-up sticks

Keywords: adult, 20s, 30s, young, friendship, women, men, transfeminine, transgender, indoors, people, four people, sitting, home, together, sunny, game, inside, concentration, playing, table, pick up sticks, cocktail 

Title: Aerial view of Uluwatu Temple, Bali

Keywords: aerial view, Uluwatu Temple, ocean, coastline, cliff, rock, tropical, nature, landscape, dramatic, scenic, religion, Hindu, lush, wave, water, sea, Indonesia, outdoors, day, nobody, travel, Bali, Indonesia, Asia 

Adobe Artists: Rawpixel.com | 230337669, AmazingAerialAgency | 343928349, Michelle Mildenberg | 337369119, Peathegee Inc - Blend Images | 118332630, Osato/Kurita/Circus | 480899536,  Inst:@victoria_novak | 153150557, Sophia Emmerich | 543460183, Dmitry | 133484809 

 Adobe

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