We all know by now that good photos are the key to selling online. There is plenty of advice right here on the Folksy Blog to make getting that perfect product shot a little bit easier, but getting the perfect shot is only the first hurdle. Once you have that out of the way, it’s time to really make your hard work pay off, because all the time and effort spent taking great photos is only worthwhile if people actually see the results!
When I was putting together GO handmade I very quickly noticed that a lot of sellers were uploading their photos to Folksy with the file name allocated to each photo by the camera. Doing this is a completely wasted opportunity, actually it’s five completely wasted opportunities, but we’ll get to that. Keep in mind that when you search for anything on Google, anything at all, at least one of the top spots on the first page will be taken up by Google Image Results. It takes a lot of hard work to arrive on the coveted first page of Google, never mind the number one spot, but if you use your photos wisely you can really make them work for you and make your products and shop much more visible to potential customers.
I’m fairly certain that nobody has ever googled “DSCF0001” so uploading a photo with that name serves little purpose. If we take Folksy’s Va Va Voom bag as an example, naming the photo “Red Leather Handbag” gives the bag one more chance of coming up on the first page of results as an image, and we all know that an image speaks a thousand words!
I mentioned earlier that uploading a poorly named photo would actually be five wasted opportunities. Now that you have your first handbag photo edited, cropped and named “Red Leather Handbag” don’t think you’re finished. I know it’s very easy to name the other photos “Red Leather Handbag 2” and so on, and I’ll admit to doing this myself when I’m pressed for time, but better use can be made of those other four photos by making use of your keywords when naming them.
Ideally you’ll end up with five differently named photos for each listing, even if there are no other angles to take a photo from and you only need three I’d suggest uploading a couple of your photos twice with different names, it all helps at the end of the day.
Now the photos for the Va Va Voom bag are named;
- Red Leather Handbag
- Hand Stitched Leather Bag
- Quality Handmade Bag
- Patent Leather Handbag
- Trendy Red Leather Bag
You can name photos anything you like, as long as the name is relevant to your product and/or shop. If you really struggle in coming up with five descriptive names for the photos it doesn’t do any harm to call it something like “Purse at Leanne Woods Designs”.
On the other hand if you have ten great names for your photos and can’t decide which five to use, just use five on Folksy and five on Flickr.
When we’re short on time, or it’s past midnight and we’re still sat in front of the pc, it can be very tempting to just save a few photos under some long winded name containing every relevant keyword you can think of. This is known as “keyword stuffing” and I don’t recommend it. Google aren’t big fans of keyword stuffing and doing this will work against in you and undo all that you’re trying to achieve. Always remember that sometimes what you gain in time, you lose in quality and it really is best to keep photo names to a maximum of four words.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that because of Google’s new search index Caffeine, new web content will be indexed and appear in search results faster than it ever has in the past, meaning that you can search and decide which names and keywords appear highest, work best for you or perhaps need tweaking, as little as 30 minutes after listing.
You can also use your photo names to take advantage of peak and off peak shopping times, the perfect “Mothers Day Spa Set” can become a “Luxury Spa Gift Set” or a “Relaxing Summer Home Spa”.
It’s a great way to make good use of any quiet spells too. We should all be working towards improving our shops when we have the time and while it would be great to grab the camera and a bag of stock and head for the great outdoors to hone the perfect product shot, there are just times of the year when that isn’t always possible. This way we can all freshen up our images and make them relevant throughout the year without getting your brolly wet.
About the author of this post:
“I am Leanne, a mother, wife, finder of lost things and designer/maker working from my home on the Ards Peninsula in Northern Ireland. I find inspiration in many things, and particularly love natural colours and textures, sourcing many materials as close to home as I possibly can. I’m very lucky to live in a location where creativity is encouraged and to have places like Caledon Tweed and Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen right here in County Down and I make use of them often in my designs. To see some of these gorgeous fabrics in all their glory, feel free to stop by my shop.”
Excellent post and advice.
Thanks so much, I’m off to re-name all my photos!
That is absolutely superb advice and I’m off too to fix up all my photo names!!
Great tips!! Thanks
Such simple, brilliant advice, and so worth doing; thank you, Leanne!
Brill advice, really clearly told… but it does make me groan..now I have another thing I really need to do on the internet! I need a PA x
Wow. In all my years on the internet, it never occured to me that it matters what you name your photos. Thanks Leanne, I’ll get on to that asap!
Great advice, Leanne. Thanks. So much to think about!
Thanks so much for the tips. I’m just starting out and there’s so much I haven’t even thought about!
Great post, but why does keyword stuffing work against you?
Gelert, it’s mostly because people will tend to search for the thing they’re looking for rather than a single keyword which will return millions of results so shoppers are more specific in their search terms and will search for a phrase like “Christmas tealight” or “Christmas Candle”. Google works in such a way that if you search for a phrase it will return results which closest match the search terms first. If you were to save an image as “Christmas xmas candle tealight holder holly” even though it does contain the words that the customer has searched for, it also contains words which they haven’t searched for and it makes your image less relevant and it will appear much further down the search results. It’s better to think like a customer and name things in a way that they are more likely to search for them.
Great advice! Off to rename my photos :)
That’s really useful, thanks! I already named my avatar photo so that when you hover over it in the seller search you can see my shopname but it never occurred to me to do the same to item photos!
Brilliant blog post Leanne, such great tips and advice, thank you so much. Helen x
Excellent advice before I start my own Folksy shop … thank you,
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That was exetremely useful! I am v new to online shops. I will start renaming my images tmrw – ty!
Is there any way I can rename the images I’ve already uploaded to my shop?
This sounds such a good idea but I’ve already got them in my shop and not sure how I can alter them any advice welcome thanks.
I tried this a while back, I renamed all my photos and uploaded them, but I have yet to see any of them on google or yahoo image searches, even if I key in the exact image name it does not come up!! What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried again after about a week and they are still not appearing.
An excellent article Leanne, so much useful information and very well written!
Anyone fancy sitting up all night and renaming all my photos?
Fab advice, I’m so glad I read this! Thanks.
thanks I’ll be renaming as soon as I can – any advice that can help is fab :)
This is sound advice, but I do wonder. Don’t Folksy – like Etsy – rename the images in their storing process?
When I right-click an image and choose save as – the suggested name shows up as main.jpg or mini.jpg.
Really don’t fancy adding extra hard work for nothing. I think I might add this to the forums too.
Hi Nana. Image titles are no longer retained so you don’t need to name them for SEO purposes. Your listing titles (and descriptions) are important though!
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