Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Media, An Art Buyer, and Google Image Search

A teen age girl uses her cell phone texting to her social network which is symbolized by a sphere of portraits (sphere of influence) of her friends and family that hovers next to her.
Social media and networking is illustrated in this stock photo by showing the teen-aged girl's network of friends and family in a sphere of portraits.

Social Media and Google Image Search

Upon arriving in my studio this morning there was a message on my voice mail from an art buyer for a large corporation who was inquiring about an image of mine created to illustrate the concepts of social media and social networking. She had found the image doing a Google Image search. Keep in mind this art buyer is very familiar with both Corbis and Getty. Interestingly enough, the social media image in question is with both Getty and Corbis (it is actually a Blend Images photo distributed through many agencies including the “Big Two”), but she found it first on my site! The image, by the way, is one of several I have recently completed to try and service the growing need for photos that deal with social media and such.

Providing Excellent Service Through SEO
My conversation with this art buyer reinforced a few things for me. It offered proof that even experienced art buyers turn to Google to find images…at least occasionally; that helping such prospective clients find your images is a legitimate and important extension of client servicing; and that my program of SEO and online presence is succeeding.

Art Buyers Turn To Google…and License Images
PhotoShelter, in their survey of art directors, art buyers, and designers, clearly indicated that such industry pros do use Google Image search from time to time. Since most of my images are with agencies, and when someone wants to license those images they are automatically taken to the agencies site. I seldom find out if my images are licensed after being found on the Internet. I do know that at this point around twenty people a day are sent to sites of the various agencies from my own site…I just don’t know if they complete the licensing process once they get there. So it is encouraging when I find out, as I did today, that a licensing process is completed.

Good SEO and Online Presence Is An Important Service To Clients
When I called this art buyer back she was effusive in thanking me for making it easy to find the image she was looking for. She volunteered that she would be keeping me in mind for similar imagery as well. She was grateful that I had put the time and effort into SEO, into making her job easier by making my images easier for her to find. Got to love that!

SEO and Online Databases of Images Do Result in Higher Sales
As demonstrated in this case, art buyers (and art directors, designers, animal lovers and other photography enthusiasts and people in need of images) are finding my pictues in those Internet searches, licensing them and purchasing prints and products from me. There is no question that it is working…the questions are how much such activity will increase as my traffic increases, and how quickly will that traffic increase? Originally I figured a year to get to a significant sales volume, but now I am thinking two years…and that is with several hours spent on my site and SEO almost every day! In my experience SEO is a long and laborious process…but one that works and one that someday I will be very glad I undertook!


Unknown said...

SEO does work, but it does take some time to build indeed. Spending several hours a day on it seems a lot, though - what takes time is building the "credibility" Search Engine require to rank a website high, and for this, the amount of time a site has been up is by itself a parameter, beside, obviously, the quality of the incoming links.

For the technical stuff, once it is in place, you should not worry about it anymore.

Services like PhotoDeck take care of the technical details for you, and still lets you steer and fine-tune the optimization:

John Lund said...


Since SEO relies on having quality content I count my SEO time as uploading images, entering metadata, writing articles, blog posts and interviews as well as creating internal links, working on alt tags and all that stuff.

I guess it would behoove me to check out photodeck....