Adobe Stock keywording cheat sheet

Laptop and phone on desk.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Anja Kaiser.

While keywording isn’t necessarily the most glamorous aspects of the stock business, it is most definitely one of the most important. You can have the best photo or video ever shot in the history of the camera, but if a customer can’t find it they can’t buy it. The way customers find your content is by searching for keywords. Below are best practices for keywording your content to help increase visibility in search.

Stock contributors: If you need deeper help with using keywords for findability of your images on Adobe Stock, check out this resource on Adobe HelpX.

In this article

  • Arrange keywords in order of importance
  • Use the auto-keywording tool
  • Copy and paste keywords
  • General keywording tips
  • Keywording tips for people
  • Keywording tips for animals and objects
  • Things to avoid
  • Conclusion

Arrange keywords in order of importance

Adobe Stock’s search engine puts an emphasis on keywords based on the order you add them. The most important keyword should be listed first, followed by the second most important, and so on. The first 10 keywords are the most critical.

Couple with newborn baby.

Suggested Keywords: newborn, baby, mother, father, African American, man, woman, adult, young, nursery, son, smile, birth, milestone, family, love, indoors, day, people, three, lifestyle. Image source: Adobe Stock / Monkey Business.

Use the auto-keywording tool

The contributor portal will suggest up to 25 keywords automatically for each submission. Review them for accuracy, reorder or remove irrelevant words, and add any keywords that you think the tool has missed.

If you upload files with keywords already embedded in the metadata, the auto-keywords feature is disabled.

Two cups of green tea.

Suggested Keywords: green tea, tea, teacup, herbal, organic, drink, mint, herb, leaf, glass, hot, beverage, relaxation, healthy, sugarcube, no people, nobody. Image source: Adobe Stock / Lukas Gojda.

Copy and paste keywords

If you prefer to add your own keywords from scratch, you can copy and paste keywords separated by commas, or upload a CSV file. You can add your keywords to the metadata using Adobe Bridge or Lightroom, and the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal will automatically add them to your file. It is important to note that Lightroom with alphabetize your keywords so if you use LR, be sure to rearrange the keywords once in the portal in order of importance.


General keywording tips

Illustration of people standing on steps.

Suggested Keywords: illustration, art, graphic, people, man, woman, adult, teamwork, collaboration, team, work, success, business, group, workflow, winning, competition. Image source: Adobe Stock / PureSolution.

Keywording tips for people

If there are no people in the image, include keywords like “no people” and “nobody.”

Young girl reading a tablet on the floor.

Suggested Keywords: girl, daughter, reading, child, childhood, education, tablet, technology studying, glasses, Asian, lifestyle. Image source: Adobe Stock / lalalululala.

Keywording tips for animals and objects

Dalmation sniffs woman's hair.

Suggested keywords: Dalmatian, dog, woman, African American, adult, young, smile, pet, friend, friendship, love, glasses, kiss, joy, happiness, animal, people, one, lifestyle. Image source: Adobe Stock / Wayhome Studio.

Things to avoid

For additional info on how to optimize your keywords, visit our Learn page.


Ready to start selling your photos, videos, illustrations, and more? Submit them to the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal and get your work out in front of millions of buyers.