What are keywords?

Keywords are used by purchasers when they look for certain images. Even if your image is highly qualified, it won’t be purchased if purchasers cannot find your image. It is very important to register appropriate keywords that will lead purchasers to search and purchase your works.

Let’s check following important things and register accurate and appropriate keywords!

 Important point regarding keywording

  • Please input keywords in order of precedence. Keywords have to be words but not sentences.
  • Keywords are supposed to be divided by comma(,) or new line(line break).
  • Maximum keywords are 50 words per image.

 Important point regarding image title

  • Please input the title describing the main subject within 100 characters.
  • The title could be overlapping with keywords, however, please be noted that the title won’t be searched within PIXTA website.
    (*Searching with search engines such as Google is possible.)
    Please add important words in keywords, too.

Keywording advice

There are four important factors for keywording.

 Add keywords describing “what is the subject of the image”
 Add keywords describing “what is the main theme of the image”
 Add important keywords accurately
 Do not add any inaccurate information nor incorrect information

Add keywords describing “what is the subject of the image”

Keywords describing “what is in the subject of the image” such as the name of the main subject or the name of place are supposed to be accurate, specific and extensive.
Please be careful not to miss spell keywords. Also, too minor keywords are hard to be searched, so in that case please add major keywords, too.

It should be better to check followings are all appropriately included.

  • Major category keywords: e.g. portrait, scenery, plant, food
  • Minor category keywords: e.g. woman, Asian, townscape, green field, cherry blossom, cat, Japanese food, desserts
  • Detailed keywords(including proper noun): e.g. children, Japanese, African elephant, prunus yedoensis, Mt. Fuji, onion soup, apple pie
  • Explanatory keywords describing situation, movement, number, color, background: parent and child, smile, running, two people, blue, spring, night, outdoor, white background, New York

How do you keyword this photo based on the explanation shown above?



<< Keywording Sample >>

  • Major category keywords: animal, mammal
  • Minor category keyword: hamster
  • Detailed keyword: djungarian hamster
    *If you are not sure about the correct name, do not put conjectural keywords because that could cause a trouble.
  • Explanatory keywords: one, hanging, white, gray, white background, spoon


Add keywords describing “what is the main theme of the image”

If a photo/illustration has abstract theme, keywords describing “what theme does the photo/illustration represents” should be added, too.

For example, keywords describing what is the main subject of the image such as “person”, “men”, “women”, “hand”, “business suits” are appropriate to the photo shown above. For describing what is the main theme of the image, keywords such as teamwork and business are also important, too.


<< Keywording Sample >>

  • Abstract theme: e.g. business, education, eco, global
  • Mood or feeling: e.g. bright, happy, solitude, friendly
  • Seasonal keywords: e.g. Christmas, New Year, Mother’s Day


Please be noted that keywords without relevancy won’t lead to sales. Check your image objectively and choose keywords that could be imaged by anyone.

Following examples are images represent abstract themes and appropriate keywords.





Mother’s Day


close relationship



 Add important keywords accurately

Inappropriate keywords won’t lead your works to sales. Not only that, inappropriate keywords prevent purchasers finding images fit their needs.
Think about important keywords first since there is limitation for the number of keywords.


For example, this “business” image should have these keywords.

  • Important keywords: e.g. business, teamwork, team, unity, circle
  • Better to have keywords: e.g. people, men, women, Japanese, young, smile
  • Not important keywords: e.g. suits, necktie, indoor
  • Unnecessary keywords: e.g. Tokyo, spring, IT


Keywords such as “teamwork”, “business” and “unity” are the main theme of this image, which means purchasers searching with these keywords might purchase this image.
Other keywords such as “portrait”, “man” and “Japanese” won’t directly lead purchasers to this image, but still necessary for narrowing down the images they’re looking for. (For example, some people are looking for Japanese businessman.)
Purchasers searching for images of “suits” and “necktie” will pick images which the main subjects are “suits” and “necktie”. This means the possibility of purchasers looking for images related to those keywords purchase this image is quite low. Keyword “indoor” is not appropriate since this image doesn’t show much indoor sight. Purchasers looking for “indoor” images might not choose this image. However, it is not wrong as information. If there’s enough room for keywords, you could add this keyword, too.
Keywords such as “Tokyo”, “spring” are not suitable even if these informations are accurate. People searching for images of “Tokyo” or “spring” are not looking for this image.
Also, keyword “IT” won’t match purchasers’ needs since the image does not represents the keyword. People searching for “IT” are looking for images more related to “IT”.

It is very important to think from purchasers’ side to add keywords to images. Please think of what kind of keywords purchasers will search, and list up keywords by priority.


Also, following keywords are almost meaningless to add and those won’t lead your images to sales.

  • “Baby” keyword added to an image of pregnant woman:
    People searching for the keyword “baby” are looking for images actually baby is in it. Your image will only get in the way of keyword searching. Most people looking for images of pregnant woman will search images with keywords “pregnant woman” and “pregnancy”.
  • Keywords “Tokyo” “my house” added to photos taken in your house in Tokyo:
    Usually people searching for “Tokyo” are actually looking for the scenery of Tokyo or something that reminds of Tokyo. Photos taken indoor or still life photo don’t need location information. Also, too subjective keywords such as “my house” is also unwanted.
  • Keywords “spring” “August” “Christmas” added to unseasonal image:
    Keywords related to seasons are supposed to represent the special features of each seasons. Even though the date of shooting is correct, please add seasonal keywords only when they exactly describe the subjects in your images.
  • “the best in Japan” “3,776m” keywords added to a photo of Mt. Fuji:
    People looking for images of Mt. Fuji won’t search with those keywords. It is important to include keyword “Mt. Fuji”, and then please go ahead to add more keywords such as season and weather to help purchasers to narrow down the search results.


Risk of wrong keywords

Wrong keywords could cause complaint or request for compensation for damages from purchasers who believed the wrong keywords.
Specially, if images are used for textbooks, learning materials and advertisement as material but those keywords are wrong, that could cause a huge trouble. (For example, an image of Maldives beach has keyword “Hawaii” and the image is printed on Hawaii travel brochure, then purchasers will have to collect brochures back and print the brochures all over again. In this case, purchasers could claim compensation for damages against you.)

PIXTA is not obligated to make sure if each keyword is correct or not for you.
Please make sure the accuracy of keywords by yourself and do not add any unsure keywords nor wrong keywords to your images.