Keywording Your Stock Videos

in Category: Blog | by Videvo

Keywording is one of the most important steps in stock videos. Whether you are selling it on a premium site or giving it away for free, unless you keyword it properly the chances are no one is ever going to see it!


Keywords are what search algorithms use to find content and serve it to the person searching. For example, if I typed “Water Drop Night” into a stock footage website search bar, I’d be faced with all the clips that have water, drop and night as keywords – letting me quickly see exactly what that site has to offer on that subject.


Needless to say, stock video has been around for some time now, meaning that the most established stock libraries are now reaching into the hundreds of thousands of clips. The level of saturation is staggering, which means for your clips to get exposure they deserve you need to give them that extra helping hand.


Here are my top tips for keywording your videos:


  1. Always do your keywording with the video in front of you, if it’s similar throughout, a still frame will do. If it’s constantly changing, stick your video player on auto loop so it keeps playing. This lets you see every aspect of the clip, so that you can think of as many keywords as possible.
  2. Make sure you come up with at least 25 Keywords for each clip where possible. You want your footage to have a fighting chance. Below is an example of a clip, and some Keywords I’ve thought of that go with it:

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.44.12














Mixing, desk, music, musical, mixer, tracks, track, faders, channels, studio, equipment, knobs, eq, gain, control, audio, sound, song, rock, pop, recording, multitrack, vocals, gain, technology, board, professional, play, radio, production,

The more keywords you include for your clip, the higher the chances are of someone finding it. Everyone is different with their approach to searching, so it’s important you cater for every individual to maximise your earnings potential.


Mixing desk audio production

Multitrack mixer

Professional mixer

Professional radio mixer

Studio equipment mixer


And many more searches will all lead to my clip! Fantastic.


For some clips, it’s important to describe the moods, concepts and feelings which are directly related to your clip. Don’t just put random emotions down as keywords though, you need to keep it RELEVANT!


If your clip contains any people, ensure to describe them as specifically as possible. Gender, hair color, age, race and other details of appearance. This really helps people looking for a certain type of person.


Keywording is essentially word association, but if word association isn’t your strongpoint, or you just want to maximize  your potential exposure – here’s a neat little tool which can help you on your way.


If you have a Shutterstock contributor account (they are free to make) you can log in and go to:


This is their AMAZING keyword suggestions tool, which works by letting you type in a search term, find 3 images similar to what you are keywording, and it then offers you a whole load of relevant keywords for your clip. Very cool!

Shutterstock Keyword tool
















Another option, if you can’t be bothered with that, is to simply search for similar clips on stock sites and copy their keywords, deleting the ones which are irrelevant to your particular clip.


One more way to get some more keywords is to see what Wikipedia has to say on the topic of your clip. You can generally find a load of keywords this way.


It really is worth putting in the extra effort with keywording, as if your clip gets lost at the bottom of the pile, it’s very unlikely it’s going to re-surface. If you’ve put all of that effort into getting your gear, travelling to wherever you went and shooting that clip – why not spend an extra 5 mins researching keywords for it?


Finally, spellcheck. It’s always worth pasting your keywords into Word, or another program with spellcheck, prior to submitting. If your keywords are spelled wrong, they are pretty much useless, unless people are searching with spelling mistakes! There are some instances where you may need to offer more than one spelling variation, to target different areas of the world. One good example is the US spelling of color versus the UK version, colour – in this instance both should be included.


I hope this has given you a few tips moving forward with your stock video keywording! As ever, if you have any questions feel free to drop me a PM on the forums or an email at


Thanks for reading,