Last week I wrote 10 tips to optimise your LinkedIn profile, this week I’ve decided to follow on from that with 10 tips to getting started with Flickr. This is meant as a guide to show how you can use Flickr’s photo sharing to generate traffic, optimise for the search engines, build your reputation and gain SEO value.
Image credit: murilocardoso
The popularity of photo sharing is huge, with 3 billion Flickr photos online (last November) and over 2,800 uploads during the last minute (this stat is continually updated on Flickr.com). So the potential traffic is very high if you have a popular profile - here are my top Flickr tips:
- Optimise your images – This doesn’t have to require a large amount of effort, but if you can dedicate some time towards optimising your images by uniquely naming your photos, adding tags and descriptions this can go a long way towards increasing the traffic driven to your images. I’d also recommend uploading the highest quality images possible, unlike Facebook where a small image is normally fine, Flickr will provide multiple sizes of your photo – so a high quality image would look better in this case, providing your broadband speed isn’t too slow!
- Promote your Flickr profile – There are various blog plugins, widgets and Facebook apps which allow you to show a showreel of your photos. I’d also recommend making the most of social media sites by submitting your best photos to social bookmarking sites. For example, StumbleUpon is frequently submitted with good images from Flickr. Plus you can use Twitter to show your latest photos by dropping a link into one of your tweets.
- Use images within blog posts – Use your own images, when relevant, within blog posts – linking back to the image on Flickr to generate traffic to your profile. This will encourage clickthroughs and possibly generate friend requests, favourite votes and comments for your images and profile. This is something I’ve done in the past to use travel photos from my personal account, or company photos from the SEOptimise profile.
- Join & upload to relevant groups – Start joining and uploading your best images to relevant groups. Helping to generate traffic from users who are likely to have an interest in your photos.
- Make your photos creative commons licensed – I’ve written before about how you can find great images on Flickr to use for blogging. Apply the same principles to your own photos, allowing bloggers to find your images and use them (if they wish to) on their own blog posts.
- Encourage image credit links – Include copyright terms or a polite comment within the description of your images, this is to ask users to provide a link back to the original source to credit your image. Normally this would be a direct link to the image on Flickr, but better still why not try asking for a link to your own website? You could also watermark your images, this obviously has no direct SEO value – but it does ensure your image is credited and may result in traffic.
- Create a company profile – Help to build your own reputation and company image by displaying team photos and images from events which employees may have attended. Here’s an example from the SEOptimise Flickr account, this helps to show a personal side to a company and may help to attract potential clients/customers or new employees. Plus this may rank for a query on your company name, so can be a good listing to help control your online reputation.
- Sign-up for a pro account – If you have a large collections of photos, I would definitely recommend signing up for a pro account. This is very cheap and allows you to organise your into more sets and collections, in addition to extra storage space, stats and removal of ads.
- Analyse your stats – This is for pro accounts, but the stats in Flickr can be very interesting. Find out where your Flickr traffic is coming from – whether this is via internal searches, search engines, Google Images or referring sites – you should be able to quickly spot some trends and find new ways to optimise your images and maximise your current traffic.
- Add contacts – Don’t overdo this, but by adding contacts who share a similar interest and by adding some of their best images as faves you are increasing the chances that your own images will receive fave votes and comments. This will help your images to rank highly for competitive queries within Flickr as they will be viewed as being more interesting.
Final tip, take great photos! This really is what’s going to make the difference, but the above ideas can certainly help to get these discovered far more easily. So what are your top tips?