Searching is second only to email as the most popular online activity. We spend a majority of our time on the Internet searching. Searching for websites, articles, videos, people, pictures, and ideas to name a few. Search is a huge part of our everyday lives whether we realize it or not. If you’re on the other side of the search, waiting to be discovered, strategy and planning are essential. This especially rings true for Digital Asset Management. You want your assets to be found. How you organize, title, and tag them will have a major impact on their ability to be seen by your employees, clients, public, or whoever you’re sharing them with. Here are a few key factors to consider when developing your search strategy:
The bread and butter of search. The keywords, tags, or metadata associated with each asset is the primary way it will be found. People will type in what they want to see and expect it to appear before their eyes. When it comes to tagging, you need a solid approach. First things first, the number of keywords you assign to an asset will impact search results. The more words, the larger the results; the less words, the more specific the results. Keep your audience in mind. Will more options be valuable or discouraging?
When it comes to actually selecting the keywords, think outside the box. Put yourself in the users shoes. Try to steer away from using internal terms (unless of course your DAM system is for internal purposes only), think of broader categories, or use a thesaurus. But don’t go overboard, the more you overthink it, the more complicated it could become to you and to the end user.
Finally, be consistent with your keywords. If multiple people are tagging, ensure there is a structure or system to be followed. Similar assets should have similar keywords. If similar assets have different keywords assigned to them, it will be more difficult for the user to find what they’re looking for. Plus, a structure will streamline the tagging process and save time.
Organizing your assets into folders or categories enhances your search. Right off the bat the user will get an idea of what assets are available to them based on the folders or categories displayed. Opposed to blindly searching through hundreds or thousands of assets, they will be able to narrow their search from the get-go. Whether you categorize them by theme, file type, user group, location, or date, it will make searching through your asset library a much easier task.
Reports & Analytics
Like any strategy, measuring and analyzing the effectiveness and success of the strategy is a must. Reporting and tracking tools vary based on the Digital Asset Management system you’re using, but if they are available to you, use them to improve your search strategy. Find out what assets are being downloaded and more importantly, which ones aren’t. Take a look at the keywords associated with these assets and see what’s working and what isn’t, then revise them based on this information. Also, if you’re able to find out what keywords users are typing in, use that information to your advantage when developing or modifying your search strategy.