Compared to regular cloud storage systems like OneDrive or Dropbox, digital asset management (DAM) systems allow you to properly categorise and organise your digital assets using sophisticated metadata and keyword tags.

With that in mind, to truly make the most of your DAM system, you’ll need an effective keyword strategy in place. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at keywording on DAM.

How many keywords should I use?

Like many useful things, you might think you can’t have too many keywords. However, if you’re adding too many, you’ll find too many assets showing up for each search you perform.

A good rule of thumb is to list keywords specifying the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ of an asset. This will allow you to cover all bases without becoming irrelevant and confusing things further down the line.

How specific should keywords be?

Keywords that are too specific will stop people finding the asset they need, unless they’re prepared to spend hours on end trying different dog breeds to find a picture of a dog, for example.

On the other hand, using keywords that are too broad will usually become a waste of time. As above, it could also lead to an excess of search results for certain terms. If you’re keywording assets for a geology museum, for instance, and you add ‘rock’ to every relevant file, it will simply produce a broad, excess of results if someone ever uses that search term.

Do keywords need to be consistent?

Yes, absolutely! Consistency is key to any effective keyword strategy. Users want to be able to see all the relevant assets with a single search. Here are a number of factors you’ll need to decide on prior to keywording:

  • Plurals - Will you use foot or feet, dog or dogs?
  • Tense - Is the person ‘jumping’ and ‘dancing’ or will you tag it as ‘jump’ or ‘dance’?
  • Abbreviations - If you’re going to use abbreviations, make sure that term is always abbreviated, such as UK vs United Kingdom.
  • Synonyms - Some concepts have various terms to describe them. Happy, glad, smiling, cheerful, joyous – you get the idea. It’s best to choose one and stick with it.
  • Spelling - It goes without saying that you’ll want to avoid spelling mistakes when keywording your assets. However, it’s important to stick with either UK or US English too, to avoid complications such as colour vs color or organisation vs organization.

Making DAM & keywording easier

The above tips cover some of the basics when it comes to keywording for DAM. At iBase, we understand that it can be a lot to take on, which is why we provide expert training and support for users of our software.

On top of that, we even have smart features like fuzzy searching, which can account for small errors in keywords – or the terms users enter to search for them. Ready to get started? Book your one-to-one demo today.

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