Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

Keyword best practices

Keywords are a subset of metadata. In Acquia DAM, keywords are applied to your assets as clickable links. When a user clicks on a given keyword, Acquia DAM will display results for all assets containing that same keyword. All metadata fields are searchable, but only keywords are clickable links.

Implementing a controlled vocabulary provides even more search power and greatly increases efficiency by adding keywords to your assets. After you build and upload your controlled vocabulary into Acquia DAM, be sure to also enable the option to display your controlled vocabulary on the power search page.

Whether you are implementing a controlled vocabulary or adding keywords freely, it is important to outline some best practices to guide your efforts. Acquia recommends the following guidelines for your use:

  • Be thorough in keywording assets. Cover the who, the what, the when, the where, and the why.
  • Be consistent with acronyms and abbreviations. Don’t keyword one asset with the abbreviation AZ, and another asset with Arizona.
  • Be consistent in plurals versus singulars; choose one format or always use both. For example, either use feet and hands, or foot, feet and hand, hands.
  • Be consistent in how you describe an action or activity. For instance, either use running and swimming, or run, running and swim, swimming.
  • Don’t be too narrow. Keokuk, IA may be too narrow for a keyword and completely unrecognizable to any of your users — Southeast Iowa would be better.
  • Conversely, don’t be too broad. University may be too broad, because perhaps everything in your Acquia DAM collection relates to the University. What will distinguish the assets in this scenario? Try using the specific college name, such as College of Engineering, or the campus building name.
  • Be mindful of relevance. Just because every asset has a project code associated with it does not mean it offers relevance to the users relying on keywords to find assets. If this information needs to stay with the asset nonetheless, consider adding it into another metadata field.
  • Don’t use too few keywords, otherwise they won’t help narrow the results.
  • Avoid misspellings. Implementing a controlled vocabulary that has been copyedited will help with this.
  • Don’t rely on keywords for every piece of data. More objective data such as photographer name, location, or designer name can be added to other metadata fields.

One last note — always have your use cases in mind when adding keywords. This will keep your efforts focused. Fill in this sentence when considering a keyword:

How likely is it that [insert person/role] will search by [insert keyword] when looking for [insert asset]?

Going through this exercise will help you consider others’ perspectives when adding keywords.