What Are Keywords?
Digital asset management systems are made up of assets and their associated metadata. An asset could be a photo, video or text file and the metadata is all the information about that file.
Metadata includes different information like file type, creation date and location. These fields help users hone-in on specific criteria to narrow down results and find what they need more efficiently.
Keywords are a form of metadata, though they may not always be visible to the user or have the same purpose as other metadata fields.
Digital asset management keywords serve two main purposes:
- to categorize and organize content
- to search for content
What keywords and metadata have in common is they are both types of information added to content so people can find it. How they differ is in the purpose they serve, the way they are applied, how this is displayed online, and the way people use them when they search.
Firstly, metadata for a product on an e-commerce site is usually automated (as is the case with Product Information Management, or PIM software). These PIM systems allow organizations to extract product information directly from a producer with minimum intervention. Sometimes this information is generated from a filename or stock keeping number (SKU), which are unique codes assigned to every product sold.
Keywords on the other hand are not easily automated and cannot normally be extracted from metadata fields like PIM or SKU, because they are more nuanced and complex.
Secondly, metadata provides shoppers with key details to help them on their buying journey and influence their decision to buy. For example if we are selling a red jacket, we need “color” and “clothing type” metadata fields for the product. Additional fields are needed for customers searching by “size” and “material.”
However, we cannot always predict how customers will search and we should not enforce prescriptive search processes. Whilst it’s helpful to have options for color, clothing type and size, we could easily find ourselves alienating other users who are looking for other criteria (such as pattern, style, and use).
A good example of this is how an online wall art company lists products, not only by their dimensions and price, but by predominant color, themes or motif and the type of room it might be most suited to.
Metadata about a product is usually displayed to online users in the form of search filters, drop-down options or toolbar navigation. The organization and labelling of the metadata itself is handled through a “schema,” which varies between products and platforms. The schema for the wall art company looks like this: