The basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and how a DAM system can boost your search rankings

Learn the basics of SEO and how a digital asset management system (DAM) can help you organize and name digital assets to support SEO rankings. DAM and SEO are linked by the similarities between metadata and keywords, and their shared focus on filenames.

SEO notes

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

SEO is a process that has the ability to improve the natural ranking of your website or blog in search results — leading to increased traffic, sales, customer engagement and overall growth. SEO connects someone who is searching via Google (or another search engine) and the websites and/or blogs that contain related information.

On the surface it seems pretty simple. You perform a search, say with the keyword, “plumber,” and Google looks for and delivers results that are relevant to that keyword phrase.

The question is, how does Google decide which results to list? And why do some sites or blogs rank higher than others?

SEO is a large part of the answer to these questions. It plays a critical role in where a website or blog ranks in the natural (also referred to as “organic”) search results. And one of the major contributors to successful SEO implementation is the identification and proper use of optimal keyword phrases.

The three facets of SEO

Effective SEO is the combination of three main parts: Keywords, content quality, and social media.

Digital Asset Management and SEOKeywords

Keywords or keyword phrases are used in HTML or structural code like title tags, headlines, body text, image and alt image text, meta-descriptions, and more.

SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. [Source]

A lot of factors go into determining which keywords are best for your website — including your product,  the size of your site, how long it’s been around, how many people are searching for a specific keyword phrase, and how much competition you are facing.

If you know anything about metadata, you may notice that keywords sound similar to metadata – and you’re right!


Just like the human brain, Google likes relevant content, which is why the quality of the words on each web page accounts for one-third of the SEO pie.

Google’s algorithm (Google Panda) is judging your content very much like a person would — determining if it’s rich, relevant, interesting, and informative or boring and bland. Rich content helps each of your web pages and blog posts gain more authority in Google’s eyes, which means they’re more likely to rank better in search results.

Social media

The third SEO component is social media, which is comprised of two main parts: social media for humans and social media for SEO. Publishing on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter can help with business growth and relationship development.

Digital Asset Management and SEOPublishing content through Google+ and Google My Business offers the biggest opportunity to improve the SEO value of your website or blog. In fact, if you pool all social media platforms together, Google+ and Google My Business account for approximately 80% of all the SEO value for social media!

In a nutshell, Google has made itself extremely self-important in the social media world. Like it or not, Google+ and Google My Business are two extremely critical platforms in the SEO equation. Our advice is to use them to your advantage.

Details & tips for increasing SEO through DAM

Taking SEO into account while organizing your DAM and naming files can help you increase your SEO power and design a DAM that meets the needs of content creators and marketing experts. 

DAM systems are often used by marketing teams to manage the vast collection of rich media used in blog posts, social media posts, websites, online product collections, and more. Matching up SEO keywords to metadata keywords means users can easily find media to include with their articles, tweets, posts, and emails.

Some DAM systems can support content distribution by allowing you to enter filename on download.

Either way, it’s important to create and upload assets with relevant names and the filename and alt text may be part of your metadata. Here are some tips for filenames and alt text.

Proper creation of a digital asset name

When it comes down to choosing a digital asset name, there are a few factors to take into consideration:

  • Don’t stuff them with keywords. In general, two to three keywords or a phrase that contains two to three keywords is a good limit.
  • Keep length to approximately 50 or less characters, including dashes between words.
  • Name logos, social media buttons and any other recurring images with more general keyword phrases, as they will be appearing on multiple pages.
  • Use dashes instead of underscores or spaces in image names.

The power of alternate image text (alt text)

  • Be sure to add optimized alternate image text to every image, as it improves SEO value.
  • Keep length to approximately 50 characters or less, including spaces.
  • Make sure your alt text reads more like a sentence.
  • As a side note, although alt text has SEO value, you don’t need to worry about optimizing the “title attribute” of an image.

Stock photo note!

Amazingly bad stock photo.

An amazingly bad stock photo.

Although a well-optimized stock photo won’t hold any less SEO value with Google, there’s a chance it may hold less value to the human eye — especially if it’s a generic stock photo. Cheap and easy to locate, generic stock photos are a temptation that must be resisted because they’re also obvious to most savvy online visitors. Once someone spots a generic photo, there’s a higher probability your entire brand may be perceived as generic.

The solution? Use of interesting, original imagery, and graphics is always recommended and you can find those components in stock collections. Our advice is to avoid generic stock photos and to take the necessary time to find stock images that are truly engaging, relevant and unique.

If you have any questions about DAM and SEO, feel free to contact us anytime.

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