Most of our loyal readers saw the title of this article and immediately asked, “DAO? What is that?”
That’s a good question, and it’s getting more important to understand the answer. DAO stands for Digital Asset Optimization, and it entails optimizing everything on your site, from images to videos, for search engines. You see, search engines used to index just a few basic things on your site. A search engine would check your text, like Word documents or PDF files, along with your (hopefully organized) site map and the basic website code. They would then use that information to determine how useful your website was, how well put-together it was, and if it was a site that was worth giving a good ranking.
However, the internet is changing, and search engines are changing to meet those needs. Since more websites rely on different digital assets, like pictures and videos, search engines are now cataloging your pictures, videos, blog posts, shopping areas, and everything else they can get their hands on. In turn, they use that information to supply even more exact results to the user.
If this sounds a little frightening, don’t get scared. Remember: What can be searched can be optimized, and that’s where Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) comes in. There are certain “Best Practices” that can be used in combination with a good SEO package to keep your site plugging along, getting good rankings, and trampling the competition easily.
1. Figure out your marketing persona. This is pretty basic stuff, but it’s important to know who exactly is visiting your site and why. That way you can know what keywords you should aim at and what type of digital assets you should use on your site.
For instance, let’s say your site is aimed at energetic, on-the-go 20-25 year-old males. Are you going to give them nothing but plain text? Probably not. They’re quickly look at your site, get bored and go away. Likewise, if your site is aimed at women 80 years and older, you’re not going to have assets akin to a face-melting guitar solo. Those are extreme examples, but I hope it gets the point across. Knowing who you’re aiming at and knowing how to reach those people makes all the difference in optimization.
2. Name your assets well. Example: You’re a florist, and you post a video about caring for azaleas. You could name the video “Caring For Flowers” and call it a day. However, think of how many sites and videos are out there that talk about caring for flowers. since “flowers” is a bit of a swamped category, you may not get a lot of hits. However, if you name the video “Indoor Care For Azaleas” search engines have a better idea of what the video is actually about and can index it better, meaning that someone who is search specifically for a video that talks about caring for azaleas can find your video.
Remember, don’t “spam” your keywords in a picture or video, since search engines understand if you’re overloading an asset just to get good rankings. Google and the like understand what you’re trying to do and will many times times penalize you for that. However, if you have an asset that’s on your page, don’t be afraid to be a little specific and put in a keyword if it fits.
3. Use bigger sites to drive traffic to your own. Hosting pictures and videos on your site is a great idea, but what if you could use a different site to drive content to your own? For instance, Youtube receives over a billion views a day worldwide. Flickr has about 200,000 sites that link back to it. How can you use that to promote your own website?
Well, let’s say you have an instructional video for your site. What if you hosted it on Youtube and used their embed tool to put it on your site? In your description for the video on Youtube, you could explain what the video is about and put a link to your site. Among those millions of people who use Youtube, at least one of them is bound to view your video and follow it back to your site.
4. Develop a plan for your assets. So, now that you’re posting pictures and videos, naming them properly and using other sites to give you a boost, you don’t want to go nuts. Come up with a determined online publicity plan for product rollouts, updates and the like, and use a wide variety of media such as blog posts, social media like Twitter and Facebook, and videos and images.
Don’t be afraid to promote what you have, either. As long as you’re putting quality content out there that your customers can use, why hide it? You’ll reach a much larger audience and grow your business much faster with a determined plan than if you throw things out there willy-nilly.
5. Keep optimizing. Optimization isn’t a one-shot deal. People change, circumstances change, and your market will change. For instance, a person who was in the market for a TV ten years ago was looking for completely different things than a person who buys a TV today. Likewise, the internet moves fast. You could be optimizing for a keyword that’s no longer a big deal, or you could find that there’s a market that’s opened up that you had no idea existed. Partnering with a good web development company can help you immensely in keeping up with the internet’s constant changes.
So, while “digital asset optimization” may sound a little scary, when we break it down into its component parts it’s not nearly as threatening as it seems. Along with a good SEO package, DAO can help you to reach more customers, gain more visitors, and get more traction in the marketplace.