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Keywords: Best Practices

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Keywords are the high-level labeling convention. In other words, the type of keywords you should be assigning to your files will generally be more broad and inclusive to touch as many relevant fields as possible.

Note: Only Canto administrators can create new keywords in the backend, but contributors are able to add keywords to files.

When creating keywords, keep in mind these best practices:

  1. When assigning keywords, covering the five W’s – who, what, when, where, why – will make for a well-rounded and well-captured asset.
  2. Look out for grammatical inconsistencies like tenses (ending in -ed), plural nouns (both regular nouns ending in –s/–es and irregular nouns like feet), gerunds (ending in -ing), and misspellings.
  3. Applying homonyms as keywords, or words that have the same sound but different meanings may yield incorrect searches. For example, the word bat has multiple meanings and may bring ambiguity to your search.
  4. Acronyms and abbreviations should stay consistent. For example, assigning an asset with the keyword CA and another asset with California will lead to confusion.
  5. Being too narrow in your keyword will make it tough for users to recognize. Instead of Dunsmuir, CA, expanding the range to Northern California will be better for your team.
  6. Being too broad in your keyword may capture too much, if not every asset in your media library. For example, University may be too inclusive if everything in your library is related to it. Instead, you can use a more pointed keyword, like School of Humanities.
  7. Keep keywords simple at just the most essential information will create an intuitive, if not obvious search structure. For users, a direct and distinct reference point will make searching for assets more accessible.
  8. Beyond just metadata, Canto allows you to add other details to supplement information associated with the file. Relying on other fields for more objective data like name, date, size and description can help ease the search for assets.

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