Searching can be pretty exhausting, right? Looking for that perfect house, our dream job, or even our keys when we are running late in the morning!
Searching online is really no different. Each day we create million of pieces of content, meaning that we are continually contributing to a digital black hole - we have created a bottomless pit of images, videos, blogs, articles, documents, and audio files, and trying to find something specific can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
But it doesn't have to be. You have the power to make your content discoverable.
Here, we list the top 5 things that you can do to ensure your content with your archive, collection or organisation can be easily found:
1) Make it obvious
Ensure that the place where your content is accessible is designed in such a way that makes searching not just easy, but really obvious. For example, a large search bar in the middle of the home page, or a search panel that can be brought up at any point means that users always have the option to explore further.
People are curious - if you make it easy and obvious enough for them to investigate, you encourage them to delve deeper and fully explore your content.
When we search for something, we expect the search results to bring back exactly what we asked for. Since keywords determine what we see on the search results page, it is essential that this very important task is not overlooked.
Poorly keyworded assets will either end up being displayed for search terms not related to the context of the asset, or worse - they may not show up at all! However, good keywording does not equate to masses of keywords. Only when all the keywords assigned to the asset in hand are relevant and describe the content and context of the asset is when the keywording has been conducted properly.
Remember - quality, not quantity!
Groups are a great way of neatly organising an abundance of content - it makes it clear to the user the exact types of content you have, and gives them direction on where to find it.
Groups are also great for those users who aren't entirely sure what they are looking for - if they don't have a specific search term in mind, housing your content in groups gives more browsing freedom.
4) Advanced search
Sometimes people are looking for something very specific. Why make them trawl through all your content, wasting their time, and frustrating them in the process, to find that one thing they are looking for?
Advanced search will enable users to set parameters, to bring back search results tailored to their specific requirements. Entering date ranges, specific keywords and image numbers speeds up the process of searching, bringing the content to the user much faster.
5) Feature groups on home page
Featuring different groups on your homepage is a way to highlight the best of your archive. Not only can it be deployed as a marketing tactic - e.g. 'love' themed assets displayed around Valentine's Day - but it can be used more generally to capture the attention of those visiting.
Feature some of your most enticing, exciting, and unique content in groups on the home page. Then, the only action users have to do it a single click to then access all this amazing content, which will lead them to stay on your site and explore further.