Lee Odden

What is Digital Asset Optimization?

digital asset optimizationIt’s likely you’ve heard plenty about search engine optimization but what about “Digital Asset Optimization”?

Many companies that have applied basic SEO principles to standard web site content see substantial benefits. Adding new content and attracting links help maintain search marketing performance but is that all you can do to be competitive with SEO? No.

A natural progression of SEO is a holistic approach that considers all of a company’s searchable assets that can be keyword optimized and promoted online. Standard optimization of content in the form of web page SEO is a starting point that can be extended to various media types that are increasingly prominent in both standard search as well as media specific search such as images, video (see below for 5 video DAO tips) and audio. Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) can be applied to various document/file formats such as RSS, MS Office, Flash, PDF, etc as well.

social media

In the screenshot above from Google on the search query, “social media”, you can see images, video and news results are incorporated into standard search results. All are opportunities for optimization.

Search Engine Optimization is challenging enough for organizations rich with digital assets. An effort to optimize and promote those assets to bots can be both challenging and rewarding.  Digital Asset Optimization is how we describe for clients what new opportunities there are to enable their customers to pull themselves via search to client content.

Companies that are not rich in digital assets can leverage the variety of assets offline and online that they DO have for improved search marketing benefit. A common example is the repurposing of offline content and digital media for online marketing purposes.

For example, tradeshow or training videos used offline could be remixed & edited to provide online content in the form of online video, images and text. Each media type can be optimized for standard search such as Google or Bing, as well as promoted on distinct media sites such as YouTube and Flickr.

In particular, a video offers multiple media optimization opportunities:

  1. Videos hosted with services such as Vimeo or YouTube can be optimized
  2. Videos hosted with 3rd party services can be embedded into any web page, blog post or within a press release on services
  3. Screen shots of key moments in the video can be hosted on image sharing sites with links back to the actual video
  4. Show notes can accompany the embdeded video to provide users and search engines with context and explanation of the video (using relevant keywords)
  5. A separate article made up of a transcription of the video can be posted on or off site as a promotion for the embedded video page

The fundamental premise for good SEO or DAO or whatever you want to call optimizing content is that “If it can be searched on, it can be optimzed”.

“Searchability” implies an asset is crawled by a bot and subsequently available for sorting within search results when consumers perform queries. As such, each type of searchable content presents an opportunity for optimization and improved visibility.

The benefits of a more holistic optimization and marketing approach can be extended beyond content used to attract leads and sales. There other types of search that can drive or benefit business including customer service related content, job listings and news content. Each has it’s own audience to consider and therefore, a different context for optimization.

Making it easier for search engines to do find, index and sort content will bring benefits to most companies who make the effort to do so in the form of increased sales, recruiting, and news coverage as well as lower customer support costs. That is the new opportunity this year and next for corporate content optimization efforts.

Developing an interdepartmental process for matching up the various digital assets with corresponding channels of promotion gives companies with minimal content resources additional online marketing opportunities. It also gives companies that produce substantial content an overwhelming competitive advantage. They key to any successful SEO or DAO effort is developing the proper strategy, implementation and management to reaching business goals.

Is your company’s SEO effort focused on web pages or do you optimize and track search performance for other digital assets as well?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Excellent post! We are in the midst of implementing a DOA strategy and I posted about DOA and its impact on businesses creating their corporate social graph:

  2. Great post. My company is currently using social media as a channel to enhance our SEO. I think DAO gives online professionals more focus when putting together a long-term strategy.

  3. Nice post. A good reminder that everything we put on our site needs to be maxed out in to it’s full potential.

  4. Great post! Utilising your digital assests is going to become an essentila part of any organisation in the very recent future. Having a full service digitial agency on your books will become an essential daily contact to ensure that you keep infront of the competition.

  5. Not heard of this term, but what a great way to explain to my clients how to gain organic website traffic. Thanks!

  6. Lee,

    This is a great post. I think it is important to note, relative to: “If it can be searched on, it can be optimzed” — the “creative” component of DAO. Knowing how to optimize content is like driving on a 2-lane road. Knowing how to use right-brain creativity with DAO speeds up (or slows down) this destination conversation, in essence, adding billboards along the road. CDAO (Creative Digital Asset Optimization) is your personal story, not just driving a car in the right direction from point A to B, but owning the highway with roadside billboards that illuminate your story for all of the other cars to see — just a click away. Knowing what you want your personal story/brand to say online and utilizing CDAO is a way to gain valuable organic website traffic. I believe right-brain, creative strategy, however, is one of the more under-estimated components of online optimization. Creative SEO and CDAO capture engagement, and do not just become a click on a traffic counter. Creative SEO and CDAO are permanent billboards on digital highways. Designing these billboards is an art, “not” just a science roadmap. Success involves understanding the holistic nature of marketing as it relates to a company’s brand and its companion product/service goals. Right brain and left brain – need to like each other, and work together.

  7. Say DAO in realy short sentence:
    Search Engine Optimization + Social Media Optimization = Digital Asset Optimization