IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

Archive for February 2010

SEM Research and Anthropology

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My son is studying anthropology right now at Edinboro University, and chatting with him about his class made me think about how studying keywords and web engagement for search engine marketing  is so similar to the larger study of human behavior.

Anthropology is defined by Merriam Webster as ” the science of human beings; especially : the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture.”

Doing keyword research with Trellian’s KeywordDiscovery, Google AdWords Keyword Tool and Google Analytics this year, I am fascinated with how human beings have changed their search habits to access  information as the internet matures.  Back in the late 90’s, people, at least in our tiny B-to-B industrial niche, searched from general to specific.  2001-2006, searches became very specific.  This year, I’m seeing a return to search strings beginning in very general terms.

Back to the idea of anthropology and keyword analysis– it is so fascinating to study where we have been and try to anticipate how we will continue to evolve.  It’s also great to have a kid in college who likes to study the same things that  I do!

anthropology. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved February 16, 2010, from


Google AdWords Keyword Tool,

Google Analytics,


Written by Beth Ryan

February 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

SEO & SEM — a true adventure

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This week I’ve been hard at work doing keyword research for search engine optimization (SEO).  I use this research not only to optimize our website, but to also evaluate keywords for search engine marketing (SEM).  

I have been practicing – I say practicing because the search engines are continually changing their logarithms and there is something new to learn every day – SEO since 1999, and 11 years later, I find it fascinating how people’s search habits have changed, and how the technologies have advanced to really target messaging and analyze how people interact with the website, advertising and public relations.

 What I observed this past year:

  •  The rise and fall, then the resurrection of banner ads – the modern-day billboard
  • Social media tools have a great capacity to improve user engagement; I see this particularly in terms of conversions for one of our old economy PR programs that has found a new audience
  • Translation tools, particularly Google translator, have become amazingly accurate and ubiquitous supporting expanded sharing of content; a good reminder to keep copy short and succinct, staying away from analogies and metaphors that may not translate well
  • What did we do before Linked In and Twitter?
  • The rise and fall, then resurrection of industrial directories as a resource for customers, and a source for excellent external links – my favorite is ThomasNet (formerly Thomas Register); the press room in particular, has been a real asset
  • Google AdWords has some amazing new tools and they just keep improving their user interface; always a pleasure to use
  • The increasing popularity of mobile access to websites and email — even in an old economy business like ours

The basics of SEO in terms of research, good writing, quality linking and Meta tag management have not changed, but the growth of technology has made SEO and SEM a true adventure – always changing, always amazing.  One of my favorite jobs.

Written by Beth Ryan

February 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm