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Are you consulting your database of intentions?

Internet luminary John Battelle is famous for describing Google as a “database of intentions.” Back in 2003, it was a critical insight, that Google searches were actually a way of understanding what people wanted, what they were interested in, what they wanted to do.

But did you know that you probably have your own database of intentions? One that you own? One that you don’t need Google’s permission to consult? It’s your site search engine.

Every day, people type things into your search box. They enter keywords that describe content that they think you have on your site. Content that they want to find from you. You can think of those keywords as a list of items that are important to your customers and prospects. And it is a ranked list–you actually can see how many people have searched for each item. The more that search for it, the more important that keyword is.

The question is whether you are doing anything to mine this data. Do you look at your site search keyword list? Do you check to see if those keywords find any content? Is it the right content? Are your customers finding what they are looking for?

Most companies are ignoring this data. Are you? If you are, you are missing a critical source of data–your own database of intentions. This is a treasure trove of market research that helps you identify gaps in your content and errors in your content optimization. Don’t miss your chance to improve your content around your very own database of intentions.

 

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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