• aboutPeople

about us vector A few things worth knowing

Keyword First is an independent digital agency comprised of people who started doing paid search before Google. We’ve since grown to focus on SEM, SEO, mobile, social, analytics and content, leveraging innovation and best practices to present the right message to the right person at the right time.

While we take great pride in being digital media experts, our driving focus on clients and their success is the foundation for one of our core values, Transparency. We encourage clients to be involved and see everything we’re doing for them. We are passionate about the idea that working collaboratively produces superior results.

Together, We make your digital media perform better and help you grow brand relationships, one interaction at a time.

Our value is in our values

Client-focused. Measurement-obsessed. Totally-transparent. We’re an honest and uncomplicated agency that understands we succeed when you perform better. We promise to be your trusted advisor, collaborator, partner and kindred spirits in pursuing success-without the drama.

get to know us vector Get to know us

KeywordFirst is an independent digital agency with a passion for measurable marketing and growing brand relationships, one click at a time. We’re comprised of hard working marketers, each with a long history of making clients successful using performance media.

Our goal is to make our client’s digital media perform better. To help customers and clients get more from every interaction they have with your brand. And ultimately, to make our client’s media lead to sales, loyalty, and advocacy.

  • Kristen Christie

    Kristen Christie

    "My favorite thing about KeywordFirst is the small-agency vibe with large-scale opportunities. It’s never been more efficient to disseminate learnings, trends, or new betas throughout an entire company; hollering is often easier than email. There’s also a lot less competition for the red velvet Spunky Dunkers donuts.

    In my free time I enjoy being an over-the-top dog-mom to a Lab-mix named Titan. Whether I’m training him at the dog park or watching Netflix, he’s my 55-pound shadow."

  • Kurt Anagnostopolous

    Kurt Anagnostopolous

    "I’ve been in the Digital Media space for longer than I would like to admit. The reason I went down this path all those years ago is the reason I still enjoy it to this day. It’s a fast moving, ever changing landscape that give us access to real time data to make real time decisions. It’s that mix of marketing, analytics and a continual stream of new ideas and technology that keeps things exciting and allows us to push our clients forward.

    I’m a fairly simple and uncomplicated person. I’ll take the sun, sand, water, outdoors and any chance I can get to go fishing. Add my family and friends around a table full of good food and that is about all I need."

  • Eric Wasowicz

    Eric Wasowicz

    "I am involved with many different companies in the technology and ad tech space and I have always been impressed with the depth of knowledge and professionalism from the KeywordFirst people and they’re REALLY great people to work with.

    It is always great to be around honest, smart and hard working people that also like to have fun."

  • Emily Catalano

    Emily Catalano

    "My passion for digital marketing is fueled by the way it constantly challenges my perspective. There are countless ways to interpret performance so finding creative solutions requires the ability to see things from many points of view.

    I plan to visit every National Park in my lifetime. I love to travel, read, garden and do yoga."

  • David Deal

    David Deal

    "I believe that doing good is good business.

    I am blessed to be surrounded by creators and dreamers. My wife and daughter fill my life with art every day. They inspire me."

  • Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson

    "Digital marketing is constantly evolving and it creates opportunities to learn every day. I have done this for over twenty years now and I am still excited about the innovation happening in digital.

    I love hanging out at our cabin and enjoy kayaking, cooking and spinning vinyl. I also recently discovered adventure motorcycling and have planned a ride to Alaska this Summer."

  • Taylor Murphy

    Taylor Murphy

    "Being creative and solving problems are two of my favorite aspects of digital marketing. I love collaborating with my talented teammates who are all dedicated to creating and testing innovative strategies to enhance our client's results.

    Everyone in the office knows I’m passionate about making lists and being organized, but in addition to that, I enjoy yoga, chocolate, country music and all things Disney."

  • Beth Bauch

    Beth Bauch

    "What I love most about working in digital media is that no two days are alike. At KeywordFirst, we are always finding ways to optimize and grow results and working to develop strong relationships with our clients. Top marketing results come from truly understanding your clients’ needs and developing a relationship built on trust.

    Outside of digital media, my greatest joy comes in spending time with my family. Having devoted many years to raising a son and two daughters, my husband and I take great pride and enjoyment in watching them begin their new lives as young, independent adults. And, we are discovering being empty-nesters has some nice perks as well!”

  • Tim Colucci

    Tim Colucci

    "Working besides others who are enjoyable to be around, smart, and dedicated always makes the days fly by. At KeywordFirst, not only do I work with great people, I have also been given the opportunity to try my hand at a number of different tactics before figuring out that my passion was YouTube. That’s not always an option at other agencies!

    When I’m not playing/listening to the blues and jazz, I love to shop around for new vinyl records to add to my collection; from Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis to Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan, it’s all great. With Andy’s, The Green Mill, Kingston Mines, B.L.U.E.S., Buddy Guy’s, and so many more venues, could you ask for a better place than Chicago to love music?"

  • Alexa Gianaris

    Alexa Gianaris

    "One of my favorite aspects of Digital Marketing is being able to delve into targeting and discover the voice and interests of our audience. Each brand’s unique client set allows for a new challenge of crafting that impactful message for them and finding that specific user base.

    When escaping the office, I focus my time around enjoying the arts as well as working towards my self-proclaimed titles of amateur sommelier and curious traveler."

  • Mark Smith

    Mark Smith

    "Back in 2000 I chose to enter the Digital Marketing space because I was fascinated by it and what it could become. Today I still feel the same way and am lucky to work with so many great people at KeywordFirst who share that passion.

    My wife and I have four kids and over the years we’ve spent a lot of time at cross country meets, swim meets, band concerts and other activities. I’m so glad I’ve been able to spend all that time with them and I’m also so glad that they’re all more coordinated than I was as a kid."

  • Morgan Reilly

    Morgan Reilly

    "I love working at KWF because of the close knit feel of the company. Also, I enjoy that every day/week is completely different. I like that I have the ability to shift topics or tactics, so if I’m feeling very granular, I’ll look into SQR’s, while I can shift to looking at Monthly and Yearly Trends, when I want to focus on the bigger picture.

    One of my other passions is calligraphy. Handwriting is a lost art thanks to digital…my bad…So I love that I can focus on something as simple as writing a word, such as peanut butter. (also another passion of mine)."

  • Ellen Smith

    Ellen Smith

    “I enjoy the challenges of digital marketing and working with the team at KeywordFirst. It’s a great learning environment – one where we work together to deliver the right solutions for our customers.

    Outside the office I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, whether it’s camping, hiking or exploring a national park. I am an avid runner and spend a lot of my free time on long runs training for an upcoming race. I find it’s a great way to decompress and to think about what I need to accomplish in the days or weeks ahead.“

  • Darren Smolen

    Darren Smolen

    "I love rolling out of bed in the morning and coming to KeywordFirst because of the people involved. We help each other be better. Everything else falls into place after that.

    A. I enjoy a fine game of Risk.
    B. I frequently experience “Wikipedia Episodes” where I find myself lost in a sea of useless information after (10) sub-page clicks.
    C. I’m clearly an unapologetic dork verified by examples A and B."

  • Samantha Coconato

    Samantha Coconato

    "My favorite thing about digital marketing is that it is always changing and evolving. Paid search was not something I learned in school and it is already vastly different than on my first day at KeywordFirst.

    The constant change means I always have to keep learning and educating myself, which I enjoy.
    When I am not working, I enjoy teaching yoga, inventing new recipes and spending time with my family, friends and cats. I am also very passionate about pierogis and Mexican food!"

  • Héctor Ariza

    Héctor Ariza

    “Digital marketing is the perfect combination of science and art. Analyzing data and keeping up with the industry trends is challenging, yet immensely interesting. When you have a team as capable and knowledgeable as the one at KeywordFirst, there is no impossible task.

    I can be described as a coffee-powered lover of Italian food who enjoys learning about everything: cars, music, history, people, economics . . . hence the term ‘globally curious.’”

  • Bella Schneider

    Bella Schneider

    “My favorite aspect of digital marketing is that it allows me to be incorporate both my creative side and my business skills. Every client is unique – so it's fun to think outside of the box to solve each client's need in a different and creative way. I love working in a smaller, communal environment and being able to know the people I work with on a personal level. Everyone is always willing to offer advice, and they inspire me to do my best work.

    On a personal level I love McDonald's, Coca-Cola, reading, doodling, and sports. I also enjoy being active. My goal is to run a marathon one day.”