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March 2, 2018

Mike Moran on Content Marketing, Site Search, and AI: The Thinks Out Loud Interview (Thinks Out Loud Episode 214)

March 2, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Mike Moran on content marketing, site search, and AI

Mike Moran on Content Marketing, Site Search, and AI: The Thinks Out Loud Interview (Thinks Out Loud Episode 214) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 28m 6s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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October 31, 2015

Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want? – E-commerce Link Digest

October 31, 2015 | By | No Comments

What more could you want than a look at Google, mobile, e-commerce, and moreReady for the weekend? Even more important, are you ready for this week’s link digest? Well, let’s see. This time we’ve got posts about Google, mobile, e-commerce, social, streaming video, bitcoin, net neutrality, plus a couple inspirational posts that help explain how to succeed in digital—and in business overall. I mean, really, what more could you want? Enjoy:

  1. Well, Google’s been busy lately. First, Search Engine Land says that Google warns webmasters again not to use sneaky, mobile-based redirects, proving once again that mobile is where Google’s putting tons of its energies these days.
  2. While keeping with the Google and mobile theme, a recent episode of our Thinks Out Loud podcast asks, “Google, Apple or Facebook: Who’ll Win the Mobile Web?” Spoiler: it’s too soon to tell. But check out the whole episode to understand why. And on the same topic, Quartz explores why Google can’t stop talking about mobile until it comes to real numbers.
  3. Another Search Engine Land piece offers a great FAQ all about the new Google RankBrain algorithm, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve its search results, and Search Engine Land also reports that the search giant now provides RLSA to AdWords Shopping Ads with its shopping remarketing lists. . Cool feature, and very welcome for e-commerce marketers.
  4. Quartz highlights a couple of breaking bit coin stories this week, including the EU admitting bitcoin is a currency and that AmEx just made its first bitcoin investment. I’m planning to delve deeper into what makes bitcoin important for the e-commerce and digital strategy space in the next few weeks. These Quartz articles will give you a head start on the topic.
  5. Business Insider shines a light on the latest from the NFL featuring its experiment with streaming. The A/V Club pours cold water on the league’s announcement that 15.2 million unique users viewed the stream in an article thoroughly submerged in snark, but still notes:

    “…three seconds of involuntary football fandom might not sound like much, but look at the product being offered. This was a game between two dreadful squads hailing from second-tier cities. It was played early on a weekend morning, and people in Buffalo and Jacksonville could see it on TV, giving them little reason to watch it online. Yahoo’s web stream was engineered to lack appeal… When Yahoo’s engineers were able to dupe 15.2 trillion people into spending more than zero time on Buffalo-Jacksonville, they succeeded in moving the needle. League officials can be happy…”

    It seems there may be something to this streaming thing in the future after all.

  6. Changing gears, eMarketer rounding up research from top marketers and found increasing audience engagement remains a key objective in social media marketing. Some wag once even went so far as to say that tactic represents the single most effective way to improve your brand’s digital marketing.
  7. A great piece over on KissMetrics says, “It’s Time to Kill These 8 Deadly Online Marketing Myths.” Yep. I agree.
  8. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review that states “Companies Value Curiosity but Stifle It Anyway​” provided the inspiration for my post, “Learning How to Fail.” Failure in e-commerce and marketing happens. Learning how to do it right ensures they’ll let you stick around to do it again.
  9. PSFK details five key retail trends every brand should invest in. Brilliant list, and well worth your time this week.
  10. And, finally, Ars Technica updates us all after the EU voted in favor of Internet fast lanes and slow lanes, striking a huge blow for net neutrality. This is a monumentally stupid idea. As I’ve said before, net neutrality matters for businesses large and small. This isn’t a partisan issue. It isn’t “socialism.” An open Internet benefits consumers and businesses, large and small alike. Stay tuned for more on this topic over time.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. And here’s hoping you have an amazing week ahead too!

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “8 Excellent Autumn E-commerce and Digital Marketing Posts,” these “6 Must-See Mobile Commerce Messages for You,” this set of “9 Digital Marketing Must-Reads for You This Weekend” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, plus these “7 Special E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Trending Topics: The Top Posts of September, 2015.”

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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October 28, 2015

Why Priceline Believes in the Death of Search Engine Optimization (Travel Tuesday)

October 28, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Death of Search Engine Optimization

Want to know one cause for the rising cost of guest acquisition? Look no further than the declining prominence and effectiveness of natural search as Google increasingly places paid ads higher on the search results pages. This reduces both the number of natural results per page and your guests’ opportunities to see those ads. The problem has become so pronounced that, in a report from Skift’s Global Forum, Priceline.com CEO Paul Hennessy announced the death of search engine optimization. Money quote:

“As far as SEO is, my view on that is it’s more of a desktop thought because as the devices get smaller and smaller and smaller, the number of choices from an SEO perspective on mobile decline dramatically. And so I believe it is a paid world.”

Well, that’s a bummer. If you subscribe to Hennessy’s worldview, you’d have to expect your paid costs will continue to increase. But you already know that. You’re living that every day.

However, this particular cloud really does have a few silver linings. For one thing, this hurts the folks trying to disrupt you as much as it hurts you. And, in some ways, more. For instance, Tnooz says that Airbnb is increasing its host fees as way to pay for Google advertising (a topic we covered a little bit in this week’s Hospitality Marketing Link Digest). That’s a mixed blessing for hoteliers, as it will drive up the rates Airbnb hosts charge — and will help protect hotel rates in those same markets.

Additionally, OTA’s, which by definition should possess lower quality scores than the hotels whose brand terms they sometimes bid on, have to pay higher costs than hotel marketers on a per-click basis. Or, at least they do when you focus on creating high quality content for your hotel’s website to show Google you’re a better answer to a guest’s questions.

Also lost in all of this is the fact that Priceline currently is hiring SEO product managers—and probably would love to see hotels reduce their SEO efforts. I don’t know about you, but I’d take Hennessey’s comments with a grain—if not a whole chunk—of salt.

Is search growing? It’s complicated. Desktop search isn’t really growing, while mobile search is. But, as Hennessy accurately points out, fewer opportunities exist for your hotel to appear in mobile search due to the size of the screen and Google’s increased use of paid placements in the search results. Add to that the fact that guests often substitute apps in place of “traditional” search, and you can see why this is a mess. Even if its growth has slowed, search remains an important part of traffic and reservations for your hotel’s website. And, I can’t imagine abandoning search engine optimization or paid search marketing as a positive at this point.

Instead, the real takeaways for your hotel marketing include:

  • SEO and content marketing remain a cost of doing business—and likely will be so for some time to come
  • Quality content continues to improve your natural search rankings and drive down your paid media costs by improving your paid search quality scores
  • Link-building activity—a key component of SEO activities—can help drive referred traffic in addition to its assumed “SEO benefit”
  • In other words, effectively executing your SEO and content marketing strategies drives business

In fact, the more nuanced—and in my mind accurate—quote in the Skift report comes from Evan Reece, Co-Founder and CEO of Liftopia, right at the very end of the article:

“So perhaps the way we think about SEO now, it is dying a bit. But delivering value to users has been a huge driver of success even within that old world, and brands that focus on that value creation will likely benefit from Google’s new world of delivering that value.”

As long as you continue to focus on creating high-quality content, that’s snackable, sharable, and sharp (something I talked about in my 2016 Trends report a few weeks back), and expand your use social for promotion, you should still expect to receive benefit from search for some time to come.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 18, 2014

Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (3rd Edition) by Bill Hunt and Mike Moran: Book Review of the Week-ish

December 18, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


You know why Google names all its search engine updates — Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, etc. — after animals? Because keeping up with search engine marketing is a frickin’ zoo. Just when you think you’ve figured out how it all works, Google goes and changes the rules. Again.

Happily, Bill Hunt and Mike Moran’s newly updated “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Website (3rd Edition)” can really help you stay on top of not just the latest changes, but also the underlying logic behind what really makes pages perform well in search. This updated classic provides the right mix of search engine marketing fundamentals, strategic insights, and practical knowledge to help you think about how to make search work for your business no matter what changes Google makes.

If you’re just starting out with search engine marketing, you’ll appreciate the easy, conversational style and clear explanations Hunt and Moran offer, laying out a straightforward, yet scalable framework you can apply to your marketing activities. At the same time, those of you who’ve been around the block a time or two will find new insights into how to increase the value of your search marketing efforts for your business.

I’ve known Mike Moran for a number of years and consider him both a friend and mentor. The same traits that make him a great guy to know — intelligent, funny, and genuinely interested in helping people grow — shine through in this latest edition of “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.”

You can expect Google to continue to change its algorithms and enhance the features of its signature search engine all throughout 2015. But with knowledge as valuable as what’s offered in “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.” in your hands and in your head, you’ll be able to handle Google’s zoo next year and beyond. Grab a copy today.

Interested in learning more about search engine marketing, e-commerce, and digital marketing overall? Check out some of our past posts on those topics, including:

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

Finally, if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Tim Peter

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November 26, 2014

What Google Fears – Thinks Out Loud Episode 100

November 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

Iphone search app homescreen

What Google Fears – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy the slides from my recent webinar, Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year,:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 59s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below: