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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

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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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February 10, 2012

Does Your Online Marketing Match Up? 4 Key Content Marketing Tips to Improve Your Results (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – February 10, 2012)

February 10, 2012 | By | No Comments

Content marketing and social successContent marketing is on everyone’s lips these days.

Why?

Because, really, all Internet marketing is content marketing.

Working on on-page SEO? Than you need great content. Trying to build links? Better have something worth linking to. Sending emails? You need something to say. Want your customers to share your stuff socially? Ditto.

So, to help you get better at your content marketing (or social, or SEO, or what-have-you—remember, they’re all interrelated—check out these four awesome tips:

  1. Lee Odden’s TopRank leads off with a breakdown of how your content marketing can go from “good” to “great”. One of the key recommendations: Make your content easy to share. I talked about why that’s important earlier this week.
  2. Happily, James Duthie at Search Engine People looks at 3 key ingredients to creating sharable content.
  3. One of the main reasons sharable content marketing matters so much is the influence social now has on search results. And despite the fact that consumers aren’t real happy with Google’s new “social search” results, that doesn’t mean Big G’s going to stop using them anytime soon. Social adds to search. Period. So it’s important that you add both social and search to your toolkit. Search Engine Journal offers some great tips on how to create an effective Google+ & SEO content marketing strategy.
  4. Of course, nothing will make your content marketing and social sharing strategy work more effectively than a concentrated effort from your team. Which is why IT World asks how social is your culture? Getting the people part right is core to social success. Because, as I’ve said before, social is people.

Content marketing remains a core part of your online marketing efforts. Whether you’re interested in improving search rankings, increasing email open rates or inspiring social sharing, offering creating content your customers care about can separate you from the pack. And deliver the business results you’re looking for.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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January 19, 2012

Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza (Book Review of the Week-ish)

January 19, 2012 | By | No Comments


I don’t read a lot of “…for Dummies” books. And I suspect that many of you don’t either. Which, as “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” demonstrates, appears to be a really bad idea. Written by SEO legends Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza, you’re getting the very best advice from two of the very best SEO’s in the business.

SEO continues to provide one of the best, most cost-effective ways to grow your brand and your business. But, as many search engine optimization techniques remain cloaked in mystery and myth, companies often struggle to improve their site’s search rankings—and their business. Happily, Clay and Esparza shine light into the dark corners, unravel the mysteries and bust the myths to help you accomplish your goals.

More a desk reference than “read it end-to-end” kind of book, the book (really an anthology of multiple, shorter books), bristles with tips, tricks, and techniques you can use right away to improve your SEO efforts and your business results. Clay and Esparza make a key point early on, noting that those efforts,

“…can earn your site a higher ranking in search results pages. However, do not confuse the means with the end. Keep in mind your real goal—getting lots and lots of people to visit your site. [Emphasis mine]”

The authors refer back to this “real goal” repeatedly. They’re not focused on ways to “game” the search engines. Instead, they’re offering results-oriented advice that will help you in multiple aspects of your business. For instance, the section on “Discovering Your Site Theme” works both as an exercise in SEO and almost equally well for developing your overall positioning within the market.

The book provides excellent insights for the on-site, link-building and technical aspects of search engine optimization. So much so that I’d strongly recommend buying a copy for your technical, e-commerce and marketing teams—even if that’s just you. Clay and Esparza offer an intelligent, engaging and entertaining look at an important topic. Don’t let the title fool you. While it may say “…For Dummies” on the cover, grabbing a copy is one of the smartest things you can do.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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June 5, 2008

Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day (Book Review of the Week-ish)

June 5, 2008 | By | No Comments

  Search engine optimization (SEO) is not dead. I don’t care what ShoeMoney says. And no one makes a stronger case for search engine optimization’s continued survival – and importance – than Jennifer Grappone and Stephanie Couzin in the second edition of their book Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day.

Businesses large and small can use the practices of search engine optimization – keyword research and selection, landing page design, copywriting, and development practices – to attract more visitors and to turn those visits into sales.

Grappone and Couzin walk you through a 3-month plan designed to help you achieve both better positions within search engines and the business results that follow. As with the first edition of the book, after finishing – and frequently while reading it – I said, “Screw this ‘3 months’ nonsense! I’m going to lock myself in my cave and do this in one weekend!” Clearly, this is neither healthy nor effective. More to the point, it also doesn’t establish SEO practices as a discipline. So, while Grappone and Couzin offer a number of shortcuts for the Type A’s in the audience, their method aims to tame the madness.

Of particular note, the book looks at the specific of different types of sites – e-commerce, blogs, and non-profits alike – to determine how to best effect results. Their plan will help your organization – not matter its type – to get the most out of your site.

No, search engine optimization is not dead. And with authors like Grappone and Couzin on the scene, it’s not going anywhere soon. Following their advice may not guarantee you top spot the Google; But, you can expect greater business benefit from your site overall. Guaranteed. And that’s well worth what you’ll pay to buy this book.