Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It can be difficult to explain search engines, search engine optimization and just about any other internet concept to the layperson. I know - I am responsible for internet marketing for 28 hotels and I have taught the same basic information at least 5 times over the last 4 years to basically the same people. Some times the ability to combine words and graphics together to illustrate a concept or idea is underatted. People that are able to do this well create "infographics" which are defined as
1. It's a visual explanation that helps you more easily understand, find or do something.
2. It's visual, and when necessary, integrates words and pictures in a fluid, dynamic way.
3. It stands alone and is completely self-explanatory.
4. It reveals information that was formerly hidden or submerged.
5. It makes possible faster, more consistent understanding.
6. It's universally understandable.
(from the Communication Nation blog)

I wish I had access to some of these "infographics" from Elliance during my presentations. They do an excellent job of turning words and ideas into easily understandable graphics. Check out this graphic that explains how to use search engine marketing (SEM) tactics to acheive marketing goals.

They have infographics for everything from keyword research to search algorithms.

Here is a blog that focuses on infographics. I think it helps to see how others are able to represent ideas using these strategies. It makes creating presentations and explaining concepts easier for me. Hope this can help you as well.

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A Moment for Personal Growth: Are You Interesting?

Thanks to Hugh MacLeod for his tweet regarding "how to be interesting".

I love the ideas that Russell Davies gives in his blog post. I can talk to anyone in a small group, but when I get in to larger groups or networking events I often feel lost and don't feel that I have anything to talk about or share with others. Russell's post definitely gives me some food for thought and strategies on how I can feel I have more to contribute.

Anyone else have any good tips for a person who becomes introverted in large groups?

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Travel Suppliers At Odds With Google

Google may be the 600 pound gorilla of the internet, but right now they have big trouble on their hands from travel suppliers like Marriott and American Airlines. These suppliers are asking Google to get tougher with advertisers who utilize a tactic called piggybacking.

Piggybacking in the process of advertisers using trademarks and service marks of other companies in their advertising copy. The hope is that the consumer will get confused and click on the offender's ad instead of going to the site of the real deal. The major search engines, including Google, have policies prohibiting this currently. However, they aren't very good at enforcing these policies, unless violations are brought to their attention. In fact, one of Google's own systems for generating advertising copy can create and publish ads that violate this policy. Ouch!!

It is important that as hotel suppliers we look out for this type of activity. While we alone may not be able to stop it with the help of our brand partners, we can help put pressure on Google to solve the problem. The volume of travel related search traffic is big enough that given enough pressure, Google will surely see the light and fix the problem.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Moving On Up - Online Hotel Bookings Contine Move to Supplier Sites

Score one for the good guys. In 2005 hoteliers started the drive for best rate guarantees and it continues to pay off. The latest comScore study shows that 72% of online hotel bookings are currently going to supplier sites. This is a positive 3.2% change from the same time last year. This trend indicates what I have been thinking for a while that travel agent sites are becoming more of a shopping tool.

This is great news from my perspective. However, hoteliers need to be careful not to end up back in the same spot they were in during the downturn in 2001 to 2003. The key right now is to increase exposure via ppc and other ROI driven online marketing.

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