Announcing Our New VP Sales and Marketing!

ericwithgirls

Eric and his 3 daughters Celeste, Brooke and Audrey

Last month, here at Blizzard, we welcomed Eric Fullerton as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Eric has a very unique and diverse background in online marketing and technology implementation and we are so excited to have him here!

Eric’s expertise has helped many leading companies develop innovative solutions online which have lead to increases in business and enhanced ROI. For the past 13 years, Eric has worked in online marketing and eCommerce/web architecture for Aspen/Snowmass Resort, Stay Aspen Snowmass, Sport Obermeyer, and Ski.com.  Among other things, he also helped to improve the online presence for over 150 websites in hospitality and other industries.

You may recognize his name from a conference or workshop you’ve attended in the past.  He’s presented at numerous industry gatherings, including Search Engine Strategies in New York and Mountain Travel Symposium, the annual event for the ski industry.  He also co-produced the Partners in Group Sales conference for several years.  His engaging and entertaining presentations have earned him high regards amongst those in both the hospitality and SEO industries.

“I am very excited to be a part of this expert team at Blizzard Internet Marketing,” says Eric, “In the short time I have been here, it is clear that this company’s customer-centric values, service, and professionalism provide a high caliber of comprehensive marketing solutions for hotel, resort, vacation rental, and real estate companies in the US. I am confident that with our modern technology solutions coupled with our excellent reputation and visionary leadership we can go very far.”

Eric holds Bachelors degrees from UC Santa Cruz in philosophy and psychology and a MBA with an emphasis in Marketing/eCommerce from the University of Phoenix. We look forward to Eric sharing his vast knowledge and techniques to continue to push our client’s Online Marketing efforts to the next level.  His expertise and passion for marketing and technology will give us some extra edge!

Be sure to catch Eric at our upcoming Blizzard University on July 16 & 17th here in Glenwood Springs.   He will also be speaking at the national VRMA conference in Nashville and RezFest in Las Vegas this fall.  And if you can’t make it to the Workshop, be sure to keep an eye out for some of his great knowledge on our blog.  If you don’t run into him camping, hunting, hiking or skiing in the mountains, you can follow him here: www.linkedin.com/in/ericfullerton or on twitter: @ericjfullerton

 

Google AdWords Remarketing Campaign Best Practices – Part 3 of 3

A remarketing campaign, when set up well, can cost less than a regular pay-per-click campaign. Here are some best practices to follow for remarketing campaigns:

  1. Know your remarketing campaign’s objective. Is it for general branding or to facilitate a purchase? If it’s for a purchase, remarketing ads are ideal to offer special pricing to customers who have already visited your site and to motivate them to take action now and buy! Also, we recommend using cost-per-click bidding for most campaigns, except for the most generalized branding campaigns, which could use cost-per-impression.
  2. Set up specific bids.  Use the features in AdWords to segment or target your display campaigns based on interests, remarketing lists, or demographics.  In the case of remarketing, you’ll want to set bids based on specific audiences, it increases the chance of your ad displaying properly. Each audience segment will have a specific bid assigned to it that you can manipulate in order to accomplish your goals.  Follow your campaigns and adjust bids as necessary to achieve conversions on your website.
  3. Use remarketing tags. Remarketing tags are specific Google analytics scripts that when implemented, allow you to target website visitors that have been to specific areas of your website.  By using a single code throughout the website, you can build lists within Google analytics based on actions, pages visited, and goals, and use them in AdWords to build your target audience.    When putting together the audience, you will have the ability to exclude people who have completed certain goals or have already purchased from you.  
  4. Use contextual targeting. Contextual targeting matches your ads to those sites on the Display Network that are relevant based keywords or topics, among other factors.  You have the ability to allow Google to choose these sites for you with Automatic Placements or you can manually add websites or pages by using the Managed Placements option.  After your campaign has run for a while, you also have the ability to block sites that aren’t performing or don’t match your goals. 
  5. Limit the frequency that your ad is shown. Don’t be creepy or annoying.  Put a frequency cap on how often your ad is shown to certain users.  We suggest capping your ads at 3 views per 24 hour period.
  6. Measure what works. Review your placement reports and nurture the campaigns that perform the best.  Follow your statistics and keep your goals in mind.

Remarketing can be a very successful endeavor for many goals in your advertising campaigns.  It sends a highly targeted message that should result in a substantial ROI.  Following these basic standards will help you to achieve your goals.

How much does Google AdWords remarketing cost? Part 2 of 3

The cost of a remarketing campaign is going to be different for every single advertiser, just like it is for Search campaigns.  You will need to consider that you will incur costs for the actual clicks or impressions you receive (based on your bidding methods, competition, etc.), plus additional costs for the steps you need to take to implement tracking code, privacy policies and create remarketing ads.

There are 4 basic costs to consider:
1.    The cost per click or impression for your ads.

  •  Don’t forget about the time spent on setting up a remarketing campaign!

2.    The cost to add the code to your website.

  •  You will need to replace a single line of code to the existing Google Analytics code on your website. You can get that code from within Google Analytics. This allows Google to track cookies placed on your visitor’s browser, and add them to your remarketing lists.
  •  In addition, if you aren’t already tracking action items on your website, such as reservations, contact forms, etc. you should implement code on key pages of your website that allow you to measure return on investment and other important conversion goals.  Take the time to do this!

3.    The cost to add privacy policy information to your website.

  • This can be added to the current privacy policy page on your site.

4.    The cost to create remarketing ads.

  • You should invest a little time (and money) into ad creation, and have your design team create professional, top quality ads.  You can use the AdWords Display Ad Builder tool if needed.  However, the better the ad, the better your chances of getting that visitor back!

When done properly, you can significantly increase the return on your ads by using remarketing. The time, energy and cost required to get remarketing campaigns going in your AdWords account is worth it in terms of increasing revenue. So, don’t be shy; add the remarketing tags to your website and dip your toe in the water by setting up a small, trial remarketing campaign.

Stay tuned to hear the nitty-gritty on Remarketing Best Practices.

Remarketing in Google AdWords – It’s All About Targeting, Folks! Part 1 of 3

Part 1:

You spend a lot on your PPC ads in Google AdWords. But how many people make a purchase decision the first time that they visit your website? The trick is to capture the traveler who is thinking about coming your way, and still shopping. If you could only capture their email address, you could remind them about why they should stay with you.  But capturing emails means work for the person visiting your site. People hate work.

Remarketing, however, allows you to capture that visitor’s information without your web visitors doing ANYTHING.

Zip.

Nada.

Sound cool? It is! If you aren’t already doing remarketing, then read on.

I was purchasing TV ad time in the early 90s for the small business where I worked. (Yes, I know how that dates me.) I met with the ad rep from CBS, ABC, NBC, and also the “Cable” rep. I could choose my ad time based on the characteristics of the people who watched certain shows. I also purchased magazine and newspaper ads. People who read them had certain traits in common, and I was able to target the people most likely to purchase the products we were offering.

Then along came the Internet and PPC ads. Now we could market to people from all over the world, regardless of where they were, and target them based on what keywords they were targeting. Think about it. I pay for impressions to people searching for keyword terms, and I can limit certain things such as what part of the world they are in, but clearly, I’m targeting a very wide audience with my PPC ads. It’s great to have a wide reach, but also it means a lower number of those people will be likely to book a stay with me, and I can easily pay more per booking, or conversion.

However, when I remarket to those people who already visited my website, suddenly I have the benefit of several things:

1. Repeat impressions. The more often that someone sees your ad, the likelier they are to book. You get that somewhat with PPC ads, but it is diluted. If you use remarketing, however, you specifically target the people who have already been to your website, and you could make it based on viewing a particular page, such as a property that you rent to travelers, or your reservation page.

2. Focus. Your ads are shown to people who already expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer, not just to people who have put in certain keywords into a search engine.

3. Specific Ads for Specific Desires. You can display ads targeted at what the traveler is looking for. If you know that they are coming for a specific event, like Spring Break, you can choose that ad to display to them.

Coming soon: How much does remarketing cost?

Want to learn how to set up remarketing campaigns?

We can help. Our Pay-Per-Click Focus Plans include training on how to more effectively spend your AdWords campaign budgets.

Blizzard Welcomes New Team Members

 

Blizzard recently hired three new employees to join our busy design and marketing firm.  Tammy is our new Administrative/Technical Assistant.  With a degree from the University of Mass, she brings with her a very diversified skill set for handling our day-to-day operations. She will also provide hosting and IT support.  Kimberly graduated from the University of Denver and is a Project Manager.  She has an extremely diverse work experience and background including advertising, graphic design, and marketing.  She excels in customer service and is exited to help our clients reach their online marketing goals.  After graduating from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dan moved to Colorado and is now our new Business Development Manager.  He will be concentrating on creating relationships with our current customer base and working to increase our internal sales. We are happy to welcome our new employees and look forward to a mutually successful future.

See How Easily You Can Learn About Google Analytics and The Power of Your Brand in Search

Blizzard has a few Webinars coming up. Hope to see you there:

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Conversion Tool
Monday, November 28th, 2011 10AM MST

Learn about the most exciting new Google Analytics feature to come along in years!  This may be the single most exciting online marketing development during 2011.
Learn how to setup and interpret this valuable new data which is guaranteed to shed new light on where your online bookings really come from and will most likely change your budgeting process in 2012. This is a 30 minute webinar.

The Power of Your Brand in Google’s Search Algorithm
Thursday, December 8th, 2011 1PM MST

Learn how your Brand is becoming an increasingly important component in Google’s organic search algorithm.  Google monitors your brand signals and will rank you higher and drive more search engine traffic to your website if your brand appears stronger than your competitors.

Learn about the brand signals Google tracks in its algorithm and what you can do to increase the strength and frequency of those signals.

Google Plus for Hotels and Vacation Rentals: Strategies, Tactics and Tips
Wednesday December 14th, 2011 10AM MST

Get a head start in the new Google+ social networking platform. Learn how to get your account going and how to get the most out of it.  Includes tips for newbies but focuses on strategies and tactics that will work in the world of guest marketing.

Now You Can Watch A Full-Day Marketing Seminar from Your Desk

On Sunday October 9th, Trent Blizzard presented a full day online marketing seminar.  It was chock-full of timely and important marketing tips for travel marketers.

We are making the full video available on Monday October 31st.  You can order it for the small investment of $50.  It will be available “on-demand” so you can watch it at your desk and at your leisure.

Topics Included:

  • Google +1 is a promising new feature from Google that is still being developed.  Learn what it can do for you now and what strategies to implement in 2012 to achieve maximum benefit.
  • Custom Facebook Apps and Tabs: A review of the nifty, convenient and seductive world of Facebook custom tabs.  The real pros are using these to turn their Facebook page into a second website that can turn lookers into bookers.  Bonus: Blizzard will give each attendee a free Facebook App. ($250 value)*
  • Facebook Pay-Per-Click Marketing: Learn how to take advantage of Facebook’s PPC program to increase your ‘Likes’ and steal mind-share from your competitors.
  • Top Facebook Tips: The top 10 tips for getting new fans and engaging with your current ones.
  • Link Building is still going strong.  Learn about recent changes and how Google uses links in its algorithm. Bonus: Blizzard will give you 10 great links that will drive qualified traffic ($250 value)*
  • Website Load Time: Learn how your website’s speed… or slowness… is being factored into Google’s algorithm.  Find out how to measure your speed, track it in Google Analytics, and what simple steps can improve it.
  • Schema: Learn about the new coding directives that Google, Bing and Yahoo! rolled out in June, 2011 and how you can take advantage to help Google index your website.
  • The Changing World of Online Reviews: Google has changed how they index your reviews and your strategies should change accordingly. Learn the best way to get more out of your current reviews and where to drive new reviews.
  • Google Analytics: Learn about all of the changes and new features that have happened to Google Analytics in the last year that will help you to measure your growth and success.
  • Email Marketing: Learn some easy tricks and discover a few powerful tools to capture more email addresses, and get more out of your existing email marketing efforts.
  • Vacation Rental Marketing Benchmarks and Stats: Learn how your website compares to industry benchmarks using BlizzardTracker.
  • Booking Engine Effectiveness: Increase your conversion rates by implementing 10 proven features.
  • New Online Tools: Discover cool new tools to track your results, monitor your competitors, increase your effectiveness or just plain have fun.
  • $50 to watch the video-on-demand at your leisure.
  • The video is free for current Blizzard clients.