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

 

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.

 

 

 

Develop Your Search Marketing and Google Expertise in Colorado

Create your in-house search marketing expertise during a 2-day search marketing workshop intensively focused on gaining success from Google.

You are invited to join Blizzard Internet Marketing for a Google Boot Camp held in our hometown of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Join hospitality, lodging, vacation rental managers, and other travel companies to discover online marketing strategies that will increase search engine rankings, drive more traffic to your website, and improve your  marketing strategy; guaranteed.

You will leave the workshop with a list of marketing action items, guaranteed, or your money back.

The workshop will be held on October 13 -14, 2010 at the Hotel Denver, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. A Glenwood Springs landmark, The Hotel Denver is adjacent to the Colorado River the famous Glenwood Hot Springs, and is walking distance to historic downtown Glenwood Springs.

[Read more…]

Increase Productivity – Use an Additional Monitor

How many monitors to you use in your workspace? I have 2, sometimes 3 when my laptop is open.

Everyone at Blizzard Internet uses at least 2 monitors; in fact one employee told me that “you will pry my 2nd monitor from my cold dead hands before taking it away from me.”
I HIGHLY recommend that you get your employees at least one more monitor because:
1) It will increase their productivity. I have seen research that productivity can be increased by anywhere between, 9-50%, that alone is worth the cost. http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/02/18/234899/multiple-monitors-boost-productivity-by-35.5.htm
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/2006-03-02-two-monitors_x.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/20/technology/20basics.html
2) It’s cheap. 24″ screens are now less than $300.
3) They will love (or at least like) you more. This will crease morale, and also increase productivity.

Everyone at Blizzard Internet uses at least 2 monitors and our developers have 3.  One employee told me that “you will pry my 2nd monitor from my cold dead hands before taking it away from me.” So, that pretty much sums up how they feel about it.

I HIGHLY recommend that you get your employees at least one more monitor because:

  1. It will increase their productivity. I have seen research that productivity can be increased by anywhere between, 9-50%, that alone is worth the cost. I read this in Computer Weekly, the USA Today, and the New York Times.
  2. It’s cheap. 24″ screens are now less than $300.
  3. They will love (or at least like) you more. This will increase morale and increase productivity.

Check out my productive team:

Larry, the master of his own domain and master of coding, uses 3 monitors to rule the world.Larry is a mad man!

Matt optimizes his productivity when optimizing websites using dual monitors.Matt is productive

Angelina Doglie is working as slow as molasses with her single monitor.1 screen stinks

Blizz on Flickr See more pictures of the Blizzard Internet Marketing Team being productive on on Flickr.

Site Map FAQs

Now that you know the top 10 Site Map Do’s and Don’ts and the basics about site maps, we will answer a few questions that we often get about creation and size.

How many links SHOULD I have on my site map?
In our research, we have found that Google allows up to 50,000 URL’s on one site map!  But remember, the Google site map is not intended for human visitors but for the Googlebot that indexes your XML site map to see all of your pages.
For an HTML site map, usually fewer than 100 links is acceptable.  Any more than that Google considers to be a “link farm” and your site could be penalized.

How do you create a Site Map for a large site? [Read more…]

Movin’ On Up, To the Westside

Blizzard Street Sign.JPGBlizzard Internet Marketing is excited to announce that we have officially moved our headquarters from the downtown area of Glenwood Springs to west Glenwood!

We shopped for the perfect place for a few years knowing that we wanted to stay in Glenwood Springs because it’s a central locale, our strong connections to the community, and the beautiful views.Back of the New Blizzard Interent Building

Blizzard Internet purchased the office building previously occupied by the Bureau of Land Management who is now in a new building west of Glenwood. After a few touch ups, new carpet, and fresh paint, it is really starting to feel like home!

We had a huge garage sale in June to get rid of the extra stuff, including over 50 staplers (somehow they multiplied, we gave up trying to solve that mystery), and other things that a growing company accumulates after being in a location for almost a decade.Where does this go Dolly

Like any move, this was not an easy process and it would not have been possible without a great leader to make it happen. Dolly Weber, our receptionist extraordinaire, headed up the gigantic project and made it as seamless as possible; she organized everything from the movers to the employees and the contractors, all with a smile on her face.

Blizzard Internet’s IT and Hosting Department also went above and beyond to assure that there was no down time. The minute our teams arrived to the new office we had internet access and were ready to rock.

So if you are driving on I-70 in the mountains Western Colorado, make sure to stop by and say hi. We are on the north side of the highway and now have a sign, so you can’t miss us!

Check out pictures of the new digs!

Blizzard’s Upcoming Webinars

Here is a list of webinars we are planning for Spring 2009. Each of these webinars are targeted at hotels, vacation rental managers, and resorts.  The are free, just follow the links to sign up.

Measuring What Matters I:  How Do you Stack up Against your Online Competitors?

While monitoring a few top keywords phrases is a tempting yardstick, it doesn’t accurately measure your effectiveness against your competitors.  Learn about a set of metrics that offers a more sophisticated and accurate comparison.

April 8th, 2009 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM MDT

Measuring What Matters II:  Tracking Your Website’s Critical Drivers

While monitoring a few top keywords phrases is a tempting yardstick, it doesn’t accurately measure your websites effectiveness.  Learn about a new set of metrics that will predict the future success of your website.

April 14th, 2009 11:00 AM -12:00 PM MDT

Recession Buster Marketing for Lodging Properties

Tips, trips and strategies to help fill rooms during tough economic times.

April 22, 2009 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM MDT

Link Popularity and Page Rank – How they Work

The single greatest factor in your website’s overall presence in search engines is arguably links — the quantity, quality and context of your links can make or break your Google rankings. (and Yahoo and MSN if anyone cares).  Learn more about how link popularity, page rank and anchor text work.

May 6th, 2009 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM MDT

Online Reputation Management for Vacation Rentals

New opportunities and risks abound as reviews grow more ubiquitous in the Vacation rental world.   Learn how to start managing this area of growing importance

May 13th, 2009 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM MDT