Insight Finder from Google makes Google Research Easier

Google has a website called thinkinsights with Google that is a great source to get insight, facts, stats, research, planning tools and… data!

There is a lot of great travel related data that is worth checking out.  They also have a “Real Time Insights Finder” which can help you discover all kinds of free real-time data from a plethora of Google Tools:

A New Series: Recommended Readings!

Saying that there is a plethora of SEM info out there would be an understatement.

It’s a team effort to find, read, evaluate, and then share search marketing updates with the rest of the Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc. team.  And now we also want to share some of those articles with you in a series called: Recommended Readings!

Here is a snippet of updates and fun readings that we recommend this week:

A new Google feature combines AdWords with Instant Previews, so searchers can see a preview before clicking on the ad.
What a brilliant way to save time and for advertisers to save money (and work on their landing pages!)
See the previews for yourself and read:  Google is Testing Instant Previews on Ads

You have probably seen a QR code (the square that looks like a complicated alien message), but it’s not that complicated and pretty cool.
See Trent’s article about creating and tracking a QR code into your marketing then get to know a QR Code and get inspired by reading: Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes

What is more effective for selling discounts – Facebook or Email Marketing? [Read more...]

TripAdvisor Reviews – The Good, the Bad, and the Crustiest of 2011

“It looked like a CSI Crime Scene.”

“Crusty.”

“Bug bites.”

“Cockroach filled pool.”

These are just a few of the words used to describe this year’s coveted list of Top 10 Dirties Hotels from TripAdvisor as reported by travelers.

As in previous years, the class of 2011’s Dirtiest Hotels did not have a lack of sickeningly descriptive reviews.

It really is fun to read through bad reviews (when they aren’t about you, of course) so here are a few snippets of my favorites from this year’s list:

“I would have preferred to stay under a bridge or in a dirty rental car.”

- Jack London Inn

“It all started with the manager burning trash in the fireplace in the lobby.”

- Super 8 Estes Park

“They told us that the competition writes the bad reviews and puts them on the internet but don’t believe it its really bad and they don’t care!!!!”

“The hallway smelled of urine.”

- Desert Inn Rose

You get the point.

For more crusty details, check out the rest of TripAdvisor’s list of the Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels in the US.

If you have a strong stomach, don’t miss the Dirtiest Hotels in Europe (“I wish this hotel would burn down so no one else would have to stay here”) and India (“No extra charge for cockroaches at this place”).

All About iPads for Hotels and Resorts

iPads usage in hotels and resorts is starting to take off.

As a followup to our April 13th, 5 Ways to Use an iPad at Your Hotel’s Front Desk, here is some good reading about iPads in hotels:

Create a Proactive Online Marketing Frenzy During Adverse Times

Lodging managers and owners usually provide their own public relations in the middle of frenzy. Whether in good times when you are turning over 95% guest occupancy or in more challenging times of natural disasters or uncontrolled events, the Public Relations hat must be worn along with all of your other hats.

Sometimes it’s hard to see through it all. Turn to your marketing experts for another point of view, a second opinion or to brainstorm ideas.  

At Blizzard we have the advantage of working with clients all over the world.  We have helped our clients fight through a wide variety of situations; flooding, snowstorms, avalanches, tornadoes, hurricanes, and even the results of man-made events. Counteracting the situation with a flurry of online activity works.

[Read more...]

Featured Article: When and How to Outsource Your Search Marketing

Every business comes to a point when they have to decide whether to keep their search marketing in-house or hire an outside firm; a decision not to be taken lightly.

Blizzard Internet’s Director of Search Strategies, Carrie Hill, contributes a featured article to Search Engine Watch, a top search marketing online publication.
Search Engine Watch
This month Carrie focuses this topic in her article “When and How to Outsource Your Small Business Search Marketing.

If you are seriously considering expanding your online presence and increasing your ROI, this is a must read.

Hotel Vs. Vacation Home Calculator at Tripadvisor

tripadvisor-logoTripadvisor has neat tool worth checking out on their vacation homes page: A Hotel Vs Vacation Home cost comparison calculator.

Simply type in the destination for your trip:

tripadvisor1

And find out how much you will save, based on your destination, # adults, # children, # nights and how much you eat out:

It would be nice if they would make this available as a “widget.”