About Mike Moran

Mike Moran is public speaker, author, and consultant on Internet marketing, serving as Chief Strategist at Converseon, a leading social media marketing agency. Mike is the co-author of Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and author of the acclaimed Internet Marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly. Mike also writes the popular Biznology newsletter and blog.

Search Spam Primer

Every Internet marketer has heard about search spam, the unethical tactics that so-called "black hat" search marketers use that violate the search engines’ terms of service.

Now if you have no intention of doing anything unethical, you might believe that you don’t need to understand search spam.

Selling a Company on Enterprise Search

I spoke at the Gilbane conference yesterday (you can download my slides on semantic search).

Market Research Continues to Move Online

A few months ago, I wrote about online panels, and I am finding more and more marketers moving their market research online.

Mistakes Make Me Feel Like a Clown

Nobody ever wants to make a mistake. From the time we are children, we get corrected. We are told how to do better.

The Secret of Writing Good Copy

It would be annoying for me to link to grokdotcom every day, so I don’t. But if you don’t have it in your regular rotation of RSS feeds, what are you waiting for? Here’s a great example—a post that pulls together over a dozen great articles on writing winning Web copy. It’s taking some of us a while, but we’re finally figuring out that Web marketing can really depend on your words.

Trying Semantic Search Yourself

Most of you know that my job focuses on IBM’s OmniFind enterprise search and text analytics products. And I’ve written before about semantic search—I’ve even written about what semantic search isn’t. I keep talking about it because semantic search is probably the easiest to understand application of text analytics.

Online Reviews Lead to Sales

Earlier this year, I asked whether manufacturers would post product reviews. Many retailers are doing it, of course, but too many manufacturers think allowing their customers to review their products is "risky"—there’s that word again. So, does the risk outweight the reward?

“Look at me” Marketing Works

I’m in Las Vegas for the first time in many years, and I am struck by the sheer opulence of the various hotels. I admit that I don’t know what causes gamblers to choose their venues, but it seems as though each hotel is in competition to look bigger, better, and fancier than the next. It’s classic "look at me" marketing. Until the Web came along, most companies didn’t know there was any other kind of marketing.

Fear & Marketing

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of addressing 100 marketers from the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Marketing Association.

As I began to speak, I found that the PowerPoint file was corrupted on the conference’s laptop. And so was the copy on their flash drive. I was faced with doing my presentation with no slides. That experience was enough to put me in a mind to talk about fear today.

No, not the fear of public speaking, although that is a common fear. I want to talk about fear and marketing.

Direct Marketing Combined with Video

You could be forgiven if, after listening to the excerpts of my interview on Beet.TV, you thought that my favorite television programs are infomercials. But I was trying to make a point. Infomercials, and other direct TV campaigns, have a lot to teach us about video for the Web.

What’s a Good Privacy Policy?

I wrote a few days ago about privacy policies and got several people asking, "So who has a good privacy policy? Well, lots of companies have good privacy policies, but I think what people really want to know is "Who has made their privacy policy a marketing asset?" That narrows the field considerably.

Processes that Marketers Use

Sometimes I ask marketers about what processes they use and it’s a good test to see who works in a big company and who works in a small one.

Big company types either lament that their processes are hopelessly outdated or they list off exactly what they do with their chests puffed out in pride. Small company marketers roll their eyes and say that they don’t need any processes and that "procedures" just weigh them down when they are trying to get work done. I think the word "procedure" is part of the problem.

Customer Surveys – Do They Really Work?

I am behind reading my blogs and just caught up today with a great post from last week on grokdotcom that demonstrates how hard it is to get action-oriented information from customer surveys. Follow the link above to read the post—I’ll wait right here.

Scary, isn’t it? When you think about how many questions you’ve asked customers and how little information you might be getting back.

Can a big company do it wrong quickly?

I’m back from vacation and I am overwhelmed at how many blog posts I must read every day—you really notice it when you try to read two weeks’ worth of them at once. So, for the next few days, you might see me commenting on stuff written a while back.

Small Business Specializing & The Dip

The other day, I wrote about how small businesses must specialize to succeed on the Web. Today, I read Seth Godin say it a lot better than I did. I haven’t read The Dip yet, although I have read all of Seth’s other books. But what he is saying makes a lot of sense.

Search Marketing, Not Metrics

Most of you know that I do a lot of teaching and speaking on the subject of search marketing, and that my approach is not what people expect. Yes, I know all the dials to turn and levers to pull. I can talk about robots.txt and Max CPC and latent semantic indexing and blah blah blah. But, honestly, it’s not what most people need to know. The problem I sometimes find is that when you tell people what they need to know, they think it’s not what they need.

Is Interactive Marketing Growing Up?

For all those who keep waiting for Internet marketing to replace TV, there was an interesting story in eMarketer today that shows how insurance companies are using both TV and search as a one-two punch. eMarketer reported the results of several research firms and adds its own (correct) conclusions.

How Many Social Networks?

I’ve just joined Social Media Committee from the Web Analytics Association. and Marianina Chaplin threw out a great question to the group today on whether Facebook has become the most influential social media network. I have such conflicting feelings about my personal use of social networks that I thought I would post them as my blog today.

$100 a Year for Google Site Search

I have been travelling so it took me a little while to write about Google Custom Search Business Edition. The name is a mouthful (sounds like the name of one of IBM’s products) but the price won’t give you indigestion—just $100 annually for up to 5,000 pages. So what should a Web site owner think about this offering?

What Semantic Search is Not

You may have heard the term "semantic search," but do you really know what it is? Some people have very big ideas of how computers will understand the meaning of text, but today’s semantic search falls far short of that. Regardless, what’s possible today is still very useful.

To understand how hard it is for computers to really understand the meaning of text, let’s not look at understanding entire documents or even paragraphs. Let’s not even look at sentences. No, let’s start with something extremely simple: noun phrases.

People Who Search Spend More

It seems like you get a new study each month that shows that people who search are people that buy. They may buy online or they may buy offline, but they buy. And the newest research shows that they spend more than people who don’t search—10% more in the case of home electronics buyers. So what does that mean to you?

Using Online Panels

A while back, I wrote about online panels, a kind of focus group on steroids that companies are using to both lower their research costs and to scale survey data to be more quantitative than typical focus groups. These online panels allow more participants than focus groups, offer better representation of your target market, and scale as easily as surveys, usually at lower cost. What’s not to like?

Nothing, if you use online panels properly.

Doing Product Demo 2.0

How many of you sell products that require salespeople to visit customers to provide a demonstration? If that sounds like your company, you’ve probably written off the Internet for that. Perhaps you use the Web to explain your product and to have prospects contact you, but you still need to to send that sales rep to the demo. Until now. Check out how some companies are doing Product Demo 2.0.

Big Companies – They Change a Lot

After speaking in Chicago on Friday, I spent a delightful couple of hours waiting out flight delays. (Yeah, I don’t think I’ve written that sentence before, either.) I was hanging out with fellow speaker Chris Silver Smith, with whom I swapped life stories. When I mention that I’ve worked for IBM for over 28 years, Chris said something insightful—"Wow, that’s a lot of change."

And it has been a lot of change.