Archive Page 2

email marketing basics- my january column in the snohomish county business journal

Enjoy my email marketing column.

domain names and internet marketing

A reader of my newspaper column asks:

“Hello, I read one of your article and had a question. How important do you think domain names are to internet marketing and what should the domain name have in it for effective marketing?”

Domain names are fairly important, but not the end-all of internet marketing.

If you want people telling your name to their friends, it needs to be easy to say and easy to spell. Take my other blog- Advice from the Top. That blog lives at, as you would expect. Easy to say, hard to misspell.

I would mention that your domain matters less if no one is supposed to be sharing it with friends and colleagues, but why not choose a melodious name?

jim torina interview live

Read Jim’s interview here.

My favorite line:
“Hire smart people, then resell their time at the highest rate possible.”


(Jim runs Talyst)

my web analytics column in a business journal

My first column, this one covering introductory web analytics, can be found at the Snohomish County Business Journal here.

Enjoy! And please do leave comments for more columns.

Web Analytics column in the SCBJ

nancy juetten’s advice works


On October 10th I listened to Nancy Juetten’s talk on do-it-yourself publicity. She related the story of how she started writing a column for the Snohomish County Business Journal on publicity and marketing. Getting to show her expertise, build her credentials, and practice her PR skills.With that foundation, she went on to write for the PSBJ, a larger business journal based in Seattle.

As the bizdev guy for my company, I want more exposure as an internet marketing expert, and for our team of internet marketing experts. So I contacted the Editor of the SCBJ this morning, he called back, and my first column will likely be in December.

I waited 9 days before acting on Nancy’s advice, but then it took about 3 hours between first contact and the editor agreeing that a column would be a good idea.

I didn’t read Nancy’s “Media-Savvy-to-Go Publicity Toolkit” but I guess now maybe I should… I’ll be holding out for a signed copy. You can buy the online version or read her sales letter.


Thanks Nancy, look forward to talking with you more!

PS Nancy’s # is 425-641-5214

we are 14th google authorized analytics consultant in north america

Press release

This means we get to put the google stamp on our site, and get special training, and be cool in general.

We are the third Seattle company to earn this certification. Yay!

what the web strategist should know about seo and sem

Jeremiah interviewed me briefly on SEO and SEM yesterday. He’ll be posting the video shortly The video is here, and here’s how I would answer his question in a longer format

Jeremiah: So what should the web strategist know about SEO and SEM?

Brian: Know your goals and make sure you can get there with the resources you have, and consider all your options for who to work with to accomplish those goals.

Know your Goals
Different SEO goals include:
1. Get high rankings for a specific key phrase
2. Increase traffic from unpaid search
3. Increase conversions from unpaid search

Each can be a good goal in some situations and a poor goal in others. Know your goals before you start, or have defining your goals be the first part of what you do.

Different SEM goals include:
1. Spend your budget to get the most visibility
2. Spend your budget to get the most conversions
3. Get a certain return on ad spend (such as $4 of revenue for every $1 spent on ads) and spend as much as possible while attaining that return on ad spend

The last two are usually best. Again, get these laid out at the start of your campaign. Maybe the first month or two of SEM work is figuring out what a reasonable return on ad spend would be. 3:1 to 4:1 is typical for our company. Just make sure this is a discussion you are having at the beginning.

Know your resources
You have three basic resources- money, time, and focus.

You may not have enough focus available to pay close attention to what the SEO company you hired is doing. If you don’t, then admit this to yourself up front and plan to deal with it.

SEO can be a one shot deal or a long term engagement. Good SEO is long term, but if all you can afford is a one shot deal, fine- accept that and find the best one shot deal you can.

How long are you willing to spend before you see results? SEO typically takes 6 months to a year to show results. SEM can take just hours…

Make sure your goals and your resources are aligned before you start spending a lot on SEO and SEM. Or, make it the first priority of the firm you are working with to help you align resources and goals.

Decide who to work with
For SEO and SEM, there are 4 options for who to work with:
1. Do it internally with the team you have
2. Hire an employee(s) to do it internally
3. Hire a single source/specialist company
4. Hire a full service agency

Good/bad parts of each:

1. Do it internally with the team you have
Good: Cheap
Bad: they are busy with their current jobs, and they probably don’t have the experience required to do a top-notch job

2. Hire an employee(s) to do it internally
Good: can be cheap, you have a lot of control
Bad: Hard to find one person who can do everything you want

3. Hire a single source/specialist company
Good: Experts at one thing tend to be… experts at that one thing. A SEM-only company may have better laid out reports than an agency that does SEM, SEO, emails, etc.
Bad: Focus on one area leaves the big picture behind

4. Hire a full service agency
Good: Strategy talks can take into account all areas of web strategy to help you decide where to invest your energy.
Bad: Big firms don’t necessarily know what works for small to mid sized companies- eg, SEO for Ford and SEO for you aren’t the same

So get started
You need to address the SEO/SEM issues above. But don’t let that stop you from starting soon. You can figure a lot of these questions out as you go along. Good luck! launches

What do the top CEOs know that you don’t?

Well, I don’t know, as I’m not a top CEO, but I do have this nifty list the PSBJ put out of the 100 fastest growing companies.

What’s that you say? Why not interview all hundred and ask what they know about growth, put that information in a blog and then a book, and help the whole business community get better at smart growth?

What a terrific idea! I give you Advice from the Top.

(thanks to my boss Ian for giving me time to work on this. mad props!)

npost- meeting startups through nathan kaiser

Just got back from Nathan Kaiser’s get together in Seattle. His company nPost brings startups and companies together.

I met Daniel Lierberman of bitpusher while I was there, who does technical operations. Basically, his team deals with servers so you don’t have to.

Nathan’s next event is on August 21st in Seattle– I encourage you to go.

    why not to use google calendar

    google calendar

    Not that I am going to stop using it, but enough said.

    Go to the new blog

    I'm now blogging about internet marketing at

    Red Beard Consulting

    At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.