Digital Business Asset Portfolio

What is a “Digital Business Asset Portfolio” and why do you need one?

This article was written to help small business owners identify digital assets, know when to manage them and help prevent loss.

Brick and mortar businesses have furnishings, equipment and to a large extent, things you could see, touch and sell. Today’s online business owner needs to be aware when they are creating something similar. They need to know when they have created something that will become an asset versus something that will not gain in value or perhaps become a liability. Unlike some physical assets, digital assets can be transferred in the form of rights or licensed to a buyer at the time you sell your digital business.

Valuations are changing rapidly. My goal is not to identify a list of assets as much as creating an awareness in your mind.

Let’s start with an easy example, domain names. You probably have one or more that you already think are valuable. You’re probably wrong. But if it has a dot-com extension and you’ve already received an offer from someone to buy it, in writing, then it could be valuable. It could be an asset. Dot-com domains have a certain scarcity. Like real property, virtual property is more valuable when it’s scarce. Domain names alone are usually not that valuable unless your business buys and sells domain names or your last name is McDonald and you own A domain name that includes your brand name and a website is a business asset. Yes, domain names can be stand-alone digital assets but too often the subjectivity of domain names make them difficult to measure in terms of real value. Like “real property” domains names also have a highest and best use. A portfolio of domain names that protect your business or brand may add value and are kept in your digital asset portfolio. Domain names don’t drive sales like other assets. Keyword dominance and links from authoritative pages to your landing pages are more valuable.

Currently one of the most valuable digital business asset is your Inbound-link Portfolio. The quality and quantity of your inbound links (IBLs) drive the value of your link portfolio. If you have an IBL portfolio, you need to measure and understand it’s value. Then you need to properly provision management resources.

Authoritative posts that continually rank and perform well in search results can be business assets. Historical trending, cost per click, customer acquisition costs and correlative analytics can be used to help determine the value of the content and whether or not it’s a portfolio asset. When you publish for your brand, you should be investing in content that will last decades, maybe longer.

Old posts that provide information in an way that cannot be easily improved upon are great but they must be findable. Over time great articles and posts can be updated. When web professionals and other writers and webmasters create links to authoritative posts, those links may never go away. Wouldn’t it be nice if your mutual funds had the same lasting power?

Professionally produced images and videos are more expensive. If done properly interactive or experiential media can have greater lasting power as society continues to read less and learn more from rich media. Greek Myths are reinvented over and over again yet the original stories retain their value. Although Henry David Thoreau may disagree, you don’t need to learn the language of the author to appreciate their story. If your imagery has been created in a way that makes it especially authoritative as is sometimes the case with infographics, value is retained in the content.

Same goes for short videos that communicate something so perfectly and succinctly, like TEDEd Videos that it’s hard to improve upon. It becomes easier to just link to the infographic or video than to recreate. This is gold for a brand seeking long term content ROI as with most content that goes into your digital asset portfolio.

Digital Business Asset Portfolio Management

Digital Business Assets

  • Branding assets, guides
  • Legal protections
  • Websites, apps in stores and licenseable code
  • Social media accounts
  • Link portfolios
  • Analytics reports
  • Customer, vendor records
  • Permission based email marketing lists (Hat tip: Marc Thomas)
  • Competitive analysis
  • Authoritative content and rich media

There are more but I’m going to stop here with the assumption that you can move forward with your new awareness. You now know that you need to be mindful when and if you are creating business assets.

So where do you store your digital business assets? Save everything everywhere is one answer. But efficient asset management will allow you to accurately protect, share and retrieve your assets at a lower cost. All the traditional backup strategies apply including redundancy, data centers with fail-over, fire suppression etc. apply.

A manifest in your digital asset portfolio will help you identify key data points and such as; names, locations, prior owners, copyrights, service marks, production cost, creation dates and meta data will help buyers evaluate your business. Anyone interested in partnering with you can also more easily see the value you bring with a strong digital asset portfolio.

So why do you need a digital asset portfolio? If you’re unsure, I have failed you as a writer, again. Good thing I’m a better digital business asset portfolio manager than a writer.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Learn the Basics of Managed WordPress Hosting

by Brent Norris

Related: Managed WordPress Services


As web standards evolve, operating systems and web browsers evolve. Websites must also evolve. Adaptive engineering capable of following standards simply costs less to own and operate. The key is to use web standards to reduce your total cost of ownership (TCO). WordPress is standards-compliant out of the box. W3C standards help your website work well on just about any device with a web browser eg; phones, laptops, desktops, smart-cars and more.

Content management systems (CMS) provide an easy way for you to manage assets and update your web pages. Regular website updates are important to provide value to search engines. Fairly simple tasks like adding a post to announce a sales promotion are made much easier with a CMS like WordPress. WordPress currently powers around 25% of the web. Some of these sites are free as in WordPress.COM. Some are self-hosted as in WordPress.ORG. Self-hosted in the best option for business owners and writers who need more freedom over their site customization.

We recommend first-time website hobbyists start at When it’s time to start building your online business eg; selling a product or you need to communicate a professional brand, it’s time to start using the self-hosted version. This can be installed and hosted by a web professional. The idea is that a small Business owner can easily move their site content from a to a self-hosted version of WordPress for their growing online business platform. Everything we do is scalable so startups have low costs, easy entry and unlimited growth.

Self-hosting means installing WordPress on a server (see: web hosting providers). It’s essentially the same code. It’s free, like freedom so you can install it anywhere and modify as you wish under an open source license(see: WordPress license). Most shared web hosts provide a one-click installer that makes setup as easy as filling out a form. The form and process are usually found a separate control panel (see: Plesk | Cpanel). The same control panel provides for the setup and management of email accounts, security, performance, file transfers, ssl etc. Spending time in these dashboards can be overwhelming but necessary to compete for search results. Tasks associated with managing the web and email server and your WordPress website normally require 3-10 hours per month. Your business goals will determine your management needs and the needs of your brand.

Visitors expect your site to work -all the time.
The backend of your website is reflected in your frontend which affects the perception of your brand to your customers. Brent Norris | WordPress Managed Hosting and Managed IT ServicesNumber one quality issue is security. Ignore security and you could infect your visitors computers with malware. Google will most likely block your search results. Security vulnerabilities are inevitable and manageable.

Visitors expect your site to be quick and responsive on any device.
The performance of your pages is another signal sent to Google in determining how well a page ranks in searches. Management tools for monitoring and reporting help to keep your site secure and loading quickly.

Visitor expectations change over time.
Your visitors probably use some large websites like social media networks with advanced features. Television has a large impact on engagement and visitor satisfaction as they expect your website to be easy, like using a remote control. Your online brand must adapt and the simplest form of adaptation means keeping everything working while successfully communicating your brand eg; convert leads to sales. Good design and useful features can be discovered and installed inside the WordPress dashboard (see: themes | plugins).

Who builds WordPress?
A large decentralized team contributes to the WordPress project. The core code is continually improved and updated about four times per year. A major update and new default theme become available once per year. Developers contributing to the WordPress core may also develop  plugins for WordPress. Plugins add functionality to your WordPress code. Designers and developers also create themes to make great looking and highly functional websites. Recap so far: Easy to install. Proper configuration requires some skills and anywhere from one to ten hours or more.

WordPress Updates GoodDevelopers and designers upload plugin and theme updates to the WordPress repository. Update notifications in your WordPress dashboard alert you to new updates and a few button clicks are all that’s needed to perform updates. WordPress provides an easy way to keep everything working. Your brand, content, lead generation and other website features keep performing safely and securely, kinda.

The Problem: Human Error
Designers and developers often speak different languages. Quality varies wildly. WordPress plugins and themes rely on transparency in the market to sort out the most useful or best looking. It’s an open market and not limited to the WordPress repo. Hundreds (thousands by now?) of other websites sell plugins and themes. All updates are not compatible. There are blurred lines of communication between developers and designers. Most follow WordPress core updates and best practices to future-proof their code while adding features and bug fixes. Plugin and theme releases incongruent. A small error can create a large impact especially if you rely on your website for leads or sales. Knowing when to update each of your plugins and theme(s) is critical to the performance of your website. Maintaining a spreadsheet of plugins, themes, their creators, issues and relationships may be helpful to web professionals serving multiple clients (<50?).

Knowing which plugins and themes to install is an issue. For example, we like to curate plugins based my experience with the designers and developers, their commitment to their projects and community input. Abandoned or insecure plugins and themes you’ve purchased can ultimately add a lot of cost of ownership. Compatibility issues occur with even the best creators.

For small websites with less than plugins using the latest default WordPress theme, everything is really smooth. This type of a setup could easily be put on auto-pilot, so to speak with minimal implications. However great this may sound initially, it’s much more common for a business owner to seek something better than the default theme and plugins.

Unmanaged WordPress RisksCompetition, branding and added security requirements like HIPAA requirements are just a few reasons why you need to actively manage your website. We all know what happens when we fail to manage our personal computer security. Slowdowns, viruses and malware are so common many pc owners abandon their machines after a couple years. Online this is completely inappropriate. Especially when your brand online is your connection to customers. Not only could they be offended but search engines will simply stop sending traffic to your site. A Google webmaster tools account can alert you to some issues before they become public knowledge. Other tools provide alerts like Wordfence security.

The Solution: Curated Updates and Managed WordPress Services
When a theme designer releases updates to their theme it’s important to read the release notes and check the community forums to be sure other site owners are having a great experience with the new theme or plugin. Testing updates on staging websites can help ensure everything works well together.

When it comes to plugin and theme updates, developer and designer track records and your webmaster’s experience can be your most valuable asset. Curated or “managed” updates also give you the ability to scale your hosting and services matrix in a way that grows as your business grows. Paying for a junior do-it-all IT person was the only option only a few years ago. Today we can automate and scale services for our clients that negates the need for multiple roles thereby increasing the quality of service you receive in several areas. Soon it will be possible to hire the very best talent to perform specific tasks at affordable prices.

Marketing Message

You can get the quality and experience you need for managed WordPress hosting and marketing services without hiring additional part-time or full-time staff. Let us show you how. Contact us for an appointment. We’ll explain everything we do for our clients and if the timing is right for you, get you started on a growth pattern for your businesses today.

Also see:

Email Blacklisting at Hostgator

There are websites dedicated to reducing spam via email blacklisting. They don’t all perform the same function but around 300 do similar jobs in that they act as clearinghouses for IP Addresses that have been reported as spam by someone else.

We have probably explained some of the basics of spamming before you reached this page. But in case you’re learning about spam for the first time, additional resources are added below. We hope these resources help you better understand and avoid spam (not the food).

What is Email Blacklisting?

When someone sends out spam, it is possible for the recipient of the email to mark the email as spam. When an email message is flagged as spam, the email is reviewed for blacklisting. If the email is determined to be spam, the IP address and/or the email address that sent the spam may become blacklisted, especially when multiple reports are made from additional sources.

There are multiple scenarios in which you may encounter blacklisting using HostGator services. Two common examples are:

A. If you are not receiving messages from a certain contact, it is possible that the contact has been blacklisted.
B. You may be receiving bounceback messages saying that your mail was not delivered. In this case, it may be that your server or email address has been blacklisted.

If you’re a gmail user a possible solution is to pull your emails from the server. Inexperienced email admins may forward your email from the server to your gmail inbox. This may work for a while. By forwarding emails, ALL emails will be forwarded. This includes spam. Google doesn’t like spam and if you are forwarding hundreds of spam emails to gmail they have to use resources to run those spam emails through their own spam filters. If it’s too much, they may delay your email before sending it to your spam folder. When a large email host with millions of email users is involved, like Hostgator it can cause Google to use more resources than otherwise necessary. This is somewhat dependent on Hostgator’s own spam filters but it’s easy for Hostgator to just ignore spam and reduce tech support calls. Forwarding is only a short-term solution.

The best solution is to correctly enter your pop, imap, smtp settings in Gmail and pull your emails into your account. This is a clear signal to Google that you want the email. Once your emails are being pulled into your Gmail account it is then important for you to mark spam emails as spam. Doing so signals Gmail you are taking an active role and helps Gmail reduce spam based on your preference. This is a more trusting relationship. Gmail maintains their own spam blacklisting services.

SORBS maintains a list of networks and addresses that it believes are assigned dynamically to end users/machines, it refers to this list as the DUHL (Dynamic User/Host List).[http://brentnorris.com2] The list includes wide networks of computers sharing the same IP address using network address translation which are also affected (If one computer behind the NAT is allowed to send spam, the whole network will be blacklisted if the NAT IP is ever blacklisted.) This is a common method of pre-emptive blocking as most legitimate mail servers are hosted in data centers designed and provisioned for such services, the legitimate mail servers that are affected by such listings are most commonly home hobbyists running their own mail servers. The Spamhaus Policy Block List (PBL) is another such pre-emptive list which does not just list dynamic hosts, but also blocks hosts it believes [http://brentnorris.com3] should not be sending email directly to third-party servers. SORBS also operate another list which is similar to the Spamhaus PBL called the NoServers list, which is wholly maintained by the network administrators of the respective networks and is therefore theoretically False Positive free. –

The following resources are provided to help you understand email blacklisting at Hostgator. These resources may or may not be helpful for dealing with email blacklisting at other web hosting providers.

Read More from Hostgator

Hostgator – Global Blacklisting Results in Undeliverable Email (August 23rd, 20http://brentnorris.com3)

Privacy Rights Clearing House

Google Apps Toolbox

At Brent.FM we take spam seriously as a precursor to resulting problems such as malware. Like a poorly maintained car, spam can lead to technical problems outside of your inbox. A spam problem can lead to a website problem under the same domain. We use various strategies to resolve spam problems, protect your domain from blacklisting and your website from attacks. Our Fully managed WordPress hosting solutions can help save, preserve and enhance your domain’s visibility in search.

SSL Security Now Propagating

Congratulations, your entire website will soon use ssl security. Your website is now hosted on a dedicated IP Address. Soon you will see HTTPS:// preceding your domain name in web browsers. Traffic to and from your site is being encrypted and sent through secure socket layers. Secure online banking, shopping and military websites use secure socket layers for confidential, financial, health, legal and government data. SSL security is also great for SEO as this type of security is also an official Google ranking factor.

The certificate you have recently ordered is being installed on your account. It will need to be renewed each year. All WordPress Managed Hosting Plans include yearly ssl certificate renewals.

If you are unable to reach your website by domain name, please allow few hours for your domain to fully propagate. Once propagated, we will review all assets on your website for security.

The private SSL requires a dedicated IP to be assigned to your account. That is why it often takes a few hours before your domain starts to propagate to the new IP. During this time you may NOT be able to access your website by domain name.

Thanks for your patience. We’re excited to be working with you on this security improvement.

If at any time you need help or assistance please do not hesitate to call: 808-896-7656

Apples Falling from the Tree

This post is based on the following Facebook post:

Imagine if you owned hundreds of rental homes. And imagine that one of your tenants in one of your homes committed a…

Posted by Tony Rush on Friday, February 19, 2016


Some thoughts I’d like to share…

Apple and Netscape partnered with the government to sue Microsoft over free browsers. That was the foot in the door. It’s been open since and getting worse every day.
Closing the door and protecting data now requires more security than the government can provide. If Apple wins nothing happens. If they would have joined Google when we all needed them it still would have been too late. They started this by suing

Apple have started to see the light:

Google’s been preaching this for years:

Microsoft was forced by Apple and Netscape to “get-it” a long time ago:

When transparency alone isn’t enough

Additional Perspective:

Apple have never been a target. But for ten years we’ve been telling folks that it will happen.

WordPress Do It Yourself

WordPress Do It Yourself for Small Business Owners

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  1. A business plan. If you’re seeking additional investment, start with a one-sheet for your business.
  2. With a clear direction set for financial gain, consider the impacts your business will have on our island’s sustainability. People buy for “why you do it” more than “what you do.” So understanding your business’s value proposition in the greater context of good can also open new revenue opportunities.
  3. Now it’s time to match up your need for a return on your investment with your value proposition with your online brand.
  4. You’ll need to understand your online brand. To get this awareness, do a short-form branding exercise.
  5. A domain name. Short, memorable, easy to type and helps your visitor associate your domain name with your brand.
  6. A web host. This is where you need to know your options:
    1. Free website tools – Square D, webbydo,, godaddy, hostgator etc. These providers all offer a free website platform and hosting service. They are particularly lacking in security and performance but generally work in non-competitive industries. None of these platforms are actually free. They add on fees for domain name use, email, bandwidth, storage and monthly hosting. These all seem pretty fairly priced and you only get what you pay for with the free website tools. They may also be difficult for a web professional to work on later since they are rarely standards-based. The costs usually work out to $http://brentnorris.com5-$http://brentnorris.com50 per month.
    2. Low cost website development tools – Adobe offers Dreaweaver and other tools for subscription prices but honestly, if you’re going to learn a desktop application to build your website, you’ll become a web professional instead of the business you wanted to start. Nearly all of the costs of web design/development tools are hidden in a learning curve. The software subscription is around $50 per month.
    3. is one of bright spots. The .com version of WordPress is hosted online. You can start in 5 minutes and get up and running in about an hour or a week depending on your needs. The downside is that is geared towards writer more than business owners. Businesses are welcome on but cannot display advertisements and are limited in other ways. You can expect costs around $30 per month.
    4. is the self-hosted version of WordPress that’s used by the major hosting providers. There are no limits and you own a license to use the software for anything you wish. Typically, the cheaper, shared web hosting plans will include a control panel that allows you to easily install WordPress on your server.
  7. Building your website. Getting started in WordPress is pretty easy. Once you get WordPress installed and you login to your dashboard for the first time, things start making more sense. You’ll find settings, menu, media and sections for adding pages and posts.
    1. You’re not setup with the WordPress default theme. You can change themes easily, add and configure plugins for security, performance, seo, analytics and spam.
    2. Adding your content will be pretty straight-forward too. Simply click the +New link at the top of any page to add a page (home, services, products, contact, terms, privacy policy etc.) and you can add posts (product news, announcements, blog posts etc.). Writing regular posts keep the search engines coming back to index your site.
    3. Once you have your basic pages setup, you’ll be spending time working on those pages so they are good “Landing pages.” This means providing all of the information a visitor needs to make either a buying decision or get in touch with you to get more information. Forms are pretty easy to setup but you’ll need to either install a plugin or use the contact form that comes with the particular theme you select to match your brand’s needs.
    4. Adding pdfs, video, audio and other rich media files and content can helpful at getting inbound links to your site and reducing bounce rates in your visitor trends.
    5. There are broken link checkers, page speed testing and general seo tests. Running these tests will help you understand the value you’re adding to your pages.


Permission-based Marketing with MailChimp

Pono Marketing with MailChimp

Do you really have “permission” to send an email?

Permission-based Email Marketing

MailChimp is a permission-based newsletter delivery service. Permission means that the receiver has requested your email. The only way to confirm that you have permission is when a user makes the confirmation and has double-opted into the mailing. A double-opt-in is when the user subscribes, receives a confirmation email and replies to that email confirming their request to subscribe. Anything else is single opt-in or spam. A single opt-in is when the user subscribes but does not reply to the confirmation email. Even users that consider your email valuable may mark their email as spam. Spam is when the receiver has not requested an email from you.

“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.” –Seth Godin Feb 1, 2008

If your efforts or the efforts of an outside agency cause harm to your domain and email addresses, we may be able to help. It will take months to attempt to resolve these problems. The process is often too convoluted, time consuming and difficult to navigate without extensive email administration experience. When deep problems arise many small business owners choose to buy a new domain name and rebrand their company. Very expensive indeed. This would be an epic failure on many levels. This article attempts to prevent these issues and manage your domain in a way that builds trust, domain authority and rank among search engines, spam clearing houses and other service providers.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 16, 2003, establishes the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce its provisions. To understand spam, read the Can-Spam Act. Also read the FTC Compliance Guide for Business.

“Account suspensions are automatic system actions triggered when a single send exceeds industry thresholds.” -MailChimp

“Even if you’re a legitimate marketer who does everything “by the book” and only uses opt-in lists, you can still get reported for spamming. Basically, when a recipient gets your email and thinks it’s spam, or just “junk mail,” they can click the little “Report Spam” or “This is spam” button in their email application (even if they signed up for it!) Some people just think the button is an easy way to unsubscribe from your list. Some people are just too lazy to scroll down and click your opt-out link. That’s why a couple of complaints are understood, but several gets into sticky territory.” –MailChimp Compliance Tips

Running a Professional AND Successful Permission-based Marketing Campaign
When you do not trigger an account warning or suspension and your results all fit within known industry standards for bounce-backs, unsubscribes and spam reports , you have conducted a permission-based email campaign. When you have delighted your readers ie; email recipients, your numbers will reflect your efforts and you can then consider your campaign successful.

But what if you got verbal permission?
Maybe someone added their email to a list you collected at an event. Maybe they gave you their business card and verbally asked for an email. This is called a “contact or a lead” and it is not an email for a permission-based marketing campaign. We call this a rogue email. Could be good, could be a misspelling or just an attempt to make you happy. These emails must be converted to permission-based emails for marketing through MailChimp or other permission-based marketing service providers. When you brand is in alignment with your goals and actions, confusion in marketing dissipates. Pono marketing becomes possible.

Here’s a few steps you can take to get your rogue email lists into a usable condition for a permission-based marketing with MailChimp.

To convert non-permission-based email lists into a permission-based MailChimp list you must sanitize. Sanitize is not the same as clean.

  1. Remove duplicates (Google Contacts can merge duplicates)
  2. Remove bounce backs (Monitor and remove invalid emails using an account that you can trash later. Do not use an email address hosted by Brent.FM)
  3. Send email asking for unsubscribe or indicate a preference eg; name, employer or occupation. Consider including an offer to edit their preferences – include MailChimp (MailChimp edit prefs link). If preference is updated at MailChimp, email is good.
  4. Merge sanitized lists into MailChimp using MailChimp Import.

Read: More email compliance insights from MailChimp

Also read: List management article from MailChimp

After non-permission-based email lists have been sanitized and imported into MailChimp make a best effort to:

  • Include an offer or information only available through this and similar emails. The idea is to create desire to receive your emails.
  • Monitor campaigns for unsubscribes and spam reports. The idea is to know what worked and what didn’t.
  • Have a strategy for account being shut down. Plan and prepare.
  • Make sure automated publishing is not sending too many emails to your subscribers.
  • Change your mindset. Publishing should start and end at WordPress. Thinking of emails as something different than a post is old-school. Viewers smell old-school and unsubscribe. Remember, it’s not about your needs, it’s about your subscriber’s need when you reach out to them and expect to keep them as subscribers. At a minimum, email content directed at subscribers should be included in website posts. So why not start and end with WordPress as your central publishing hub?
  • Get educated. Watch MailChimp video tutorials, read knowledge base articles and follow all instructions.

Using your domain name or other hosted email services to send spam emails.

This can cause many problems beyond email marketing. If you are a Managed Hosting Client under the Business Advantage Plan, we are monitoring activities on your server for spam, blacklisting, greylisting and other issues that may prevent you from a successful marketing campaign. The health of your email is an integrated part of the health of your domain name. We only host websites with healthy domain names under our managed hosting accounts. For our client’s it’s easier and more affordable when we manage email and website hosting.

We manage your brand professionally as well as your website’s healthcare. To help you better understand what Managed Hosting means, we have written a primer on the Basics of Managed WordPress Hosting. We’re always available to provide a price quote for setup and ongoing maintenance of your permission based marketing campaigns using Emma, Constant Contact or MailChimp. Learn what we do to setup and manage your permission based marketing platform.

Are You Really Ready to Advertise Online?

Organized Apple Devices
New and Existing Clients! If you're ready to advertise now, visit our Online Advertising page.

Have you unsuccessfully tried online advertising? New to online advertising? This post will provide some simple insights into Google Adwords and our local Google advertising services.

With around $200 US you can do a real test for a real return on your investment. An easy to read, reporting of the facts will show you exactly how your money was spent.

Here’s the basic, do it yourself, steps to setup a Google Adwords advertising campaign on your own:

  1. Visit Google Adwords and use the online form to fill in some details about your business.

  2. Create your first campaign. It’s not difficult. You can do it!

  3. Fund  your campaign using a your credit card.

  4. Review campaign details, spending limits and run your ad.

All the details are handled inside your Google Adwords account. Your username and password will be your google account aka your gmail account. Mon – Fri, 9am – 9pm ET you can get free setup help from Google by calling: : 1-800-862-4644 Offer limited to new advertisers. Support is subject to business and website qualification. Your net advertising budget not including your time: $200

Are you ready to advertise but not sure you have the time? Our Local Google Advertising services are for busy professionals that want us to handle all the details. It’s not more expensive.

Your cost to get started would be $200. We charge $75 for the work we do:

  • create accounts
  • setup adwords
  • create your ad
  • create your campaign
  • monitor and report campaign results

We will use a Google Adwords coupon. $50 will be sent to you from Google for advertising with us. Your net advertising budget not including your time: $175.00

Depending on your preference, we’ll meet with you each step of the way:

  1. First to learn about your business and advertising goals. We’ll explain how it works and what to expect. We’ll also explain why we recommended a $200 starter budget.

  2. Our second meeting is to share our advertising plan and details of your first campaign. We’ll tweak it with you.

  3. Our third meeting will be to collaborate on the results. You’ll see exactly how your ad budget was spent.

If there’s a return on your investment after using Google Advertising Services, you can decide to run a second campaign. We provide the advertising experience and knowledge of Google Adwords online advertising.

We set everything up including professional ad copy, your Google Accounts or we’ll use your existing account. We analyze your website landing page for your target audience. For an additional fee, we can optimize your landing page for search engine traffic. No website, no problem. We can also direct online advertising leads to your email and or phone number.

In local advertising, nuances count. Simple things like local ad copy can influence clicks from local customers.

We also provide Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other options. Depending on your business we may recommend another advertising program if we feel you could get a better return for your advertising dollars.

We have experience managing over 100 different ad networks and have conducted advertising campaigns in most mediums including radio, television, billboards, interactive story-cards, permission-based email marketing. We create the content, run the ads and provide the data analysis so you can decide what’s best for your business. Most likely, we’ll recommend Google Advertising Services for your first campaign.

Managed WordPress Services

The Case for Managed WordPress Services

WordPress Managed Hosting and Managed IT Services

The slide above attempts to describe why professional website management is important and necessary. The effort required to manage small business websites is increasing.

Visitors are expecting more of websites. Responsive designs that perform well on any device are the new normal for business owners seeking online revenue. In Hawaii, ecommerce is helping traditional brick and mortar retailers stay competitive.

“In an attempt to play every angle possible, retailers poured money into new mobile capabilities this year by adding WiFi to key stores, expanding mobile application offerings, and optimizing Web sites for easier transactions from small screens. These investments in mobile paid off, driving customers to use their smartphones and tablets more this year. Over the two shopping days of Nov. 28 and 29, nearly one out of every four online sales dollars (24%) occurred on one of those mobile devices. This resulted in a 118% increase in sales year-over-year (YOY) coming via these devices.” – Adobe

Online business owners expect more from web professionals. Unless your revenue increases proportionately it’s difficult to afford the knowledge, skills and abilities required to maintain the online portion of your business. Managed services have an economy of scale that works similar to hiring an outside contractor without the added expenses.

From the top down.
Selling products and services online requires a very similar feature set as a large business. Ecommerce websites have increased security, performance, content management and promotional requirements.

“40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” –Kissmetrics (infographic)

Lead generation and sales requires content marketing, lead capture, sharing and follow up requirements that must be created and managed to be effective.

“If a piece of content costs $3,000 to produce and you spend $4,000 to promote it, your total investment is $7,000. Say each lead you get has a value of $70; to break even on your investment your content piece must generate 100 leads. If you have never determined your lead-value price, it’s highly recommended you do so. ” –Content Marketing Institute

Social media has it’s own set of unique requirements and specialized knowledge. Engagement and follow up is required to warm a lead into a sale online.

“Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.” (Demand Metric)

The basics of maintaining a content management system, plugins and themes have their own regular updates as security and performance updates become available.

“12% increase in year to year security events.” IBM

As hackers find more vulnerabilities, servers and the core code that runs your website must be updated. End to end encryption technologies are now considered requirements for cost control.

From the top up.
WordPress is still the best platform choice for two reasons; 1. It’s has the lowest maintenance costs and 2. New features are more affordable, easier to install and automate. Whether it’s WordPress or a homegrown website built using Dreamweaver, Drupal or Joomla, the platform you choose will have it’s own growth and support costs. Small online business owners benefit greatly when total costs of ownership are considered carefully before any money is spent. Everything should be measurable and costs should be reduced each step of the way.

Automation can help a small business owner in several ways.

  • WordPress publishing automation – Write a post in one place and it can publish to all your social media networks. This is really easy to get wrong. Doing it right gives your brand the best possible introduction to potential customers.
  • Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools – All major search engines have their own webmaster tools. Acquiring and understanding this information can help you identify what’s working and what’s not working. This is similar to brick and mortar storefronts. When a visitor comes into your online store, you need to know why, where they came from and the path they took to the cash register.
  • Permission-based Marketing Campaigns – Automate posts to targeted user’s inboxes using constant contact and mailchimp. When setup properly you can set it and forget it. Your analytics can be directed through the same automate reports you setup in Google Analytics.
  • Security – Increasingly difficult to automate but starting off with Securi and or Wordfence is a good start. Active blocking of network IPs and domain name patterns  is the new norm. It’s increasingly too expensive for a small business owner website to get blacklisted and blocked by Google. Look for this to get less attention yet create much larger impact than the recent Sony hacking. Sony gets hacked and it’s a national emergency. Millions of small online business websites get hacked and no one knows. To be clear, whole-site SSL and unique IP address will be the new normal for security and seo.
  • Performance – Can still be automated but like security, must be monitored. Like your social media accounts, page speed is now a Google ranking factor. If you think getting blacklisted for malware on one of your pages was bad, imagine getting ignored for pages loading too slowly and not knowing it’s happening. Consider having your designer/developer minify your code, re-optimize your images, reduce server response times, use dynamic caching, mem-caching and varnish. Use content delivery networks.

2015 will be a pivotal year in managed wordpress “awareness” for all business owners. Some will over-spend, some will under-spend and all small business owners will learn a lot this year as they experience lessons in website management.

“Unmanaged WordPress not usually worth the risk or trouble” – ZDNet