Left Brain / Right Brain

A blog about business, design, technology and culture.

A Bullet-proof Strategy for Relaunching Massive Websites

In most of our life, we make drastic decisions when we want to do something new. If you want to fill up your coffee mug with fresh coffee, you have to first toss out the stale, lukewarm coffee from this morning. If you want to build a new house on your property, you have first tear down your...

Wordpress or SquareSpace?

Here at smithHOUSE, we build websites on one of two platforms: Wordpress and SquareSpace. Although very different, they are both excellent platforms for building websites. If you’ve heard buzz about either platform and are a little confused, this blog will help you better understand which...

Digital Marketing: Where Are We Today? Where Will We Be in 5 Years?

"Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." - Mark Twain

SEO in Plain Language: How has SEO changed since it became a thing?

There are a few distinct chapters of SEO over the last 10-15 years. Because the algorithms that search engines use are kept secret, nobody can have a definitive history of SEO, but it’s interesting to see where we’ve been because it gives proper context to where we are today and where we’re...

SEO in Plain Language: Keyword and Key Phrase Strategy

Tell me more about keywords and key phrases. Shouldn’t this be super obvious?

Yes. Using keywords is obvious. But knowing which keywords are the most valuable is not obvious.  With the right keywords, you can climb Google's search results faster. This is the process we use with our clients.  

SEO in Plain Language: Once you are on Page 1 of Google Search Results, do you stay there?

Maybe. If your niche or industry is pretty chill, then you’ll hang out near the top of the list. But as soon as someone else comes along wanting to be on Page 1 as well, then you’re going to have to prove that your website deserves to be ranked higher than your competition.

SEO in Plain Language: How long does it take to see that SEO is working?

You should start seeing your website move up in the Google search results within a couple of months, and absolutely within 6 months.

The speed at which you move up on the search results and how high you get depends on how many awesome websites are above you in the search engine results. How...

SEO in Plain Language: When I hire a company to build my website, will they optimize our website for search engines?

Not always. There are two reasons why a web designer or a web design agency would not optimize your website for search engines:

SEO in Plain Language: What does SEO mean? What are examples of SEO?

There is a lot of confusion around the subject of Search Engine Optimization, and I hope to help out the Internet by having the audacity to speak about a technical subject in plain language. 

Job Opening: Entry-Level Web Designer at smithHOUSE

smithHOUSE is a young Phoenix-based creative agency that focuses on branding, web, and mobile. We enjoy the sweet spot that is in the intersection of design, technology, and business. We have an opening for an entry level Web Designer beginning January 1, 2017. This is a salaried position with...

18 Years Later: 10 Ironic Things About "You've Got Mail"

Technology, society, and business have changed since the 1998 film "You've Got Mail" suggested you could find love online.  Here's the most ironic details of the film that look ridiculous today. 

5 Innovative Brands Part IV: Digital Marketing and the Power of the Tribe

Today in our final blogcast in the series, we look at the power of the tribe, and an ad-free era of marketing. If you haven’t already, at least listen to part one of this series when I introduce our five innovative brands.

I’m most excited about today because it’s in line with what we do at...

5 Innovative Brands Part III: Collaborations We're Dying To See

This blog series in my attempt to bring to life concepts of innovation, strategy, branding, and digital marketing through real life companies who are doing it real time. Today in Part 3, we’re going to talk about the market value of collaborations, and show it by way of pairing our 5 innovative...

5 Innovative Brands, Part 2: How to Disrupt an Industry

Welcome to Part 2 of our 4-part series.  In Part 1, I showcased 5 fresh brands that we’ll use as case studies for the rest of the series.  If you haven’t yet, give that blog a read or a listen.

Today we're going to look at the disruptive force of our 5 fresh companies, but do it by way of first...

Innovative Brands and What We Can Learn from Them, Part 1

There is a lot of noise out there about digital marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, branding and innovation. You could read 100s of blogs and just as many books, and still feel like you are missing something.  This is because you’re reading about methodologies and strategies,...

Branding Phoenix: 5 Winners

Last week on my blog Branding Phoenix: 5 Losers, I singled out five places that need some love from designers.  This week, I want to give credit to the creative visionaries who have boosted the brand of our city. 

Branding Phoenix: 5 Losers

I took a drive with my family around our favorite parts of Phoenix over the weekend.  My conversations with my wife (also a designer) are pretty fierce. We see things that we love, and we also see things that drive us crazy.  

I took note of the good and bad, and I decided to put it all into a...

Designing a New Logo? Lessons Learned from 3 NBA Teams' New Branding

Sports teams are some of the most recognizable brands in America. One by one, college and professional teams are rebranding.  Pay attention and you'll find inspiration for branding your own team.  

The New Logo from Instagram Marks the Beginning of the End of "Flat Design"

Contrary to social media and news reports, Flat Design became a thing with Microsoft in 2011.  It was made cool by Apple with iOS in 2013, and now in 2016, it’s being exposed for its weakness. Proof: Instagram’s new logo.

Marketing Graduates: 6 Essential Skills for a New Era  of Marketing

Over the last couple of years, I've met with a lot of college students who were interested in becoming interns with smithHOUSE.  I've sat across the table from some young, bright minds and we chatter back and forth about the usual things: tell me about your course work, where do you thrive, etc.