Mike Arnesen
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Happy New Year! We’re excited to announce our first Member of the Month, Mike Arnesen. Mike is the Founder & CEO of UpBuild, an end-to-end optimization (SEO, analytics & CRO) agency based in Portland, OR. In order to get to know him better, we asked him all the important questions and are sharing them with you.

About Mike Arnesen

Area(s) of Expertise
“Analytics, SEO, CRO”

What do you like most about Digital Marketing and why?
“The ability to affect change and see results in near-real-time. The Internet is amazing! No joke.”

What advice do you have for a college student who is interested in your area(s) of expertise?

“Just get started! The barrier to entry in digital marketing is so low that it may as well not exist. You don’t need a fancy college degree and you don’t need expensive tools or software licences either. You don’t even need an employer.

“All the answers to digital marketing’s questions are out there; you just have to learn how to search for them and practice seeking them day in and day out. Once you learn how to clarify the problem you need solved and you can define the expected output, you can translate that into a search query (or more likely many successive search queries) and discover the solution — either the exact solution that someone else has already developed and shared or enough similar solutions that will give you the raw material you need to synthesize something of your own.

“Aside from that, it’s all about doing the work. Get your hands dirty with as much as you can. Experiment with everything. The instant feedback loop offered by our digital environment makes experimenting, learning, and growing accessible to everyone. All you need is some innate curiosity and the desire to do good work.”


Why are you a member of SEMpdx?

“SEMpdx is the reason that I am where I am today. Years ago when I was just a web developer with an emerging interest in search marketing, my boss sent me to an SEMpdx event with the condition that I had to come back with a notebook full of notes to justify the expense. I learned so much the first time that I became permanently hooked.

Years later, I would connect with the founders of SwellPath through the SEMpdx LinkedIn group and the rest is history (I was with SwellPath for 5+ years until their acquisition and then founded UpBuild).

SEMpdx also gave me one of my first public speaking gigs.”

Who has been your favorite SEMpdx monthly event speaker and why?
Jonathon Colman. He’s a super geeky introvert who can rock a stage with the best speakers in the world. Watching him speak is always inspiring.”

Have you been to Engage (formerly SearchFest) and how many have you attended?
“5 or 6!”

If you could hear anyone speak at an event, who would it be and why?
Matt Mullenweg, one of the founding developers of WordPress. Aside from being an all-around super interesting guy, he also created a framework that now powers over 25% of the Internet. Hearing his take on digital marketing.”


If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now (marketer, developer, etc), what would you do?
“If I wasn’t able to do anything related to search marketing, I think I’d want to be a developer. I’ve love getting lost in code and peeling back the layers of how something works. If I wasn’t the CEO of UpBuild, I’d spend my days as a freelance developer writing and perfecting lines of code from coffee shops all over the world. It would be pretty great.”

Favorite Beverage and why?
“Green tea.”

To Bacon or Not to Bacon?
“Hell, no! Been vegan for more than half my life.”

Anything else you want the SEMpdx community to know about you?
“I recently ditched typing the QWERTY layout in favor of typing Dvorak. If you’re interested in efficiency and optimization (which I know you are), you should definitely check it out. DVzine.org has a great primer on Dvorak! “

Thanks, Mike!

Make sure to congratulate Mike on his status of Member of the Month at our next event!

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