Roundbrix SEO – Being #1 on Google has its Perks !

Ever since the beginning of the search engine, the coveted prize is in being ranked at the top or very close to it. You see, when folks search for something, more often than not, they won’t scroll down three to five pages to see Google results numbered 30 through 50. Today’s searcher really wants to know how close they can get to what they are looking for without having to go to another page or scrolling down as well! Realistically, I find that folks are a little challenged – as I too had to do some soul searching to figure out what makes sense for my business. So here’s what we have learned:

Select Terms that are not overpopulated. If I search for ‘wine’, I have to wade through 910 million results. If I select ‘red wine’ I pared the field down to a mere 294 million. Wow, that’s a two-thirds reduction!  Now I type in ‘Tempranillo’ (the noble grape of Spain equivalent to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape) and I am down to 7 million results. If I now ask for what I am really looking for ‘tempranillo match‘, I am down to a mere 311 thousand results. Here, I find a site called winematch.com rated #1 that is displaying a number of Tempranillo wines, which was really my end goal.

Here’s the lesson. People are thinking more and typing in more words than ever into search engines in an attempt to narrow their field of search as much as possible. They are looking to find what they can on the first Google results page visible to them. Finding things on the first page greatly reduces our time and frustration factor when looking for stuff. After all, it’s far easier to search through 311 thousand results rather than 910 million.

You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to plug in all the common terms you think people will use to find a business like yours. The tool will show you all the keyword phrases and what kind of traffic in general each receives. Also, it will suggest other phrases along with their traffic and competitiveness on which you might want to also focus.

Page optimization is critical. How each page is optimized is important, but it needs to be built that way. Are those important keywords sprinkled on each page generously without it looking like you intentionally planted them to cater to the search engines?  Remember, you have two audiences here – the people that read them and the search engines. Your site needs to have links that go down to page levels that reinforce what you’re all about. It is allowable to have some redundancy. From a best practice standpoint, mention of a keyword three times on each page brings search engine benefits.

Roundbrix made the decision to build our website based on SEO perspective from the ground up. This enables the website to show up #1 on google for about 20 different phrases because the website was built specifically to get high on the search engines. For example, we did not use any tables. It is recommended to use CSS only so that the search engines have a lot less html code to look through when spidering your website. Also, we enable quite a bit of cross-linking. As an example, from the home page you can access our HP Partner page while at the same time you can also access it under our DATA page and several other pages.

Title importance is most often overlooked. I go to so many sites, and the title is just plain wrong or worst yet empty. A web designer is not a search engine optimization specialist! Remember this – the first sixty (60) characters of the title is what search engines care about the most. Also, the more important keyword phrases should be on the left part of the title. So pull up your web site, highlight over your favicon in the toolbar and see if that agrees with what you believe folks will type into a search bar to find your business. We also find that adding location, like ‘Irvine’ or ‘Orange County’ also helps quite a bit.

Getting a potential new client to your site as an initial introduction is the most important thing. Some websites use something more unique in their title that allows someone to find you, like perhaps an item or service more unique to your business than to others. This increases your odds of being found whereas just using a keyword that is too widely used in your area of product line or service expertise might make the competition a bit too great.

 

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WebSite Performance Monitor and Attack Preventer!

Having a well-designed web site is great, but there are a few questions worth asking to ensure it is not only doing the job for you, but it is also not creating a liability. Yes, you heard me right.

You see, web sites contain data –  and they must. There’s data you intended for your audience, and other data that are only for the eyes of others- or just a little at a time.  There is a process called SQL Injection Attack. What happens is that hackers find a way to retrieve all or important data illegally for their own purpose, which could include putting you out of business or ruining  the good name you may have spent a veritable lifetime to build!

At Roundbrix, after protecting your data, security comes in a close second. It’s so important to us, we are our own priority consumer. But instead of keeping this great process and anti-hacking weapons to ourselves, we want them available to other outfits as well. After all, it’s Good Guy or Gal against Bad, right? So here’s what we’ve done. We’ve created the following total toolset that not only protects your interests .

SQL Injection SmartStopper. We use logic here that not only identifies when someone is trying to steal your data, but we identify them and block them.  We can also collect forensics if a law suit is involved to provide expert testimony on the prosecution end. There is a small setup fee and a smaller monthly charge to receive automated notifications of what was identified and what was blocked – automatically!

Web Performance Monitor.  We are able to monitor many pages of code and give precise response times. Warnings are sent out when thresholds you establish are exceeded. We can let you know exactly where and when it is slow. And when it’s down, we’ll notify you immediately. We also allow you to monitor specific keywords on web pages. Testing database performance and ensuring all is up and running is also part of this toolset.

Heartbeat Functionality. Here’s just another area where we separate ourselves from the crowd. We NEVER assume that because you hear nothing, that all is well. Our tools report to us if they are not operational, so in our scenario,  no news is bad news. It’s like your kid calling you to check in. If they don’t call, you don’t automatically assume all is well. Same holds true with intrusion performance monitoring tools. They need to report in just like in the Civil War, when the first cries of “Two O’Clock and all is Well” rang out to ensure the individual monitoring the enemy had not been taken out.

Related services.  Roundbrix offers a full suite of services to help you answer a number of questions as well as provide quick remediation to these and many others.

Are the database and internet servers properly tied down to one another?

Are database indexes optimized for performance?

Is the Internet server as fast as it should be?

How do I maintain proper PCI compliance?

Are your firewall permissions excessively creating exposures?

Is important information like client credit cards stored?

Is there a more secure way to conduct web commerce?

Is data stored properly and not kept too long?

As we most proudly enter our 11th year in business, we have never been better equipped or more resolute to helping companies succeed while keeping those with a patch over an eye at bay!

Call us for a free evaluation and quote!

Six Keys to Avoiding Data Loss

At Roundbrix, we take data very seriously. After all, it’s the only thing we really cannot replace. Given that, there’s a few safeguards that we recommend so your data sleeps as well as you do!

1. Know Where Your Data Lives. This may sound silly, but what if you had nightly backups running, lost something, and went to restore the data only to find out you weren’t backing it up? Folks, this happens more than you would ever want to know. Often times data is on desktops when it should really be on a server where it gets backed up. Good company policy and procedures with occasional QA here is best practice.

And remember, if you install a new program on the server, create a new volume on a server or a new database, know that it has to be selected to be backed up. Just because it’s on the server doesn’t mean it’s backed up!

2. Backup Nightly with a Verify Pass. This is key to ensure that your data is restorable from the media. We used to call this “read after write” as it simply verifies that what is believed it wrote is indeed what can be read back. A simple check box verifies that all is well come ‘restore‘ time!

3. Take a Backup Offsite at Least Weekly. This is where you have to think through your pain threshold for data loss. In other words, if you’re building burned down, would losing a week’s worth of data make it even more painful? If the answer is an emphatic ‘YES’, then that means you need to take a tape offsite more frequently than weekly. Do remember a couple of things about taking tapes offsite. First rule is they don’t survive well in heat or moisture so get a proper transport and storage container. Second rule is ensure it is secure as the tape includes all your company information and if misplaced, creates a liability. You’ll want to account for your tapes periodically to ensure one didn’t ‘fly the coup’. If you’re a Roundbrix client, you can use our secure biometric-secured facility to store your backup data as frequently as you would like.

4. Periodic Reviews of What is Being Backed Up. This little step that we like to do every quarter to catch new areas created. Face it, we get busy and things fall through the cracks as we’re only human. Also, we occasionally find new databases that not only aren’t being backed up, but not set up properly for maintenance, safety and controlling growth. To know how to set up a database maintenance plan, see the article we previously wrote here.

5. Redirect My Document Folder to Server using Group Policy. Desktops and laptops will fail, but what’s important is that it does not take sensitive company data with it. Also, if it gets stolen or misplaced, has this just put your entire company at risk? Folks, keeping autonomy between the company data and the desktop/laptop device any more than absolutely required is simply good business. One of these failing should not send dangerous ripples through an organization like “Oh, Ed had all the company financials and client lists on his computer and now they are gone!”

6. Know How You Would Restore From Scratch. In a crisis situation, this is not the time to “figure things out”. We have “been there and done that” so rest assured we can get you back to where you need to be is short time. After all, the name of the game is first prevention, and secondly restoration. If the restorations took a month, what would be the point?

Current Projects

  • Access to SQL Database Conversion
  • Server upgrades
  • High Availability Firewall upgrades
  • Network Engineering and Performance Monitoring
  • – MAS Migrations