Crockett Dunn, LLC

Crockett Dunn, LLC

helping your presence work for your business

Custom Integration Without Compromise

Case Study: Marki Microwave

Success Story: Custom Integration Without Compromise

By integrating three previously separate systems, CDLLC delivered a platform that offers the highest quality experience for Marki Microwave in their drive to offer an uncompromising and secure customer experience while maintaining the flexibility to self-manage custom website aesthetic features bringing together form and function while harnessing performance and usability.

The Client: Marki Microwave

Marki Microwave is a global leader in the RF and Microwave technology field servicing clients in the aerospace, defense, and commercial spheres.

With a long standing history of providing superior quality in technology and thought-leadership to a demanding industry their client services have to be unfaltering.

When searching for a solution to integrate the multiple systems already in place, there was no out of the box solution that met Marki Microwave’s high standards. They reached out for a tailor made platform to retain ease of use of their blogging system while automating advanced catalog features and allowing for custom control without compromising performance and usability.

The Project: Systems Integration

CDLLC set out to create a custom system that prioritizes the B2B client experience. Features include catalog management with real-time stock and price information, and indexing by technical specifications. Accelerated site speed and elegant aesthetics culminated in the best experience for the customer. All while delivering ease of use, design control, security, search presence, and ultimately customer satisfaction, efficiency, and increased growth potential.

The upgraded website needed to integrate an open source PHP blog providing a straightforward platform to customize design elements and publish the latest research, technical data, and custom applications; their secure active server pages (ASP) catalog management system; the back-end enterprise reporting platform (ERP) with custom pricing tables.

Multiple challenges were surmounted when combining the disparate platforms with 3 different operating systems, databases, and API languages.

The sensitive nature of the organization necessitated sandboxing the less secure open source blogging platform and integrating a highly secure e-commerce platform that serves ERP stock/price data to a public-facing website in the face of modern day security threats such as advanced persistent threats from sophisticated hacker organizations and state actors.

Once the unified systems were working together site speed became paramount. When seconds affect the customer experience impacting engagement and sales, page load had to be maximized. Using a cloud-based caching system created a 10,000 percent page load speed increase resulting in a page load speed for the integrated system faster than any of its individual components.

Founder and lead Solutions Architect, Crockett Dunn, “I implement custom solutions. While other software vendors offer pre fixe systems, I am tailoring solutions catering to each client’s unique needs.”


This article was first published to Medium.

How to Find Out What Company Designed a Website

Ever looked at a competitor’s website and wondered, “How can I find out who designed my competitor’s website?”

Well, it happens a lot in my business, and there’s actually a very simple and easy way to find out. It works 90% of the time, and it takes all of 20 seconds.

Ok, ready?  The trade secret of how to find out who designed someone’s website:

Google “portfolio + business name”

This will  return results including any design or development firms who include this business name in their portfolio.

You can also try “case studies  + business name”

Bluetooth Proximity Unlock from Broadcom/Widcomm- Great in Windows 7… Unsupported by Windows 10??

Why isn’t anyone complaining about the lack of full Windows 10 support for Broadcom’s Widcomm Bluetooth software stack, specifically the Proximity Unlock feature that is supported by Windows 7.  Yes I know, lots of super geeky words here, but doesn’t everyone want workstation security without having to type and retype strong passwords to unlock their workstation?

It’s beautiful, man:

Bluetooth Proximity Unlock Sofware

(above, Windows 7 Bluetooth Device Control Panel, showing device used for proximity unlock)

All I have to do is walk away from my workstation with phone in pocket, and my computer locks.

A quick google search on the topic yields results including links to “how to” articles suggesting third party apps, at least one of which is discontinued.

I had hoped Android’s new smart unlock features (GPS, voice, Bluetooth connection) were an indication that the mainstream valued this type of feature.

File this away with my 2003 gripe about the lack of GPS+Camera+MP3 capability in any single mobile device.  Sigh…  Just like then, maybe today the world is just not ready for the awesomeness of proximity awareness.

SEO Tip: Incoming Links

Incoming links are a heavily weighted factor in establishing your search engine ranking (your Google Page Rank).  However, it is not the QUANTITY of links that is important (in fact, too many links from bad sources can actually hurt you), so much as the QUALITY of incoming links to your site.

OK, so what is this “quality” I am referring to?  To define that, let’s step back for a moment.  To define what are quality in-links for your specific search engine campaign, you have to first have established your objective.  This involves a thorough analysis including:

  1. Defining your competition
  2. Determining how your competition is being found on the internet (Read, in this context: extracting the key phrases your competition is successfully targeting)
  3. Thoroughly analyzing the competition’s targeted key phrases to derive similar key phrases and discover targeted words your competition may be missing
  4. Performing a similar analysis of the competition’s in-links and deriving a strategy including opportunities the competition may be missing

There is obviously a lot more to the above list, but I can stop there and limit the scope of discussion to factors related to in-links.

*Shameless plug: CDLLC can help you through the process of competition analysis and key phase targeting (steps 1-4), as part of an initial, discounted consultation.  Our special tools automate the initial process of checking your key phrases against the reality of how Google sees you and your competition.

Once you have your competition defined and analyzed, it is possible to evaluate the QUALITY of incoming links of your competitors.  Quality factors include:

  • The search engine rank of the linking page/site (#1, #5, #50 in Google results page)
  • The number of key phrases in the linked text of the page/site
  • The Google Page Rank (different from the search engine rank #) of the linking page/site
  • The number of quality links (quality defined by the criteria herein) to the linking page
  • The key phrases in the TITLE of the linking pages
  • The number of relevant incoming links.

At this point, you have a good idea of your competitions in-link situation, and it’s time for the fun part (ok, maybe it’s not everybody’s idea of fun, but I love it): embarking on your link campaign!

-Crockett Dunn

Posted via email from crockettdunn’s posterous

Google Blended Search, Revisited

Sometimes clients look at me sideways when they find out they need to be discussing their products on YouTube or Facebook and Twitter. Why bother?
The short answer is: Google recognizes and rewards “buzz” about your website. 
For the long answer, and an explanation of Google Blended Search Results, a.k.a. Google Universal Search, read on…
Since May 2007, we have been hearing about Universal Search and Blended Search.  Google was the first of the major Search Engines to unveil blended results as part of their main search results in May 2007 with Universal Search.  ASK was second in June of 2007, followed by MSN in July 2007 and Yahoo in October 2007.  Yet here we are two years later and the discussions have died down a little.  When’s the last time you heard someone in your office discuss blended search?  Of course there are exceptions and early adopters, but in discussions that I have with many, they are not yet leveraging blended search optimization.  How is blended search affecting B2B websites?  Should B2B sites be optimizing for blended search? What is Blended Search Optimization?
Blended Search optimization is simply the process of developing relevant content in a format other than a typical web page so that it appears as part of the different types of search results within the major search engines.  There are numerous types of blended search results that are now being featured as part of a search engines main results.  Types of blended search results include videos, shopping results, images, news results etc.
Why is Blended Search Important?
The short answer is that searchers (i.e.. users of Search Engines) are expecting richer experiences.  They are looking to find relevant information that answers their questions and their need for timely, relevant information.  In the past, this need was satisfied by newspapers, print, radio and television.  With the digital age and with the emergence of digital natives (More on Digital Natives here) and millennials, people are looking for dynamic types of content.  Not just a blue link with a somewhat relevant description.  Hence the need for blended results.  Some users relate better to articles and press releases, others to podcasts, images or videos.  The fact of the matter is, depending on the nature of the searcher’s query, the type of results that they are looking for will vary.  This is why blended search is important.  Someone looking for a new CMS solution may be more tuned in with a video demo as opposed to a webpage that describes what a CMS is.  Blended Search results provide a richer experience and search landscape for the user.  Searchers are looking for this.  They are no longer satisfied with ten blue links on a results page.
Does Blended Search Work for B2B?
The short answer is that yes blended search optimization can work for business to business websites.  It depends on your blended search strategy.  For example, we know that unlike a B2C site that may feature a large variety of products, for B2B sites things such as optimizing shopping feeds to improve visibility with shopping results may not be the best avenue to pursue (for the simple facts that a typical B2B site may not have a series of  “products” to submit).  However, things such as video optimization, news release optimization, image and blog optimization can all help increase the visibility of a B2B site on a search results page.  From an SEO perspective, blended search optimization can work well for B2B sites.
The SERP landscape has become hyper-competitive over the past three or four years.  Being found in Google, Yahoo, Live Search or even other vertical search engines is becoming increasingly difficult.  While it is not necessarily about the rankings, it is about the visibility and about the click.  A 2008 study on blended search from iProspect outlines, the continued importance for marketers to ensure that their digital assets are found within the first three pages, if not the first page, of search results. Blended Search provides an opportunity to accomplish this and in some cases effective blended search optimization can allow an organization to dominate the real estate of the Search.  We have clients who actually represent 30-60% of a Google SERP for a given key phrase as a result of strong blended search optimization.
The secret with blended search optimization for B2B sites is that there is no secret.  You simply need to understand your audience and the type of content that they prefer to engage with.  For B2B sites, this means testing the type of content that you feature on your site.  Do users engage with videos better than PDFs?  Or is your audience looking for news updates and articles describing your service/product offering?  Perhaps they are looking for content that is updated frequently such as blog posts or maybe they are simply looking for user reviews and testimonials about your brand.  This is where a social network result such as Facebook or Twitter may prove beneficial.  While technically not a blended search result, social network results for your brand are a different type of result that elicit a specific response (participating in a community setting) from the searcher which is why we classify social network results as a “type of blended result”.  The fact is, the searcher may be looking for a different type of result when searching for your brand or related key phrase.
Past search research dating back to 2004 shows that typically users will not look past the third page of search results, in fact many might not even click through to the second page of results.  As a B2B site, having the ability to “own” multiple results (and multiple types of results) on page one of Google or Yahoo for a non-branded key phrase can provide a great return in terms of intercepting your audience.  This is what blended search optimization can do for a site.  You can have a traditional website result as well as a video result or perhaps a news result to intercept these clicks and gain this traffic.
Three Types of Blended Results That B2B Sites Should Focus On
While the following is not specific to B2B sites, here are three types of blended search optimization that B2B sites should focus on:

  1. News/PR Optimization – optimizing articles and press releases is a great way to find your site within the blended results of Google, Yahoo or MSN.  The Engines (and searchers) tend to treat news results as more relevant due to the timely information that is within them.  Launching a new version of your software or a new strategic partnership can provide useful information to your target demographic.  As a result a well optimized press release can show up in Google News and in the blended search results displayed by Google.  Not to mention that in Google, News results tend to appear above the top organic results of the SERP or after the first one or two organic results meaning that they often occupy prime real estate within the results page.  Furthermore, deeper analysis from the above mentioned iProspect study indicates that search engine users click “news” results more than twice as much (36%) within blended search results as they do when they use the vertical “news search” (17%).
  2. Video Optimization – for whatever reason video results seem to appear more often than other types of blended results such as image results, book results etc.  All B2B sites should feature some video content on their site and/or on a video aggregator site such as YouTube that demos a product, explains their service, communicates their unique competitive advantage etc.  Video may resonate better with certain demographics and as a result create more engagement with your brand from the SERP.  The messaging in the video can be more targeted than say the information that a user receives once they click through the “blue link” result from the results page.  Perform a search in Google for “supply chain management”.  Depending on the data center that you hit you should be returned with a couple of video results (as well as a couple of image results) in addition to the typical blue link text results that would normally appear.
  3. Blog Optimization -blogs, love them or hate them are garnering more trust as a resource than typical web results.  Optimizing your blog posts and posting regularly can be a great way to tap into the blended results for a topic specific keyword query.  Blogs that feature relevant and informative posts about a specific topic have been known to show up in the main search results of Google.  The thing with blog results are that they can appear “blended” in within the normal results, meaning that they look like a typical result, or they can be labeled as a “Blog Result” indicating that they are in fact a blended result.  A search for “online marketing” or “Susan Boyle’ in Google returns both.

Blended Search is all about content and the type of content that you optimize for your audience.  Does it apply to B2B?  Yes of course it does, for blended search optimization is simply another way to gain visibility in the organic/natural search results of a search engine.  So while rankings may be dead, visibility is not.  Blended Search allows you to optimize content and different types of content in order to intercept your audience to begin or build a relationship between the searcher and your brand.  So while they may not convert on this initial visit, they will at least engage with your brand and become more aware of what your organization has to offer.

Originally published at marketing.jive.com: Does Blended Search Optimization Work for B2B?

-Crockett Dunn Owner CDLLC

“To Improve is to Change; To Be Perfect is to Change Often,” or, Winston Churchill and Web Content

If you enjoyed our riffing on Confucius, you’ll love what’s next. Ladies and Gentlemen, Sir Winston Churchill will now address your needs for Search Engine Marketing!

Amazed that a man whose heyday was several decades before there was an Internet has so much to say on the topic? This will take four installments:

  1. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
  2. Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.
  3. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
  4. “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

Today, #1:

Anyone in business—especially the INTERNET business—over the past 15 or 20 years knows that the only real constant in business is that there is no constant; you must count on change being a continuous state of being. Agility in coping with that change is important for all businesses on many levels. In search engine marketing terms that level is your web content.

Search engines like you more the more often your content changes.

Search Engine Marketing is the art/science of getting your content ranked highly, in the places you need it to stand out. While there are many other factors involved (and we take them all into account) in getting you top ranking in Google and other search engines the single most important one is fresh content. An unchanging, static, stale website will torpedo your efforts. And unlike the unreliable German U-Boat torpedoes Churchill so easily countered, this one will sink you fast.

Truly, short of a major offense getting you thrown out of the search engine indexes having a stale site is the worst thing you can do for search engine ranking .

While “perfect” is too strong a word to associate with a single factor of change, I can say with confidence that CDLLC can and will get you a perfect (#1) listing in the search engine(s) of your choice. But it starts with content.

Bottom line—publish, publish much, and publish often. This is the easiest, most common sense thing you can do for your search engine ranking. We can even help you create content if you aren’t sure where to start.

And then, we’ll take care of the rest. Churchill may not have been willing to forecast the upcoming actions of Russia, but we can forecast better search engine rankings—and make them happen.

-Crockett Dunn

-Jeff Yablon
Chief Operating Office, CDLLC
Answer Guy Central Business Support Services

Planning Your Business Web Presence, or Confucianism Part II

The exact quote from our old friend Confucius is “When they do good things, good people plan first“.

In fifteen years in this business, we’ve seen a lot of web development projects, and gained a wealth of experience.

Typical, our clients come to us saying something like “Build me a web site with an awesome design. Make it look sharp/cutting edge/cool/like xxx site“.

Then we hear the “secondary” issue; it’s usually expressed as “Here’s what we want the site to say. This message, that functionality. We want a business overview, employee profiles, contact information . . . you know, all the usual stuff. And here’s what we want the website to do: Shopping cart, pay online, FAQ’s, password-protected client/employee center, everything categorized in a way that makes sense both to us and everyone who visits, search-able, and with an easily browse-able library of PDF documents. And don’t forget user registration!”.

Then, as the project is heading toward completion, we hear the big one: “Why don’t we come up first in Google? What do we need to do to improve our search engine ranking and get closer to the top?”

Real estate agents tell you that the three most important things in their business are location, location, and location. In the business of creating successful internet presence it’s all about planning, planning, and planning!

And the real secret to a smooth and cost-effective website project is to concurrently and proactively plan the above three stages. Not incidentally, this is what CDLLC does.

We used to be shocked when we came across work that hadn’t been executed that way, and we come across it often. Of course, it’s usually exactly such a failure to plan that leads new clients to us, wondering why their web presence isn’t yielding the kind of results they were sure they’d achieve when they hung their bright shiny virtual shingles.

Why does concurrent planning matter?

Businesses that plan their design first and the content and functionality afterward often discover that their content doesn’t fit into the design. For example, websites with lots of sections and snippets of information may need a very modular design, while sites with large chunks of content, like publications, reviews, or editorial content are (usually) better served by a wider, vertically stretchable design. Are you selling things directly over the Internet? Designs for special applications like shopping carts or document libraries must be tailored to fit those applications.

Simply put, putting design before content usually results in a redesign, which costs money. Call us crazy, but we like to save our clients’ money.

Then, amazingly, it’s only after design and content are addressed that the question of marketing and traffic gets looked at!

Did you start your business without a marketing and sales plan already in place? Of course not. So why would you build a website without knowing how you were going to attract the right traffic and deliver your sales message? You can build out your web site and fill it with loads of rich content, and not until months later discover that the site doesn’t come up in the right place or rank highly for the for the right keywords in Google.

The result? Content re-writing, and even modification of the design so search engines can find you. Oh: and maybe even a whole new cost item added for search engine marketing, post-budget creation.

The takeaway? Work through all of the steps for creating a successful web presence concurrently and you’ll save money and not go over budget with surprises & re-works.

So let’s re-work Confucius, with an added slice of Gordon Gecko: “Planning is Good. Planning Works.”

-Crockett Dunn

-Jeff Yablon
Chief Operating Office, CDLLC, and
Answer Guy Central Business Support Services