Milwaukee SEO: Any Site Can Benefit from SEO

by demtron on Friday, March 06, 2009 04:35 PM

Based on our research, at least 95% of all business web sites have had minimal to no search engine optimization.  We're not talking rocket-science style SEO here.  We see simple things like duplicate title tags, no title tags, missing title tags, poor natural text and even broken links.

Businesses are arranged in a phone book by industry or type of business and have the relevant keywords in the section heading.  People searching in a phone book will look for the relevant business category first, then look a a business that's nearby them.

Take a look a your own website and look at what's in the title bar of the browser.  Having your company name is fine, but unless you have strong brand recognition, nobody will search for you based on your company name.  Particularly for small professional services businesses, local search can be crucial for getting traffic.  If you're an attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, doesn't it make sense for your site to have Milwaukee Attorney somewhere in the title where it can be found by search engines?

Surprisingly, sometimes this is all it takes for a search engine to find and rank a page highly.  If your keyword phrases don't involve significant competition, this can launch a site right to the first page of Google search results.  On a recent site, we optimized the site for South Milwaukee Physical Therapy.  Guess what?  With that little bit of work, that site now ranks #1 for that search terms and enjoys a good amount of local traffic for that phrase.  This site now provides that business with an additional way to be found and for new customers to contact them.

If your site needs help with SEO, contact our Milwaukee SEO experts today for a free evaluation and recommendations for your site.


Storing XML in Cookies and "dangerous Request.Cookies value" in ASP.Net

by demtron on Saturday, February 28, 2009 05:32 PM

By design, when attempting to store XML data in a cookie, the .Net Framework will raise the a HttpRequestValidationException because request validation is enabled according to Microsoft.  This is a good security mechanism to help avoid script submissions via HTTP.  Rather than turning off validation, one way to eliminate problem is to use HttpUtility.UrlEncode and HttpUtility.UrlDecode to replace suspicious characters with acceptable characters.  For example, to store an XML string to a cookie, one could use the following code:

HttpContext.Current.Response.Cookies.Set(New HttpCookie("Books", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(XMLstring)))
 


Dynamic Column Creation Problem with Telerik RadGrid

by demtron on Monday, February 02, 2009 10:04 AM

As part of a large eCommerce project, I needed to be able to extend a grid control into a custom control and dynamically add columns.  I needed to change the order of events that determined when and how columns would be added.  After a rather large modification of several hundred lines of code, I found that the grid would throw  errors such as "Cannot create column with the specified type name".  AJAX sorting, filtering, and refreshes threw this error every time after the initial grid display.  This vexed me for over two days until I found the Telerik forums post at http://www.telerik.com/community/forums/aspnet-ajax/grid/dynamic-creation-of-columns.aspx.  The solution was to set the EnableColumnsViewState property of the MasterTableView to false and create the columns on Page.Init or on each Page.Load.

Sometimes, the easiest changes fix the most hair-pulling problems.  :-)


5 Things Every Web Site Owner Must Know

by demtron on Friday, November 21, 2008 03:06 PM

Your web designer has just completed your site and it’s live and available to see on the Web.  You’ve thanked your designer for a job well done and you’re excited about the prospects of new customers and increased awareness of your business.  What do you know about the setup, configuration and ongoing charges for your site?

When I work with new clients, I always give them the “run over by the truck” story.  If I’m run over by a truck and can’t help them with their Web sites, have I given them enough information to give another designer so he can quickly get up-to-speed and continue maintaining their sites?  When I take over site maintenance, I always ask for this information, and I am amazed and little data my clients sometimes have about their sites.  If a designer leaves, falls ill, or is otherwise unable to continue work on a site, a site owner may be left with now knowledge to transfer for a new designer.

Before you pay your designer, make sure you have this key information about your site.

Is your domain name registered under your name?  You NEED to make sure of this.  If your designer or someone else registered your domain, you may not own your domain name.  This can be DISASTROUS if you lose contact with that person and need to renew the registration or make change to your Web site.  If there is one thing I stress to all clients, it’s to take control of domain name registration.

Do you know all the passwords for your site?  Be sure to ask for passwords for the hosting control panel, FTP site, database, e-mail accounts, and any information pertaining to the security of your site.  If your designer does not pass these along to you, you may not be able to update your site content, e-mail accounts, or other site aspects in the future.

How is your site configured?  Some sites require special configuration because of features that you’ve requested.  Examples of configuration details include whether it uses an SSL certificate, a database, and payment processing.  Depending on the complexity of your site, your designer may have needed to alter the default site settings.  Make sure you get documentation from your designer detailing any special considerations from the site that may not be readily accessible or understandable by a new designer.

Who is responsible for what aspects of your site?  Hosting, email, domain registration, SSL certificate registration and payment processing may each be handled by a separate entity.  Be sure to get the company name, phone number and Web site address for the billing and technical support contacts from these services.

How has billing been arranged?  Hosting plans, SSL certificates, and other parts of your site or domain registration may be billed to you monthly, quarterly, yearly or in some other interval.  Are these set up to automatically bill your credit card?  If not, how will you be notified of a payment and how do you arrange payment?

Your Web site can be a vital part of your business, and it’s imperative that you have control of all its major aspects.  For some of my clients, previous designers did not pass along this vital information, which left them vulnerable to a variety of maintenance, security, and other problems.  Ask your designer to take an hour or so to document these Web site aspects for you.  You’ll be glad you did!


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