SEO and META Description: The Unsung Hero

by demtron on Thursday, November 19, 2009 08:26 PM

Is the META Description tag really worth any time and energy?  Compared to other aspects of on-site SEO, this one doesn’t provide the kind of ranking and authority that impact rankings significantly.  In spite of this, there’s an important reason for using it that’s often overlooked.

META Description provides and easy and succinct way to summarize the contents of a page, but it can be substantially longer than the title tag.  The real benefit of this tag is in writing a sales hook that will encourage a visitor to click in spite of its position on a page.  Here are two examples found in Google when searching for the term "birthday gifts":

 

Unique Gift Ideas, Gifts, Unusual Gifts, Birthday Gift Ideas, Unique Gifts, Gifts For Men, Gift Ideas, Corporate Gifts, Birthday Gifts, Gift Ideas.

 

Say Happy Birthday with a birthday gift from RedEnvelope - no better place to order and send birthday gifts.

 

The first results comes from a keyword stuffed section of the page content and reads more like a ransom note than a description of the site.  The second one, even though ranked lower, has a nice message, a call to action, relevance and it’s easy to read.  It conveys the image of a place that someone might like to shop.  Sure, it’s not keyword stuffed and may not rank as well, but relevance was the key here.  I passed over the first result because it just didn’t have a good feel to it.  There’s not doubting that both sites intended for the visitor to see exactly what was shown, but the one with the clear message and call to action wins the day.

META Description optimization is one of the easier on-page optimizations that can be made.  Despite is relatively lower importance in ranking, the sales punch it can provide makes it worthwhile to include it in your SEO plans.

Need help with your META Description tags.  Contact the <a href="/Milwaukee-Wisconsin-SEO-Expert.aspx">Milwaukee SEO Experts</a> at Demtron today!


List MS SQL Table Sizes for All Tables in a Database

by demtron on Saturday, June 06, 2009 01:56 PM

For a client's site that uses MS SQL Server, we needed a quick and easy way to see the space occupied by all tables in the database.  We found this great script here that does exactly that: 

 

declare @RowCount int, @tablename varchar(100)
declare @Tables table (
PK int IDENTITY(1,1),
tablename varchar(100),
processed bit
)
INSERT into @Tables (tablename)
SELECT TABLE_NAME from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES where TABLE_TYPE = 'BASE TABLE' and TABLE_NAME not like 'dt%' order by TABLE_NAME asc
declare @Space table (
name varchar(100), rows nvarchar(100), reserved varchar(100), data varchar(100), index_size varchar(100), unused varchar(100)
)
select top 1 @tablename = tablename from @Tables where processed is null
SET @RowCount = 1
WHILE (@RowCount <> 0)
BEGIN
insert into @Space exec sp_spaceused @tablename
update @Tables set processed = 1 where tablename = @tablename
select top 1 @tablename = tablename from @Tables where processed is null
SET @RowCount = @@RowCount
END
update @Space set data = replace(data, 'KB', '')
update @Space set data = convert(decimal(8,2), data)/1000
update @Space set data = data + 'MB'
update @Space set reserved = replace(reserved, 'KB', '')
update @Space set reserved = convert(decimal(8,2), reserved)/1000
update @Space set reserved = reserved + 'MB'
select * from @Space order by convert(decimal(8,2), replace(data, 'MB', '')) desc

 

 


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.


Sending SMTP Mail With Authentication with ASP.Net

by demtron on Monday, March 02, 2009 05:14 PM

Many web hosting now require sender authentication when sending e-mail through a relay server.  These mail servers have their security locked down.  Sometimes, localhost is an available SMTP server option, but if a relay server is required, a little extra code is also required.

ASP.Net offers the NetworkCredential class for this purposes.  By setting the NetworkCredential property in the SMTPClient object with the appropriate credentials, authentication can be passed with the request.  For example:

Dim smtp As New Net.Mail.SmtpClient
Dim m As New Net.Mail.MailMessage
m.Subject = "the subject"
m.From = New Net.Mail.MailAddress("email@domainname.com")
m.To.Add("john@demtron.com")
Dim Auth As New System.Net.NetworkCredential("email@domainname.com", "password")
smtp.UseDefaultCredentials = False
smtp.Credentials = Auth
smtp.Host = "smtp.domainname.com"
smtp.Send(m) 

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