BMI Microsoft Dynamics NAV Blog

Write Meta Descriptions that Beg to be Clicked

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jun 11, 2018 10:24:29 AM

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Would you like to improve your web traffic?

Are you wondering why your SEO efforts are not working well?

Improving your meta descriptions may be the answer.

 

What is a Meta Description?

A meta description is a short description below the link of a search result. It is used to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. Its purpose is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website or content. If any words match the search term, they are bolded in the description.

Below is an example of search results from typing “Office Product Distribution Software.”

Elements of Search Results

  1. Title
  2. URL
  3. Meta Description
  4. Bolded words that match the search term

Here is how to write better meta descriptions for great results:

1) Use language that promotes action.

Your meta description is really a call-to-action for the searcher. It describes exactly what a reader can do if they click. Start your meta descriptions with verbs like “Discover,” “Take,” “See,” or “Grab,” and follow it up by telling them exactly what they’ll get if they click.

2) Offer a solution or benefit that relates to their search.

Don’t annoy your readers by giving them something they are not expecting. Recently, I searched for a new barbecue grill and clicked to "see more". It went straight to a generic site that had nothing to do with barbecue grills. They sold many different products, and there was no easy way to find what I was looking for, so I gave up! (I just contributed to their site’s bounce rate.)

Write your meta descriptions using a short sentence that tells the searcher why they should read further. This is your chance to sell them on what you have to offer that will benefit them.

3) Keep it under 155 characters.

Generally, a meta description should be under 155 characters. However, Google actually doesn't measure by characters -- it measures by pixels. That is, it'll cut off a meta description after a certain width. The reason we say 155 characters is to give marketers a benchmark to abide by. You can double-check the length of your meta description and title tags with this handy tool from SEOmofo.

4) Don't mislead searchers.

Don’t over-stuff your description with keywords. Over-stuffed keyword content is a red flag for searchers and search engines. Your objective is to give the searcher a level of trust that what you are offering is what they need or want.

5) Make it specific and relevant.

Don’t create boring, generic meta descriptions. Use descriptive words that connect with your target audience. Be specific and relevant, not “fluffy” and chest thumping.

What NOT to Do with Meta Descriptions

Here are some mistakes you might be making with your meta descriptions. If you fail to put in a meta description for the pages you want to rank for, Google will display a snippet of text from the first paragraph of your page. If there's a search keyword in that text, it'll be bolded. Why is this a bad thing? Well, it means you'll miss out on being able to sell to your prospective buyers. You have an opportunity to persuade your reader - use it to garner more clicks.

By improving click-through rates, you will draw more searchers to your website where they will find deeper content to convince them to buy what you are selling.

Your descriptions need to focus on providing clear and concise copy about your webpage, so avoid overusing terms simply because you think it's what your audience will want to see. Use it as a chance to win over prospects.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV  and Dynamics 365 Business Central to solve real world business problems. www.bmiusa.com

Topics: SEO, Dynamics NAV Mobile, Microsoft Software, BMI Software, Dynamics NAV, Distribution Software, Dynamics 365 Business Central

It’s Easy to Sell to Millennials. Just Give Them What They Want.

Posted by Craig Greitzer on May 7, 2018 5:47:28 PM

 

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Millennials are often identified as being between the ages of 18-34, though there are some who argue they should be classified more loosely by how they act. They spend about $1.3 trillion annually and by 2020 will make up 50% of the workforce in the US. 80 million millennials are members of a generation that you shouldn’t ignore.

To capture their attention, it may be necessary to rethink how you message to them. Here are some suggestions for making a connection:

They are Brand Conscious

Like many of us; millennials want high quality, but sometimes can’t afford it yet. They have become fierce online shoppers, looking for the best deals. Think about offering a name brand at a special price to catch their attention. Remember to always suggest top name brands first.

Keep Your Promises

Millennials have been marketed to since they were being pushed in their baby jogger carriages. They have a keen eye for discerning what the truth is, and as a rep, you must do everything you say you will do or they will drop you like an overheated cell phone. Want to win them over? Be straightforward and honest.

All Natural All the Time

Millennials trust what their family and friends think and consider their opinions before buying a product. Remember, they are a group who posts all sorts of things on Facebook and Instagram and will rely on feedback from their friends before they will listen to a sales rep.

 A top priority for millennials is how easy is it to do business, more than any other generation. This has led to major brands being less focused on a lengthy selling process and more focused on showing them how their product solves their problems to move them in and out of the sales process quickly.

 This generation is looking for authenticity in the people they interact with, and the way products are made. Look at the campaigns out there from major brands, like Real Beauty by Dove, or the push for ethical treatment of animals (free-range chickens).

Give. Give. Give.

The philosophy of “always be giving” appeals to millennial buyers. Building trust comes from consistently giving value including industry insights or other content that interests them. No matter what you are selling, watch what happens when you offer an infographic on the best way to take pictures on your smart phone.

For Them, It’s All About Social Equality

The causes and issues that millennials support include equality between men and women, race equality and gender and sexual equality. Be careful that you don’t step on these sensitivities as you will drive them away.

On the other hand, if they are happy with you, they won’t hold back with selfies and recommendations about you on social media. They can be your best P.R. team.

Give to Social Causes to Get Their Attention

Corporations that give back to people in need have more appeal to Millennials who prefer to support a social cause rather than contribute to corporate greed. It humanizes and shows the values of a company.

For example, Bombas is a sock company who donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased. As they state on their website:
“Socks remain the #1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters. So for every pair of Bombas you purchase, we donate a pair to someone in need. So far, you've made over five million small acts of human kindness possible. We can't thank you enough.” Retrieved from https://bombas.com/
Corporations such as Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, Method, and Whole Foods have demonstrated that social giving results in a brand reputation that attracts more business. 

Please join the conversation by commenting below on how you attract millennials to your business. 

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to companies to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com.

 

Topics: Microsoft Software, BMI Software, Customer Service

BMI Software Certified by Microsoft with CfMD

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jan 26, 2018 1:05:32 PM

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Press Release: January 2018

BMI Software is excited to announce receipt of the prestigious CfMD (Certified for Microsoft Dynamics) designation for our software. This achievement means that our solution has met Microsoft Corporation’s highest standard for partner developed software solutions. By successfully meeting all certification requirements, BMI Software can now carry the distinct Certified for Microsoft Dynamics logo. Solutions that are Certified for Microsoft Dynamics have demonstrated development quality and compatibility with Microsoft Dynamics products. VeriTest, a service of Lionbridge, performed independent and rigorous testing on the solution. Other certification criteria include:

  • Tested for integration with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product
  • Used and recommended by other companies
  • Professionally implemented and systematically supported

 Quote for CfMD blog-1.jpg

Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We're not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com. 

Topics: distribution software, Dynamics NAV, Business Software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, BMI Software, Dynamics NAV, Distribution Software

BMI Software Certified by Microsoft with CfMD

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jan 23, 2018 11:00:00 AM

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Press Release: January 2018

BMI Software is excited to announce receipt of the prestigious CfMD (Certified for Microsoft Dynamics) designation for our software. This achievement means that our solution has met Microsoft Corporation’s highest standard for partner developed software solutions. By successfully meeting all certification requirements, BMI Software can now carry the distinct Certified for Microsoft Dynamics logo. Solutions that are Certified for Microsoft Dynamics have demonstrated development quality and compatibility with Microsoft Dynamics products. VeriTest, a service of Lionbridge, performed independent and rigorous testing on the solution. Other certification criteria include:

  • Tested for integration with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product
  • Used and recommended by other companies
  • Professionally implemented and systematically supported

 Quote for CfMD blog-1.jpg

Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We're not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com and www.bmiusa.com/bmi-software 

Topics: distribution software, Dynamics NAV, Business Software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, BMI Software, Dynamics NAV, Distribution Software

Addicted to Holding On to Old ERP Technology?  Consider This an Intervention.

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Nov 28, 2017 10:56:18 AM

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Day-to-day demands will often distract Distributors from realizing how inefficient their outdated ERP has become. Every time you are forced to create a process outside your ERP solution, you may be losing the battle to gain more customers and prospects.

The pain of operating on old technology and unconnected data systems may be hurting you more than you know. It is not only creating manual workarounds that are error-prone; it is also affecting how your customers perceive you, and getting in the way of acquiring new business.

I recently looked at a customer's ERP system that should have been retired a long time ago. The navigation was not intuitive, and multiple screens were confusing. There was no easy way to get orders into the back office accounting from the ecommerce site.  If I wanted to look closer at a transaction, I had to jump to different modules instead of just clicking a button and seeing all the data behind the numbers.

Sometimes you are so used to doing things the hard way, that you don't even know there is an easier way. For example, when tracking down the shipping costs for an inventory item. With a modern system, you could just click on the total, and see all the landed costs that were incurred to get the item into your inventory. For a distributor with tight margins, knowing your true real-time costs is critical to offering a pricing strategy that makes a profit. In an older system without this capability, you lose sight of just how much your items cost - and don't even see it until after month-end, when it is too late.

A picture is worth a thousand words; we've all heard this adage. That's why graphical representations of your most important key performance indicators should alert you so you can take action. Exception-based data management in a modern ERP solutions  means let's just look at what needs attention so you don't waste time on what's already working.

I toured a distributor's warehouse recently and noticed that there were big screen displays scattered throughout the building so everyone, from the warehouse pickers, to the receivers and purchasers knew what was happening in real-time. Their goals were clearly visible, and alerts were flashing if a sales order triggered an Out-of-Stock  notification. Managers knew when to intervene to keep operations running smoothly.

As in any addiction, the first step to recovery from old technology is admitting you have a problem. The next step is to evaluate how you can add the technology elements that are most important and drive more business into your ecommerce carts and ultimately, your bottom line. 

Please join the conversation by commenting below.

 Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We're not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com. 

Topics: distribution software, Dynamics NAV, Business Software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, BMI Software, Dynamics NAV, Distribution Software

What the Heck are Tokamaks? The Answer to Clean Energy? Read On!

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Nov 7, 2017 9:36:59 AM

 

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One of BMI Software’s longtime customers, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, is doing some noteworthy research on clean energy. They are working on an alternative to radioactive options that are currently reliant on fossil fuels. The initial tests offer the possibility of a limitless supply of clean, affordable energy.

We thought you might enjoy this article about Fatima Ebrahimi, a physicist working in the lab who is doing ground-breaking research into tokamaks. What the heck are tokamaks? Read all about it in the article below. Read Button.jpg

 Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real world business problems. www.bmiusa.com.

We welcome your comments below.

 

Topics: BMI Software

Six Reasons Why ERP Implementations Fail.

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Oct 13, 2017 12:28:27 PM

 

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When a company searches for new ERP software for the first time, their top criteria may include price, functionality, fit to their industry, ease of use, hardware compatibility and support from their implementation partner.

Once they have some implementation experience under their belt, their priorities change dramatically. Their number one priority becomes support from their implementation partner. The difference between success and failure comes down to having the right guidance to avoid the pitfalls that comes with implementing a new business system.

Avoid These Common Mistakes :

Lack of Executive Sponsorship 

Management should convey to all employees that getting the new system up and running is an important priority. If it is not communicated from the top down, employees will not devote the attention that the project requires, and the risk of failure increases. 

Not Selecting an Internal Project Manager with the Right Skills

Ensure whoever you choose to lead the ERP implementation internally has the knowledge and authority to change internal business processes. They will be making decisions about whether customizations are required or not, so they need to part of the entire process, from selection to go-live. 

Your Employees May Block Progress 

Long-time employees may feel threatened by the new technology. They know how they do things now and have a vested interest in replicating their processes in the new system, even if those processes don’t make sense anymore. Modern ERP Software systems support best practices in accounting and operations; any modifications should provide a cost/benefit that is valuable to your organization. 

Not Keeping Focused on The Big Picture 

You’ll have complainers who resist change and don’t want to embrace new processes. If you give them the reasons for the change, you are more likely to get their cooperation. For example, “I realize this is adding an additional process to your normal workflow, but this will accelerate your month-end closing time to hours instead of days.” 

Ignoring Training 

Proper training makes a big difference in user adaption of the new ERP Software. Frustration sets in when they can’t find what they are looking for. Give your employees the gift of confidence by providing training that empowers them. 

Underfunded Implementation Budget 

The old ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 of software to services costs no longer applies. When companies move to the cloud, where the software costs consist of a smaller monthly subscription, the ratios become unrealistic. Regardless of what you pay for the ERP software, the same tasks to implement and tailor your system to work for your company still must be done. Successful implementations include a services budget that will allow your employees to thrive with the new system.

Are you in the process of evaluating an ERP solution? What are your biggest concerns about the implementation? Please comment below to continue the conversation.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com and www.bmiusa.com/bmi-software.

Topics: Dynamics NAV, BMI Software

Who Says Independent Distributors Can't Compete with the Big Box Giants?

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 11, 2017 12:49:18 PM

 

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 I talked to an independent distributor the other day, and he let me know what a tough time he had competing with big box etailers and retailers’ huge discounts and wide-ranging product offerings. So he changed his approach.

He makes it easy for consumers to do business with him by automating the ordering and sales process. He offers free shipping, a generous return policy, and as a small, agile business, he can broaden his ecommerce channels through social media and flash sales.

Studies show that the social network quadruples a retailer’s message online. Not only that, but friends who share good deals with their friends have the credibility that no big box company can match.

Here are some action items to take if you want to win against the power channel:

  1. Compete by offering free shipping or free upgrades to shipping. Multiple shipping options are a mighty conversion tool. You can make your customers happy by letting them know they are getting a great deal. Emphasize the pain they feel when they buy an item elsewhere and then end up paying $100 in shipping charges.
  2. Don’t even try to compete on price - you won’t win against the big box retailers. However, you will win if you offer a customer experience that they can’t resist. Be personal, use their names in correspondence. Use buying history to offer more of what they want. “Dear Sue, we noticed last month you ordered some computer paper, and we’d hate to see you run out right before a big presentation. Just fill out the form below, and we will have your order on the way with Bob, our delivery driver, who knows exactly where to deliver it. Big box stores will have a hard time duplicating the level of service you can offer. They are concentrating on a volume play. You can win with your attention to detail. How many times have you walked into a big box store and were ignored by three workers with no more knowledge than you?
  3. A strong online presence is essential to attract new customers. Get the word out and the sales in your carts by creating an easy-to-use eCommerce site. Your goal is to make it easy to buy and easy to return so they will buy again.
  4. Sell value, not price. I once had a dry cleaner who was further away than other local dry cleaners. However, that didn’t stop me from driving across town to bring my business to them. Why? Because they were smart enough to send me weekly tips about how to care for different fabrics. A big snowstorm hit our region, and they sent me an email with a list of fabrics NOT to wear in the snow so they wouldn’t be damaged. Not only did they share their expertise, but I learned to trust that they would know how to handle my clothes.
  5. Define your niche and beat the pants off Amazon. Look at a company like GoPro. Yes, you could order it on Amazon, but if you are a fan of GoPro you want to buy from GoPro where all those geeky experts live. With 3.5 million followers there is a reason they have a loyal base. Their top-notch customer service beats Amazon because they know the answers to your questions.
  6. Be radical. Make a deal with a popular pizza restaurant and offer your office product customers free pizza with every 5th order. Alternatively, send Starbucks cards when they reach a certain dollar value in orders. The folks who place those orders will remember you as they enjoy a pizza lunch or coffee the next day and they’ll come back for more.

What are some of the ways you compete with the big box companies?

Please comment below; we’d love to hear your story.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real world business problems. www.bmiusa.com

Topics: Dynamics NAV, Business Software, E-Commerce, BMI Software, Customer Service

What to Do with a Hopping Mad Customer?  Listen....

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 4, 2017 9:58:43 AM

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Think back to an experience you had with a vendor that frustrated, angered and made you shake your head in dismay. I admit it, unexpected surprises drive me bananas. I don’t mean to pick on the cable company, but this particular experience is top-of-mind.

One of my co-workers recently told me about an infuriating experience she had with an install order at the cable company. She emphasized during the sales process that she was moving and HAD to be connected to the internet on the date scheduled, so remote working was possible. She made an appointment three weeks in advance to be sure the work would get done in time. The cable technician came two hours early, while she was doing a run to the old house. He left a note on the door saying “Sorry I missed you. Call the office to reschedule.” HUH? She had an appointment! The office let her know the next appointment would be two weeks away. Unacceptable!

She was angry and kept calling up the chain, retelling her story, getting rejected until she got a supervisor to listen to her and do something about it. The supervisor empathized with her problem, asked clarifying questions, and determined that she had done everything right to try and get service when she needed it. Then he did something that made her happy. The Supervisor said he would come out HIMSELF the next day on Sunday and install her internet and cable. That kind of demonstration of personal responsibility changed her anger into admiration.

No one likes to deal with unhappy customers. Customers, happy or not, have the power of social media to make or break your business. Here are some tips on handling unhappy customers.

  1. Let them Rant - It is important for customers who perceive that they have been treated unjustly to talk about their issue. Ask clarifying questions to let them know your are listening to them, and want to get details. Say things like; I hear your frustration. Let's find out what we can do to fix this.
  2. Tell them what you can do, not what you can’t do. For example, I can schedule you for the very next available technician. Not, I don’t have any techs available for a week.
  3. Look past the anger - find out what caused the issue. Was it unclear copy? Did we drop the ball? It is common to dismiss customers as unreasonable, or cranky, but you may be dismissing genuine feedback.
  4. Don’t defer blame - Nothing infuriates a customer more than being told what they did wrong when they have a complaint. Your tone, if dismissive can start a firestorm right where you don’t want it - on social media. Just apologize without any caveats. Even if the customer is off-the-wall unreasonable, just say you are sorry and ask how you might help resolve the issue.
  5. How you ask questions either feeds the anger or diffuses it. If you ask a customer a negative question, you’re asking for a negative response.

For example,

Is there anything else wrong? (Negative)

Is there anything else I can help you with? (Positive)

  1. Complaints need a speedy response. Don’t think you can wait a day or two until they “settle down.” They won’t. Don’t let them feel powerless and drive them to feel social media is the only way to get your attention.

No one enjoys dealing with angry customers. Better communication can create opportunities to earn respect and turn them into fans. The key is the customer is not always right, but you have the power to make your response right.

How do you handle angry customers? Please join the conversation and comment below.

Business Management International (BMI) sells, implements and supports Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP solutions for growing businesses. We specialize in keeping customers happy and productive with modern technology. www.bmiusa.com

Topics: Dynamics NAV, Business Software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, microsoft ERP, BMI Software

Don't Let Your Competition Automate You Out Of Business

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jul 27, 2017 3:58:07 PM

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Fierce competition for sales and equally as important, efficiency, force business owners to automate as a way to be profitable. Now more than ever before, offering your customers a memorable experience when doing business with you entices them to come back for more.

Today’s instant gratification world means you don’t get a second chance to capture business. A customer who visits your eCommerce site has no patience for sloppy processes that don’t communicate what they want to know: how many, when and where they can expect items on order to be in hand.

Small to medium businesses with budget considerations may make a stab at improving selected areas of their operations. For example, they implement a stand-alone warehouse system so they can pick and ship more efficiently. Lacking integration to their back office software, they leave gaping holes in their operations. The back office does not know that a widget is out of stock, so there is a delay in replenishment. By the time the customer hears about it, not only are their expectations unmet, but a hard-fought-for relationship may go south.

Or, a distributor may implement an eCommerce solution that has to be tediously updated manually by their staff to make sure prices, discounts, and shipping locations are in synch with their ERP system. As the business grows, it becomes a nightmare to keep the data correct, and errors are sure to happen.

I heard the story of a distributor of music CDs who was doing business with Amazon. He was looking at a proposal for a new ERP system to replace his disconnected legacy system and tells how his hand was shaking as he committed to buying the automated solution. Was he going to bring his company down with this investment? Would he be able to see the ROI fast enough to justify the spend?

One month after the company was operating on the new system, Amazon notified all vendors that if they gave Amazon access to their inventory directly, the vendors who did this would be moved up in priority status on Amazon's vendor order fulfillment ranking. Because of the open technology of the solution, the distributor was able to give Amazon direct access to their inventory within three days. They moved from position 8 to position 3, and their orders soared. Within three weeks the additional orders paid for his ERP purchase. This is the kind of ROI that automation can bring.

Business owners with vision recognize they need to do more with less. If you are operating on outdated technology, your competitive edge is waning. Successful businesses prioritize investment in automation because what follows are outstanding customer experiences that lead to revenue growth.

What are the barriers to automation for your company? Please comment below to join the conversation. 

BMI supports Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP and offers end-to-end solutions for organizations who want to automate their operations.

Topics: Dynamics NAV, Accounting Software, Business Software, Microsoft Software, BMI Software