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

 

Cheering Millennial-3

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

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

BMI Client, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Makes News

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 30, 2016 3:43:16 PM

Spherical tokamaks could provide path to limitless fusion energy

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Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications

Creating "a star in a jar" – replicating on Earth the way the sun and stars create energy through fusion – requires a "jar" that can contain superhot plasma and is low-cost enough to be built around the world. Such a device would provide humankind with near limitless energy, ending dependence on fossil fuels for generating electricity.

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) say that a model for such a "jar," or fusion device, already exists in experimental form – the compact spherical tokamaks at PPPL and Culham, England. These tokamaks, or fusion reactors, could provide the design for possible next steps in fusion energy – a Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) that would develop reactor components and also produce electricity as a pilot plant for a commercial fusion power station. 

New options for future plants

The detailed proposal for such a "jar" is described in a paper published in August 2016 in the journal Nuclear Fusion. "We are opening up new options for future plants," said lead author Jonathan Menard, program director for the recently completed National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) at PPPL. The $94-million upgrade of the NSTX, financed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, began operating last year.

Spherical tokamaks are compact devices that are shaped like cored apples, compared with the bulkier doughnut-like shape of conventional tokamaks. The increased power of the upgraded PPPL machine and the soon-to-be completed MAST Upgrade device moves them closer to commercial fusion plants that will create safe, clean and virtually limitless energy without contributing greenhouse gases that warm the Earth and with no long-term radioactive waste.

The NSTX-U and MAST facilities "will push the physics frontier, expand our knowledge of high temperature plasmas, and, if successful, lay the scientific foundation for fusion development paths based on more compact designs," said PPPL Director Stewart Prager.

The devices face a number of physics challenges. For example, they must control the turbulence that arises when superhot plasma particles are subjected to powerful electromagnetic fields. They must also carefully control how the plasma particles interact with the surrounding walls to avoid possible disruptions that can halt fusion reactions if the plasma becomes too dense or impure. Researchers at PPPL, Culham, and elsewhere are looking at ways of solving these challenges for the next generation of fusion devices.

The fourth state of matter

The spherical design produces high-pressure plasmas – the superhot charged gas also known as the fourth state of matter that fuels fusion reactions – with relatively low and inexpensive magnetic fields. This unique capability points the way to a possible next generation of fusion experiments to complement ITER, the international tokamak that 35 nations including the United States are building in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power. ITER is a doughnut-shaped tokamak that will be largest in the world when completed within the next decade.

"The main reason we research spherical tokamaks is to find a way to produce fusion at much less cost than conventional tokamaks require," said Ian Chapman, the newly appointed chief executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and leader of the UK's magnetic confinement fusion research programme at the Culham Science Centre.

The 43-page Nuclear Fusion paper describes how the spherical design can provide the next steps in fusion energy. A key issue is the size of the hole in the center of the tokamak that holds and shapes the plasma. In spherical tokamaks, this hole can be half the size of the hole in conventional tokamaks, enabling control of the plasma with relatively low magnetic fields.

The smaller hole could be compatible with a blanket system for the FNSF that would breed tritium, a rare isotope or form of hydrogen. Tritium will fuse with deuterium, another isotope of hydrogen, to produce fusion reactions in next-step tokamaks.

Superconducting magnets for pilot plants

For pilot plants, the authors call for superconducting magnets to replace the primary copper magnets in the FNSF. Superconducting magnets can be operated far more efficiently than copper magnets but require thicker shielding. However, recent advances in high-temperature superconductors could lead to much thinner superconducting magnets that would require less space and reduce considerably the size and cost of the machine.

Included in the paper is a description of a device called a "neutral beam injector" that will start and sustain plasma current without relying on a heating coil in the center of the tokamak. Such a coil is not suitable for continuous long-term operation. The neutral beam injector will pump fast-moving neutral atoms into the plasma and will help optimize the magnetic field that confines and controls the superhot gas.

Taken together, the paper describes concepts that strongly support a spherical facility to develop fusion components and create on Earth "a star in a jar"; the upgraded NSTX and MAST facilities will provide crucial data for determining the best path for ultimately generating electricity from fusion.

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PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. Results of PPPL research have ranged from a portable nuclear materials detector for anti-terrorist use to universally employed computer codes for analyzing and predicting the outcome of fusion experiments. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

PPPL uses a Microsoft Dynamics based ERP software system designed by BMI for their project, accounting and reporting requirements.

For more information, please visit science.energy.gov. 

Topics: BMI, microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Software, BMI Software