5 Must-Have Pages for a Business Web Site

Some information is expected to be present on a business web site. Visitors want to learn more about the company and also gain a level of confidence from the web site content. Most importantly, you want to encourage potential customers to take the next step and make contact. Along with the home page, the 5 pages listed below help provide visitors with more information and a degree of confidence.

  • About Us – This is often the 1st page visited after the home page. People want to know more about the company and its history. However, steer clear of adding too much text. Visitors eyes will glaze over and the important pieces if information will be lost among the “fluff.”
  • Contact Us – The goal of nearly every business web site owner is to convert a visitor to a customer. The first step is to have the visitor contact you. The contact page should show all forms of contact (address, phone, e-mail). Contact form should ask for minimal information so as not to scare away a potential customer. Only name and 1 contact method, usually an e-mail address, should be required.
  • Services/Products – What does your company do? What services and/or products do you offer? This is the place to convey the company’s value proposition and also give a bit of a sales pitch.
  • Testimonials – No advertising is more powerful than positive reviews from current and former clients/customers. This gives potential customers a feeling of security and trust.
  • Privacy Policy – To make a potential customer feel comfortable about making contact and providing contact information, however minimal, it is essential to have a privacy policy page explaining how gathered information is (not) used. This is absolutely essential on shopping web sites and will decrease the frequency of shopping cart abandonment. A link to the privacy policy should appear on every page, usually in the footer.





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ASP.NET C# – Numeric TextBox control validation

There are times when you need to ensure numeric values are entered into a TextBox control.
This can be accomplished using a CompareValidator with the Operator attribute set to "DataTypeCheck" and Type attribute set to the numeric type (Double or Integer).

The sample below allows only double values in the TextBox control.
<asp:TextBox ID="Mileage" runat="server" Columns="8"></asp:TextBox>
...
<asp:CompareValidator ControlToValidate="Mileage" Operator="DataTypeCheck"
 ID="MileageValidator" runat="server" Type="Double"
 Display="Dynamic" ErrorMessage="Please enter a valid mileage amount.">
</asp:CompareValidator>





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ASP.NET C# – Retrieving an HTTP Request Parameter

In the C# code use the QueryString array within the Request object to retrieve request values.
In the example below the query string parameter named “parm” (no quotes) was received in the HTTP GET request.

Request URL:

http://www.example.com?parm=thisvalue

C# code:

String valu = Request.QueryString[“parm”];

The string valu would contain the value “thisvalue” (no quotes) after the statement above was executed.





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ASP.NET Architecture

ASP pages can be written in one of 2 ways – inline or code-behind.
Code-behind pages separate the user interface from the business logic, making it a better choice in most cases.

From an architecture perspective, code-behind files allow for a cleaner system implementation.
Code-behind files allow a developer to separate the UI display from the UI processing.
The only code that should exist in the ASPX file itself is code (typically script) that specifically services the display.
It is generally easier to reuse code in a code-behind file than in a single file with inline code.
Code-behind development provides separation of the design and development functions, allowing designers to work on the ASPX file and coders to do the code-behind development.

Advantages of code-behind development include:

  • compile-time warnings
  • type safety
  • better debugging support since Visual Studio was designed for code-behind development./li>

Read more about the code-behind model.





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Meta Description Tag

HTML meta tags have been part of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies since the dawn of the first search engines. As SEO has evolved the importance of the meta tags has steadily decreased. The meta keywords tag was very important in the early days, with webmasters stuffing it with every related word they could think of. These days the meta keywords tag has very little importance but the meta description tag still can be an important factor in search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is a Meta tag?

Meta tags are not seen on web pages and are added by web site authors to help describe the content of the page itself. The Meta Description tag contains a short description of the page’s content while the Meta Keywords tag contains keywords likely used to find the page in a web search. See the code samples below.

<meta name="description" content="This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results." />
<meta name="keywords" content="meta, description, tag" />

Google Factor

Google announced in September of 2009 that neither meta descriptions nor meta keywords factor into it’s web search ranking algorithms. However, Google may use meta descriptions in its search results when advanced search operators are used to match meta tag content and also to pull preview snippets on search result pages (see below).

Meta Description

To be clear, the content of the meta description does not influence the order of the results but may affect what is shown on the SERPs. The key is what is searched upon by the user. The meta description is significant since that is what may show in the search engine results pages (SERP) below the page title. Without the meta description tag there is no way to reliably know what will show in the SERPs beneath the title. Search engines will grab a few snippets from the page content in the absence of a meta description tag.

Meta Keywords

These have no bearing whatsoever on the Google search engine results pages. Keyword meta tags can serve as a reference guide to keep track of the terms pages are being optimizing for but should not be relied upon to boost search ranking. Yahoo! apparently continues to use keyword meta tags but their importance has diminished.

Verdict – Including the meta keyword tag may offer some insurance but should be a very low priority with organic SEO.

Facebook Factor

When you add a link to your Facebook wall, it automatically pulls the title tag, meta description and lets you choose an image. Think of the meta description as a way to entice users to click on your link from a search engine results page (SERP) or checking out a page shared on Facebook.

Verdict – It is good practice to have a concise, well-written meta description that contains important keywords to ensure the SERPs show relevant snippet text below the page title. This will help ensure a click-through for searches on your preferred keywords.





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Welcome

Welcome to the new blog for Web Technology, Inc. In the days ahead you’ll find technical tips, updates on current technology trends as well as general technology information to keep you up-to-date with the latest news and trends.

The blog is a long time coming and we hope you find it useful. Please come back and visit.





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