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What’s More Important: Social Media or SEO?

There’s a lot of buzz in marketing circles about the importance of using social media.  I read an article recently disclosing the results of a survey of businesses indicating that social media is the No. 1 area in which companies feel they need to be educated in order to be more successful.  And, the marketing company conducting the survey suggested that social media should be a “key part” of a company’s marketing strategy.

As an Internet marketing strategist for the past 20 years, I can tell you I disagree with those statements.

How relevant is social media for industrial or other B2B companies?

Why? Largely, it’s an issue of relevance.  Social media is not the panacea for every business’ marketing issues. While extremely valuable as a community-building and promotional tool for consumer-oriented companies that rely on brand awareness and reputation for sales, social media won’t have the same impact for industrial or other types of B2B companies.

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Make the Most of Your Internet Marketing Dollars

A company I recently consulted with wondered whether it should renew its online advertising because it wasn’t able to verify any sales generated by that particular Internet marketing program.

In evaluating the situation, I noted that the online ad was well designed, with a clear message intended to get the prospect to click through to the website.   Google Analytics showed that the ad was referring prospects to the website.   So, what was the problem?

Within 10 seconds of getting to the website, I saw it immediately:  There was no clear way to contact the company on the home page.   No phone number, no e-mail address.   And not even a physical mailing address so that prospects would know where the company was located.

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Keep Your Website Redesign Project on Track and within Budget

Not reviewing the design with all of the decision-makers almost always results in complex late-stage edit requests which have proven to be one of the most costly mistakes a client can make.

Earlier this year, I had touched on Three Costly Mistakes to Avoid when Developing Your Website, an important topic that I think is worth revisiting and elaborating on a little bit further. I’m hoping that expanding on some aspects of the web design process will help clients to get the best value out of their initial investment without additional, unnecessary costs, and, to ultimately receive the final web design project in the most expedient manner possible.

Below are solutions to some of the most common problems that can cause a delay and/or add additional costs to a web design project.

Problem: Taking too long to gather materials, or, not providing all materials needed to begin the project

Solution:  Follow the website redesign materials checklist.
There are a number of core elements that are needed in order to begin creating the homepage design. We have provided a web design materials checklist for clients to use as a guideline of all of the elements needed in order to begin the project. In a timely manner, provide each of the items on the list in order to ensure a prompt start on your design.

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What Successful B2B SEO Results Look Like

It’s important to measure the improvement in your site’s SEO results on a year-to-year basis, in addition to quarterly or month-to-month.

We get quite a few inquiries from industrial companies asking us to provide a website review and feedback on how well their site is performing in search engines.

We’re happy to provide this service (for free) – it affords us the opportunity to educate B2B business owners and managers about the important SEO factors that lead to better search engine rankings and website results. 

For industrial companies that have already optimized their websites, this free website review also affords the opportunity to gauge how well they or their current SEO vendor has positioned the website for strong search engine results. It’s not uncommon to discover that the company’s website really isn’t performing as well as one thinks. For example, I recall more than one website review where the company president was led to believe that his SEO was working because the site’s Google Analytics showed overall traffic improving over the course of a number of months.

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Identifying the right SEO factors is only half the battle

Nearly 400 SEO practitioners – including Pilot Fish – participated in a survey measuring the importance they placed on each factor.

Search engine optimization, like everything else in life, works best when you’ve got the right tools.

One of the niftiest tools we’ve encountered over the years is the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors, in its third incarnation by Search Engine Land. As its name suggests, the table is laid out like the scientific table of elements, but instead of helium, argon and thulium, the SEO table lists factors like content quality, meta descriptions and links.

Altogether, the SEO table lists 37 elements considered most important in how well a page ranks on the search engines. Like its scientific predecessor, the SEO table organizes the elements into families and provides a weight for each factor, based in this case on how much the element is considered helpful or hurtful for SEO purposes.

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Value of Industrial SEO to Your Business

One industrial client reported a significant uptick in business, and said they'd received almost 500 legitimate leads to follow up in the six months following their redesigned website's launch!

Although most of our clients are manufacturers or other businesses operating in the industrial space, we find a huge range of attitudes among them in how they value their websites.

Some treat it as just a yellow pages ad or, worse yet, a nuisance – throw it up there and forget about it until it comes time to talk about budgets and why the marketing isn’t working. “Maybe we can cut some cost on that website.” You mean, the one you haven’t updated in five years or ever optimized?

Meanwhile, others consider their industrial website to be an important element to their overall marketing, a complement to their tradeshow or print advertising programs. Or, better yet, their website is the primary vehicle they use to continue procuring prospects after their tradeshows or print ads have come and gone. These are the companies that regularly identify things that need to be updated, participate in industrial SEO programs custom suited to their businesses, or ask questions and take the recommended action to improve performance. And, yes, these are the companies that see consistent or growing site traffic and sales leads, and resulting new business.

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